Skip to main content

Pimecrolimus (Topical route)

Pronunciation:

pim-e-KROE-li-mus

Brand Names:

  • Elidel

Dosage Forms:

  • Cream

Warnings:

Topical route(Cream)

Long-term safety of topical calcineurin inhibitors has not been established and rare cases of malignancy (eg, skin and lymphoma) have been reported in patients treated with topical calcineurin inhibitors, including pimecrolimus cream. Avoid continuous long-term use in any age group, and apply to limited areas of involvement with atopic dermatitis. Not indicated for use in children less than 2 years of age .

Classifications:

Therapeutic—

Dermatological Agent

Pharmacologic—

Calcineurin Inhibitor

Uses of This Medicine:

Pimecrolimus is used to treat mild to moderate atopic dermatitis (eczema) in patients who have already been treated with other medicines that did not work well.

Pimecrolimus belongs to a class of medicines known as topical calcineurin inhibitors that decrease inflammation. It helps to suppress the symptoms of atopic dermatitis (e.g., itching, redness, or inflammation of the skin) which are caused by the body's immune system.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using This Medicine:

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies—

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Children—

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of pimecrolimus in children. However, the use of pimecrolimus in children younger than 2 years of age is not recommended.

Older adults—

Although appropriate studies on the relationship of age to the effects of pimecrolimus have not been performed in the geriatric population, no geriatric-specific problems have been documented to date.

Pregnancy—

Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersCAnimal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.

Breast-feeding—

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Other medicines—

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other interactions—

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other medical problems—

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) or
  • Netherton's syndrome (a rare skin disease) or
  • Weakened immune system—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
  • Eczema herpeticum (Kaposi's varicelliform eruption) or
  • Herpes simplex virus infection or
  • Lymphadenopathy (lymph node problem) or
  • Lymphoma or
  • Mononucleosis ("mono") or
  • Skin cancer or
  • Skin papilloma (warts) or
  • Viral infection (e.g., chicken pox or shingles)—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.

Proper Use of This Medicine:

Use this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not use it for any other condition without checking first with your doctor. This medicine may cause unwanted effects if it is used too much, because more of it is absorbed into the body through the skin.

This medicine comes with a medication guide and a patient information insert. Read and follow the instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

Wash your hands with soap and water before and after using this medicine.

Be careful not to get any of this medicine in your eyes, nose, or mouth. Do not use it on skin areas that have cuts or scrapes. If it does get on these areas, rinse it off right away.

This medicine should only be used for problems being treated by your doctor. Check with your doctor before using it for other problems, especially if you think that an infection may be present.

Do not bathe, shower, or swim right after applying this medicine. Also, the treated skin areas should not be bandaged or covered after the medicine is applied.

You may use moisturizers to lessen dryness of the affected areas of your skin. Apply the moisturizer after using this medicine.

Dosing—

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For topical dosage form (cream):
    • For atopic dermatitis:
      • Adults, teenagers, and children 2 years of age and above—Apply a thin layer to the affected areas of the skin two times per day.
      • Children younger than 2 years of age—Use is not recommended.

Missed dose—

If you miss a dose of this medicine, apply it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.

Storage—

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Precautions While Using This Medicine:

It is very important that your doctor check your progress or your child's progress at regular visits. This will allow your doctor to see if this medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to use it.

If your symptoms do not improve after 6 weeks or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

Using this medicine for a long time may increase your risk of having infections, lymphoma, or skin cancer. If you have questions, discuss this with your doctor.

This medicine may cause soreness, itching, stinging, or a burning sensation on your skin. Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if this reaction becomes severe or persists for more than one week.

Lymph node problems may occur while using this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have swollen, painful, or tender lymph glands in your neck, armpit, or groin.

Make sure your doctor knows if you are also having ultraviolet (UV) light treatment or phototherapy while you are using this medicine.

This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when you are outdoors. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.

Side Effects of This Medicine:

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common
Abdominal or stomach pain
body aches or pain
burning, itching, redness, skin rash, swelling, or soreness at the application site
change in hearing
chills
cold or flu-like symptoms
congestion (ear or nasal)
cough producing mucus
diarrhea
difficulty with breathing or shortness of breath
dryness or soreness of the throat
earache or pain in the ear
ear drainage
fever
general feeling of discomfort or illness
headache
hoarseness
itching
joint pain
loss of appetite
loss of voice
muscle aches and pains
nausea
pain
redness
runny nose
shivering
sneezing
sweating
swelling
tenderness
tender, swollen glands in the neck
tightness in the chest
trouble with swallowing
trouble with sleeping
unusual tiredness or weakness
voice changes
vomiting
warmth on the skin
wheezing
Less common
Blistering, crusting, irritation, itching, or reddening of the skin
blurred vision or other change in vision
eye pain
fast heartbeat
hives
itchy, raised, round, smooth, skin-colored bumps found on just one area of the body that are oozing, thick, white fluid
irritation
joint pain, stiffness or swelling
rash
redness of the eye
redness of the skin
sensitivity of the eyes to light
skin rash on the face, scalp, or stomach
swelling of the eyelids, face, lips, hands, or feet
tearing
troubled breathing or swallowing
Incidence not known
Black, tarry stools
change in size, shape, or color of existing mole
cough
dizziness
itching, puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
large, hive-like swelling on the face
mole that leaks fluid or bleeds
new mole
small, red skin lesion, growth, or bump usually on the face, ears, neck, hands, or arms
sores that will not heal
weight loss
yellow eyes and skin

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
Burning, itching, and pain in hairy areas
pus at the root of the hair
Less common
Blemishes on the skin
bloody nose
burning or stinging of the skin
difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
flushing; redness of skin; unusually warm skin at site
heavy bleeding
painful cold sores or blisters on the lips, nose, eyes, or genitals
pimples
redness or swelling in the ear
vaginal pain and cramps
Incidence not known
Burning, stinging, itching, or mild discomfort of the eye (after applying the cream to the eyelids or near the eyes)
feeling of warmth (with alcohol use)
redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest (with alcohol use)

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Last Updated: 11/4/2014

Copyright © 1984- Thomson Micromedex. All rights reserved.

Thomson & A.D.A.M