Pimecrolimus is used to treat certain skin conditions such as eczema (atopic dermatitis) in people who should not use or have not responded to other eczema medications (e.g., topical steroids). Eczema is an allergic-type condition that causes red, irritated, and itchy skin. This drug works by changing the skin's defense (immune) system, thereby decreasing the allergic reaction that causes eczema. Pimecrolimus belongs to a class of drugs known as topical calcineurin inhibitors (TCIs).
This medication is not recommended if you have a history of a certain rare genetic disorder (Netherton's syndrome). Also, this medication should not be used by anyone who has a weakened immune system (e.g., following an organ transplant).
Use Elidel only on the skin, exactly as it was prescribed for you. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Elidel Cream is not for long-term use.
Use Elidel only on skin areas affected with eczema. Stop using the medicine once your symptoms have cleared up, unless your doctor has told you otherwise.
Elidel Cream is for use on the skin only (topical). Do not get the cream in your eyes, nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum.
Wash your hands before and after using this medicine, unless you are using the medication to treat a hand condition.
Apply the medicine only to clean, dry skin. Use the smallest amount needed to apply a thin layer to the skin areas diagnosed with atopic dermatitis. Rub in gently.
Do not cover the treated skin with a bandage. Bandaging can increase the amount of drug you absorb through your skin and may cause harmful effects. Do not bathe, shower, or swim right after applying Elidel. Water may wash off the medicine.
Right after applying Elidel, you may need to rub in a moisturizing cream or lotion to keep your skin from getting too dry. Ask your doctor about which cream or lotion to use.
Elidel can lower the blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to get sick from a virus such as chicken pox or herpes (cold sores or shingles). Tell your doctor if you have been exposed to any illness, or if you have any signs of infection such as fever, chills, sore throat, or flu symptoms.
Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 6 weeks of treatment.
Store at room temperature. Do not freeze. Keep the medicine tube tightly capped when not in use.
Before using pimecrolimus, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: current infections (e.g., mononucleosis), use of light therapy (e.g., UVA or UVB), skin infections (e.g., herpes, chickenpox, shingles, warts), immune system problems.
This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Limit your time in the sun. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Tell your doctor right away if you get sunburned or have skin blisters/redness.
This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Mild burning or irritation at the application site may occur during the first few days of treatment. Headache may also occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if the following unlikely but serious side effects occur: signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat).
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
How should I use this medicine?
This medicine is applied to the skin. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Wash your hands before and after use. If treating a hand infection, wash hands before use only. Apply a thin layer to the affected areas. Rub in gently and completely. Usually, you will continue using the cream until the areas heal. Do not cover the treated skin with bandages or other dressings. Do not use your medicine more often than directed or for other types of skin conditions unless directed by your health care provider.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 2 years of age for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Improvements to your skin may occur after the first few weeks of treatment. Even though your skin looks better, it is important to keep using the cream as instructed by your health care provider. If you do not notice an improvement in your condition within 6 weeks or if your condition gets worse, tell your health care professional.
Avoid sunlight, sun lamps, tanning beds and treatment with UVA or UVB light while using this medicine. If you need to be outdoors after applying the cream, wear loose fitting clothing that protects the treated area from the sun. Ask your health care provider what other type of sun protection you should use.
Do not cover the skin being treated with bandages, dressings, or wraps. Unless otherwise instructed by your health care provider, do not apply another type of skin product on top of this medicine. However, you can wear normal clothing over the treated areas.
Do not bathe, shower, or swim right after applying this medicine. This could wash off the cream.
While you are using this medicine, drinking alcohol may cause the skin or face to become flushed or red and feel hot. Let your doctor or health care professional know if you notice such reactions.