Generic Name: Pimecrolimus Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Uses

What is Pimecrolimus used for?

Pimecrolimus is used to treat certain skin conditions such as eczema (atopic dermatitis) in people who should not use or have not responded to other eczema medications (e.g., topical steroids). Eczema is an allergic-type condition that causes red, irritated, and itchy skin. This drug works by changing the skin’s defense (immune) system, thereby decreasing the allergic reaction that causes eczema. Pimecrolimus belongs to a class of drugs known as topical calcineurin inhibitors (TCIs).

This medication is not recommended if you have a history of a certain rare genetic disorder (Netherton’s syndrome). Also, this medication should not be used by anyone who has a weakened immune system (e.g., following an organ transplant).

How should I take Pimecrolimus?

Wash your hands with soap and water before using this medication. Apply a thin layer to the affected areas of skin, usually twice daily or as directed by your doctor. Rub the medication into the skin gently and completely. Wash your hands after using this product unless your hands are being treated. If your doctor recommends a moisturizer, apply it after this medication.

Pimecrolimus is for use on the skin only. Avoid getting this medication in your eyes or on the inside of your nose or mouth. Do not apply this medication to open wounds or infected areas. Do not cover the treated area with plastic or waterproof bandages unless directed to do so by your doctor. Do not bathe, shower or swim right after applying this medication.

Use this medication exactly as directed. Your doctor may instruct you to stop using it once your eczema has cleared up and to start using it again if signs or symptoms reappear. Consult your doctor for details.

Inform your doctor if your condition does not improve after 6 weeks of using this medication or if your condition worsens at any time.

How do I store Pimecrolimus?

Pimecrolimus is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Pimecrolimus in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Pimecrolimus that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Pimecrolimus down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Pimecrolimus?

Before using pimecrolimus, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: current infections (e.g., mononucleosis), use of light therapy (e.g., UVA or UVB), skin infections (e.g., herpes, chickenpox, shingles, warts), immune system problems.

This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Limit your time in the sun. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Tell your doctor right away if you get sunburned or have skin blisters/redness.

This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this Pimecrolimus during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Pimecrolimus. Pimecrolimus is pregnancy risk category C according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Pimecrolimus?

Mild burning or irritation at the application site may occur during the first few days of treatment. Headache may also occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if the following unlikely but serious side effects occur: signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat).

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Pimecrolimus?

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially: topical steroids, other ointments/lotions/creams.

Pimecrolimus may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with Pimecrolimus?

Pimecrolimus may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Pimecrolimus?

Pimecrolimus may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this Pimecrolimus.

What is the dose of Pimecrolimus for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Atopic Dermatitis

Apply a thin layer to the affected area twice daily and rub in gently and completely

Comments:

-Therapy should be discontinued when signs (e.g., itch, rash, redness) resolve.

-If symptoms persist beyond 6 weeks, patients should be reexamined by their health care provider to confirm the diagnosis of atopic dermatitis.

Use: As second-line therapy for the short-term and noncontinuous chronic treatment of mild to moderate atopic dermatitis in non-immunocompromised patients, who have failed to respond adequately to other topical prescription treatments, or when those treatments are not advisable

Other Comments

Administration advice:

-This drug may be used on all skin areas, including the head and face, neck and intertriginous areas, except on mucous membranes.

-Continuous long-term use of this drug should be avoided, and application should be limited to areas of atopic dermatitis.

-This drug should not be used with occlusive dressings to avoid the risk of systemic exposure.

-The hands should be washed after application.

-Emollients can be applied after using this drug.

-Application should be initiated at the first sign of itching, and/or persistent redness, and/or thickening of the skin, to prevent progression to flares of atopic dermatitis.

What is the dose of Pimecrolimus for a child?

Usual Pediatric Dose for Atopic Dermatitis

2 years and older:

Apply a thin layer to the affected area twice daily and rub in gently and completely

Comments:

-The long-term safety and effects of this drug on the developing immune system are unknown.

-Therapy should be discontinued when signs (e.g., itch, rash, redness) resolve.

-If symptoms persist beyond 6 weeks, patients should be reexamined by their health care provider to confirm the diagnosis of atopic dermatitis.

Use: As second-line therapy for the short-term and noncontinuous chronic treatment of mild to moderate atopic dermatitis in non-immunocompromised patients, who have failed to respond adequately to other topical prescription treatments, or when those treatments are not advisable

Precautions

Safety and efficacy have not been established in patients younger than 2 years.

How is Pimecrolimus available?

Pimecrolimus is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Topical cream.

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Pimecrolimus, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: April 11, 2018 | Last Modified: April 11, 2018

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