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Tacrolimus Topical

Why is this medication prescribed?

Tacrolimus topical is used to treat the symptoms of 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 preventing the immune system's production of substances that cause eczema.

How should this medicine be used?

Tacrolimus topical comes as an ointment to apply to the skin. It is usually applied twice a day to the affected area. To help you remember to apply tacrolimus, use it around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use tacrolimus exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Wash your hands before applying the medicine. If you have just taken a bath or a shower, be sure your skin is completely dry. Apply the ointment sparingly in a thin film and rub it in gently. Do not apply cosmetics or other skin preparations on the treated area without talking with your doctor. Do not wrap or bandage the treated area. If you are not treating eczema on your hands, wash your hands thoroughly after applying tacrolimus topical.

Continue to use tacrolimus topical for 1 week after your eczema clears up.

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?

Before using tacrolimus topical,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to tacrolimus 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); and erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Erythrocin). 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.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using tacrolimus topical, call your doctor.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using tacrolimus topical.
  • ask your doctor about the safe use of alcoholic beverages while you are using tacrolimus topical. 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 topical may increase the risk of skin cancer.
  • avoid exposure to measles and shingles. If you are exposed to one of these diseases while using tacrolimus topical, call your doctor immediately.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take 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 take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Tacrolimus topical may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • skin burning, stinging, or soreness
  • itching
  • headache
  • tingling skin
  • muscle pain
  • flu-like symptoms

Some side effects can be serious. The following symptoms are uncommon, but if you experience either of them, call your doctor immediately:

  • swollen glands
  • rash

Tacrolimus topical may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

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.

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Do not use tacrolimus topical for a skin condition other than the one for which it was prescribed. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT