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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)

Brand Names

In the U.S.-

  • Elidel


  • Immunomodulator


Pimecrolimus ( pim-e-KROW-li-mus) cream is used for mild to moderate atopic dermatitis. This is a skin condition where there is itching, redness and inflammation, much like an allergic reaction. Pimecrolimus helps to suppress these symptoms which are a reaction caused by the body's immune system. It can be used for short-term or long-term periodic treatment. It is often used when other types of treatment are either not working or when you cannot tolerate other types of treatment.

Pimecrolimus is available only with your doctor's prescription, in the following dosage forms:

  • Cream (U.S.)

Before Using This Medicine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of using pimecrolimus cream must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For pimecrolimus cream, the following should be considered:

Allergies- Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to pimecrolimus. Also tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy- Pimecrolimus cream has not been studied in pregnant women. However, studies in animals have shown that pimecrolimus taken orally causes other problems in animals. Before taking this medicine, make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or if you may become pregnant.

Breast-feeding- It is not known whether pimecrolimus applied as a topical cream passes into the breast milk, and may cause unwanted effects in nursing babies. It may be necessary for you to take another medicine or to stop breast-feeding during treatment. Be sure you have discussed the risks and benefits of the medicine with your doctor.

Children- This medicine is not known to cause different types of side effects or problems in children over the age of two, than it does in adults, although some side effects may occur more often than they do in adult patients.

Older adults- There is no specific information comparing the use of pimecrolimus in the elderly with the use in other age groups. Pimecrolimus is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.

Other medicines- Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your health care professional if you are using any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other medical problems- The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of pimecrolimus cream. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
  • Eczema herpeticum (Kaposi's varicelliform eruption), or
  • Herpes simplex virus infection or
  • Varicella zoster virus infection (chicken pox or shingles)-increases the risk of skin infections
  • Immunocompromised patients (weakened immune system)- the safety of these patients using pimecrolimus cream has not been established
  • Lymphadenopathy or
  • Mononucleosis, acute infectious-may cause enlargement of lymph nodes
  • Netherton's syndrome-may cause too much of the pimecrolimus cream to be absorbed into the body
  • Skin infections - safety of using pimecrolimus cream for some skin infections is unknown
  • Skin papilloma or
  • Warts-may worsen condition

Proper Use of This Medicine


Infections in the affected areas should be treated before starting treatment with pimecrolimus cream.

Apply a thin layer of pimecrolimus cream and rub it in well to cover the affected areas.

Wash hands thoroughly after applying pimecrolimus cream, unless your hands are part of the area for treatment.

While using pimecrolimus, if symptoms of your skin condition go away, consult your doctor.

If after your doctor tells you to stop using pimecrolimus, your skin condition reoccurs, consult your doctor.

Do not use any occlusive dressings (a dressing that seals the area that is being treated such as a plastic exercise suit or plastic wraps used to store foods).

The dose of pimecrolimus cream will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of pimecrolimus. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

  • For cream dosage form
    • For atopic dermatitis
      • Adults-Gently apply cream to skin that is clean and dry two times a day. Do not cover the area with a bandage that sticks to the skin. If symptoms do not resolve in 6 weeks, consult your doctor.
      • Children over 2 years old-Gently apply cream to skin that is clean and dry two times a day. Do not cover the area with a bandage that sticks to the skin. If symptoms do not resolve in 6 weeks, consult your doctor.

Missed dose-

If you miss a dose of this medicine, use it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.


To store this medicine:

  • Store at room temperature 77 °F.
  • Keep out of the reach of children.
  • Keep the medicine from freezing. Do not refrigerate.
  • Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Ask your health care professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.

Precautions While Using This Medicine

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits . Your doctor will want to make sure the pimecrolimus cream is working properly and to check for unwanted effects.

Report any adverse reactions or side effects to your doctor or if your skin condition seems to be getting worse.

Use this medicine only for the condition for which it was prescribed by your doctor.

If your symptoms do not improve within six weeks or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

Exposure to natural or artificial sunlight should be minimized or avoided.

  • Stay out of direct sunlight, especially between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., if possible.
  • Wear protective clothing, including a hat. Also, wear sunglasses.
  • Apply a sun block product that has a skin protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. Some people may require a product with a higher SPF number, especially if they have a fair complexion. If you have any questions about this, check with your health care professional.
  • Apply a sun block lipstick that has an SPF of at least 15 to protect your lips.
  • Do not use a sunlamp or tanning bed or booth.

Side Effects of This Medicine

Side Effects of This Medicine

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • More common
    • Abdominal or stomach pain;  body aches or pain;  burning, itching, redness, skin rash, swelling, or soreness at site;  change in hearing;  chills;  cold or flu-like symptoms;  congestion, ear or nasal;  cough producing mucus;  diarrhea;  difficulty breathing or shortness of breath;  dryness or soreness of throat;  earache or pain in ear, ear drainage ;  fever;  general feeling of discomfort or illness;  headache;  hoarseness;  itching;  joint pain;  loss of appetite;  loss of voice;  muscle aches and pains ;  nausea;  pain;  redness;  runny nose;  shivering;  sneezing;  sore throat;  sweating;  swelling;  tenderness;  tender, swollen glands in neck;  tightness in chest, wheezing;  trouble in swallowing;  trouble sleeping;  unusual tiredness or weakness ;  voice changes;  vomiting ;  warmth on skin 

  • Less common
    • Blistering, crusting, irritation, itching, or reddening of skin ;  blurred vision or other change in vision;  eye pain;  fast heartbeat;  hives;  hives or welts, itching, redness of skin;  hoarseness;  itching ;  itchy, raised, round, smooth, skin-colored bumps found on just one area of the body that are oozing, thick, white fluid;  irritation;  joint pain, stiffness or swelling;  rash;  redness of eye;  redness of skin;  sensitivity of eye to light;  shortness of breath ;  skin rash on face, scalp, or stomach;  swelling of eyelids, face, lips, hands, or feet;  tearing;  tightness in chest;  troubled breathing or swallowing;  wheezing 

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any question about them:

  • More common
    • Burning, itching, and pain in hairy areas, pus at root of hair ;  itching skin at injection site 

  • Less common
    • Blemishes on the skin; pimples;  bloody nose;  burning or stinging of skin;  difficulty having a bowel movement (stool);  earache, redness or swelling in ear;  flushing; redness of skin; unusually warm skin at site;  painful cold sores or blisters on lips, nose, eyes, or genitals;  vaginal pain and cramps, heavy bleeding 

Additional Information

Once a medicine has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although this use is not included in product labeling, pimecrolimus is used in certain patients with the following medical condition:

  • Atopic dermatitis in children less than 2 years of age

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