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Other drug names: A-Am An-Az B C-Ch Ci-Cz D-Dh Di-Dz E F G H I-J K-L M-Mh Mi-Mz N-Nh Ni-Nz O P-Pl Pm-Pz Q-R S-Sn So-Sz T-To Tp-Tz U-V W-Z 0-9   

Pimecrolimus Topical

Why is this medication prescribed?

Pimecrolimus is used to control the symptoms of atopic dermatitis (a skin disease that is also called eczema). Pimecrolimus is only used to treat patients who cannot take other medications for atopic dermatitis, or whose symptoms were not controlled by other medications. Pimecrolimus is in a class of medications called immunosuppressants. It works by preventing the activation of certain cells that cause itching and redness of the skin.

How should this medicine be used?

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.

You should only apply pimecrolimus cream when you have symptoms of atopic dermatitis. Call your doctor when your symptoms go away to find out if you should stop using pimecrolimus. Also call your doctor as soon as you notice that your symptoms have come back to find out if you should start using pimecrolimus again.

It may take 2 weeks or longer before you feel the full benefit of pimecrolimus, but your symptoms should improve within 6 weeks. Call your doctor if your symptoms worsen at any time during treatment or do not improve after 6 weeks of treatment.

To use the cream, follow these steps:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water.
  • 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. Be careful not to get the cream in your eyes or mouth.
  • 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 cream.
  • You may cover the treated areas with normal clothes, but do not use any bandages, dressings, or wraps.
  • Be careful not to wash the cream off affected areas of your skin. Do not swim, shower, or bathe immediately after applying pimecrolimus cream.

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 taking pimecrolimus,

  • 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 (Serzone); oral contraceptives (birth control pills); other ointments, creams, or lotions; troleandomycin (TAO); and zafirlukast (Accolate). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any disease that affects your immune system such as cancer, Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), or Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Syndrome (SCID); Netherton's syndrome (a type of skin disease), or any type of skin infection, especially chicken pox, shingles, herpes, or eczema herpeticum. 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 taking pimecrolimus, call your doctor.
  • plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Also avoid exposure to artificial sunlight such as tanning beds. Pimecrolimus may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.
  • you should know that good skin care and moisturizers may help relieve your symptoms. Talk to your doctor about the moisturizers you should use, and always apply them after applying pimecrolimus cream.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Talk to your doctor about drinking grapefruit juice while taking this medicine.

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 cream to make up for a missed dose.

What side effects can this medication cause?

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

  • burning and redness in the areas where you applied pimecrolimus (call your doctor if this lasts more than 1 week)
  • headache
  • cough
  • stuffy or runny nose

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

  • sore throat
  • fever
  • flu-like symptoms
  • ear pain, discharge, and other signs of infection
  • warts, bumps, or other growths on skin
  • swollen glands in the neck

Pimecrolimus 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.

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 medication. 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
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