Pimecrolimus topical is used to control the symptoms of eczema (atopic dermatitis; a skin disease that causes the skin to be dry and itchy and to sometimes develop red, scaly rashes).
Pimecrolimus is only used to treat patients who cannot use other medications for eczema, or whose symptoms were not controlled by other medications. Pimecrolimus topical is in a class of medications called topical calcineurin inhibitors. It works by stopping the immune system from producing substances that may cause eczema.
Side Effects Of Pimecrolimus Topical
Pimecrolimus may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- burning, warmth, stinging, soreness, or redness in the areas where you applied pimecrolimus topical (call your doctor if this lasts more than 1 week)
- warts, bumps, or other growths on the skin
- eye irritation
- red, stuffy, or runny nose
- painful menstrual periods
Some side effects of pimecrolimus topical can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- sore or red throat
- flu-like symptoms
- ear pain, discharge, and other signs of infection
- new or worsening rash
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- crusting, oozing, blistering or other signs of skin infection
- cold sores
- chickenpox or other blisters
- swollen glands in the neck
Pimecrolimus topical may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
Warnings & Precautions
Before using pimecrolimus cream:
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to pimecrolimus or any other medications.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking. Be sure to mention any of the following: antifungals such as fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), and ketoconazole (Nizoral); calcium channel blockers such as diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac, others), and verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, Verelan); cimetidine (Tagamet); clarithromycin (Biaxin); cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune); danazol (Danocrine); delavirdine (Rescriptor); erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Erythrocin); fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem); fluvoxamine (Luvox); HIV protease inhibitors such as indinavir (Crixivan), and ritonavir (Norvir); isoniazid (INH, Nydrazid); metronidazole (Flagyl); nefazodone; oral contraceptives (birth control pills); other ointments, creams, or lotions; troleandomycin (TAO); and zafirlukast (Accolate). Your doctor may need to change the doses of pimecrolimus topical or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had Netherton’s syndrome (an inherited condition that causes the skin to be red, itchy, and scaly), redness and peeling of most of your skin, any other skin disease, or any type of skin infection, especially chickenpox, shingles (a skin infection in people who have had chickenpox in the past), herpes (cold sores), or eczema herpeticum (viral infection that causes fluid-filled blisters to form on the skin of people who have eczema). Also, tell your doctor if your eczema rash has turned crusty or blistered or if you think that your eczema rash is infected.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking pimecrolimus topical, call your doctor.
- ask your doctor about the safe use of alcohol during your treatment with pimecrolimus topical cream. Your face may become flushed or red or feel hot if you drink alcohol during your treatment.
- avoid exposure to chickenpox, shingles, and other viruses. If you are exposed to one of these viruses while using pimecrolimus topical, call your doctor immediately.
- you should know that good skincare and moisturizers may help relieve the dry skin caused by eczema. Talk to your doctor about the moisturizers you should use, and always apply them after applying pimecrolimus cream.
Pimecrolimus Topical Dosage
Pimecrolimus comes as a cream to apply to the skin. It is usually applied twice a day for up to 6 weeks at a time. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Apply pimecrolimus cream exactly as directed. Do not apply more or less of it or apply it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Pimecrolimus cream is only for use on the skin. Be careful not to get pimecrolimus cream in your eyes or mouth. If you get pimecrolimus topical cream in your eyes, rinse them with cold water. If you swallow pimecrolimus topical cream, call your doctor.
To use the cream, follow these steps:
- Wash your hands with soap and water.
- Be sure that the skin in the affected area is dry.
- Apply a thin layer of pimecrolimus cream to all affected areas of your skin. You can apply pimecrolimus to all affected skin surfaces including your head, face, and neck.
- Rub the cream into your skin gently and completely.
- Wash your hands with soap and water to remove any leftover pimecrolimus cream. Do not wash your hands if you are treating them with pimecrolimus topical cream.
- You may cover the treated areas with normal clothing, but do not use any bandages, dressings, or wraps.
- Be careful not to wash the cream from affected areas of your skin. Do not swim, shower, or bathe immediately after applying pimecrolimus cream. Ask your doctor if you should apply more pimecrolimus topical cream after you swim, shower, or bathe.
- After you apply pimecrolimus cream and allow time for it to be completely absorbed into your skin, you may apply moisturizers, sunscreen, or makeup to the affected area. Ask your doctor about the specific products you plan to use.
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription of pimecrolimus topical.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.