tacrolimus topical (cont.)
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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using tacrolimus topical (Protopic)?
You should not use tacrolimus topical if you are allergic to it.
To make sure you can safely use tacrolimus topical, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
Tacrolimus 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.
Some people have developed skin cancer or lymphoma after using tacrolimus or pimecrolimus (Elidel). However, it is not known if either of these medicines causes skin cancer or lymphoma. Talk to your doctor about your individual risk.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether tacrolimus topical will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
Tacrolimus topical can pass 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.
Do not use tacrolimus topical on a child younger than 2 years old.
How should I use tacrolimus topical (Protopic)?
Use exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
If you are using this medicine on a child younger than 16 years old, use only the 0.03% ointment. The 0.1% ointment is for adults and children who are at least 16 years old, but is too strong to use on younger children.
Wash your hands before and after using tacrolimus, unless you are using the medication to treat a hand condition.
Apply the medicine in a thin layer, only to skin areas affected by eczema. Do not cover the treated skin with a bandage.
Do not bathe, shower, or swim right after applying tacrolimus topical. Water may wash off the medicine.
You may need to use a moisturizing cream or lotion to keep your skin from getting too dry. Ask your doctor about which moisturizer to use.
Tacrolimus is not for long-term use. Stop using the medicine once your symptoms have cleared up, unless your doctor has told you otherwise.
Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 6 weeks of treatment, or if they get worse while using tacrolimus.
Store at room temperature. Do not freeze. Keep ointment tube tightly closed 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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