ProtopicProtopic (Tacrolimus) ointment is used to treat the symptoms of atopic dermatitis (a skin disease that is also called eczema) in patients who cannot use other topical medications for their condition or whose eczema has not responded to another medication. Tacrolimus is in a class of medications called immunosuppressants. It works by stopping the immune systemfrom producing substances that cause eczema.
Why is Protopic prescribed?
Tacrolimus ointment is used to treat the symptoms of atopic dermatitis (a skin disease that is also called eczema) in patients who cannot use other topical medications for their condition or whose eczema has not responded to another medication. Tacrolimus is in a class of medications called immunosuppressants. It works by stopping the immune systemfrom producing substances that cause eczema.
How should I use tacrolimus topical?
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. Tacrolimus is not designed for extended usage.
Do not use tacrolimus topical on a child 2 years of age or younger.
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.
Stop using the medicine once your symptoms have cleared up, unless your physician has advised you differently.
Wash your hands before and after using Protopic, unless you are using the medication to treat a hand condition.
Apply Protopic 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 tacrolimus topical. Water may interfer with this medication.
Right after applying tacrolimus, 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 Protopic for a period of 6 weeks.
Store tacrolimus topical at room temperature. Do not freeze. Keep the cap on the ointment tube when not in use.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow while taking Protopic?
Before using Protopic,
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to tacrolimus ointment, injection, or capsules (Prograf), 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) and verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan); cimetidine (Tagamet); erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Erythrocin); and other ointments, creams, or lotions. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have a skin infection and if you have or have ever had cancer or Netherton's syndrome (a skin disease). Also tell your doctor if you are being treated with any form of light therapy such as phototherapy, UVA, or UVB.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using tacrolimusointment, call your doctor.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using tacrolimusointment.
- ask your doctor about the safe use of alcoholic beverages while you are using tacrolimus ointment. Alcohol can make the skin or face become flushed or red and feel hot.
- plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to natural and artificial sunlight (such as sun lamps and tanning beds) and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Tacrolimus ointment may increase the risk that you will develop skin cancer if your skin is exposed to sunlight.
- avoid exposure to chicken pox, shingles, and other viruses. If you are exposed to one of these diseases while using tacrolimusointment, call your doctor immediately.
Talk to your doctor about drinking grapefruit juice while you are taking Protopic.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not apply extra ointment to make up for a missed dose.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Tacrolimus ointment may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- skin burning, stinging, redness or soreness
- tingling skin
- muscle pain
- flu-like symptoms
Some side effects from Protopic can be serious. The following symptoms are uncommon, but if you experience either of them, call your doctor immediately:
Some patients developed skin cancer or lymph node cancer while they were using tacrolimus ointment It is not known if tacrolimus ointment caused the cancer to develop or if the patients would have developed cancer even if they had not used the medication. Talk to your doctor about the risks of using tacrolimus ointment.
Tacrolimus ointmentmay cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your Protopic. Do not use tacrolimus ointment for a skin condition other than the one for which it was prescribed. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about prescription renewal.