Severe cases of atopic dermatitis that have not responded to other treatments may benefit from tacrolimus ointment. This product is applied to the affected areas of the skin twice a day. Treatment lasts a short time, but unlike other immunosuppressants, it can be used again after a period of disuse. Side effects may include headaches, skin reactions at the application site, and flu-like symptoms, among other things.
What Is Tacrolimus Ointment?
Tacrolimus ointment (Protopic®) is a skin medication approved to treat moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis (a form of eczema) in adults and children at least two years of age. It is reserved for use in certain people who have failed other treatments or who cannot use other treatments. Tacrolimus ointment should be used for a short time only, but can be used again, if needed, after a period of nonuse.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob. Accessed September 13, 2011.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 8th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2008.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed September 13, 2011.
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