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pimecrolimus topical (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using pimecrolimus topical (Elidel)?

Before using pimecrolimus topical, tell your doctor if you have:

  • skin cancer or a skin infection (including herpes or chicken pox);
  • Netherton's syndrome (a genetic skin disorder);
  • a weak immune system (from cancer treatments, HIV/AIDS or certain medicines such as steroids);
  • kidney disease; or
  • swelling, redness, or irritation of large areas of your skin.

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use pimecrolimus or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

Pimecrolimus 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.

FDA pregnancy category C: This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not use pimecrolimus without telling your doctor if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

Pimecrolimus passes into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

A small number of people have developed skin cancer after using pimecrolimus or tacrolimus (Protopic) skin medications. However, it is not known if either of these medicines causes skin cancer. Talk to your doctor about your individual risk.

How should I use pimecrolimus topical (Elidel)?

Use this medication only on the skin, exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not use it in larger doses or for longer than recommended by your doctor. Pimecrolimus is not for long-term use.

Do not use pimecrolimus topical on a child 2 years of age or younger.

Stop using the medicine once your symptoms have cleared up, unless your doctor has told you otherwise.

Wash your hands before and after using pimecrolimus, 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.

Do not bathe, shower, or swim right after applying pimecrolimus topical. Water may wash off the medicine.

Right after applying pimecrolimus, 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.

Talk to your doctor if your skin condition does not improve after using pimecrolimus topical for 6 weeks.

Store pimecrolimus topical at room temperature. Do not freeze. Keep the cap on the cream tube when not in use.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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