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Protopic ointment is a topical medication used to treat moderate to severe eczema (atopic dermatitis) in adults and children over two years of age who cannot take other medications.
Tacrolimus is an immunosuppressant calcineurin inhibitor that inhibits your body’s immune response to slow the growth and activity of eczema. This allows Protopic ointment to treat eczema and its symptoms without causing adverse reactions associated with corticosteroid treatments.
This eczema medication is a safe and effective form of treatment for atopic dermatitis. Studies have found the Protopic ointment formulation to be equally or more effective than other traditional forms of therapy. The ointment also has a low incidence of adverse events and is safe to be used on children over the age of 2.
Uses and Dosage
The dose and administration of Protopic ointment will vary depending on the individual and the severity of their eczema being treated. Follow your doctor’s instructions and read packaging labels carefully to ensure the best therapeutic effects.
- Wash hands thoroughly before and after use
- Protopic ointment is for topical use only, do not ingest
- Avoid contact with your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Adults and children should use Protopic ointment twice daily
- Apply a thin layer of the ointment to affected skin areas and gently rub it in
- You may need to apply a moisturizer after use to avoid your skin from becoming too dry
- Do not cover treated skin with a bandage unless directed to do so by your doctor
- Do not bathe, shower, or swim immediately after applying Protopic
- Stop using Protopic ointment once your eczema symptoms clear up
- You may need to take a break from using this medication if you need to repeat treatment
- Store tightly closed at room temperature away from children and pets
Protopic ointment may cause some side effects to develop while treating eczema. Speak with your doctor for more information regarding any symptoms that you may encounter when using topical tacrolimus.
Common Protopic ointment side effects:
- Burning, stinging, itching, or tingling on treated areas (especially during the first days of use)
- Viral skin infection
- Skin sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
- Acne, redness, or crusting around your hair follicles
- Upset stomach
- Headache, muscle pain
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Fever, chills, body aches, sore throat, cough, swollen glands
Serious Side Effects
Some more serious adverse reactions may occur when using tacrolimus. Stop using this Protopic ointment and contact your doctor if you develop any of the following symptoms:
- Severe pain, burning, itching, or stinging
- New or worsened skin symptoms
- A mole that changes in size or colour
- Viral skin infection (cold sores around your mouth, skin sores or blisters, scabs, itching, tingling)
Do not use Protopic ointment if you are allergic to tacrolimus or any of the formula’s other listed components. If you develop an allergic reaction, stop using this eczema ointment and call your doctor.
Protopic ointment allergy symptoms may include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat
Protopic ointment is for topical use only. Avoid getting the medication in your eyes or mouth; if contact occurs, rinse immediately with water.
The 0.03% strength Protopic ointment can be used on children aged 2 years old and older whereas the 0.1% strength ointment should only be used on adults and children aged over 16.
This eczema cream is not intended for long-term use. A small group who used Protopic ointment or similar medications have reported developing skin cancer or lymphoma, but it is unclear whether tacrolimus is the main cause. Your risk of developing either form of cancer may be increased when topical tacrolimus is used longer than prescribed.
Avoid applying Protopic ointment to any skin that is not affected by eczema.
To ensure your safety when using Protopic ointment, tell your doctor if you have any of the following:
- Skin cancer
- Bacterial or viral skin infection
- Netherton’s syndrome
- A weakened immune system
Tacrolimus can lower your number of blood cells that help your body fight infections, making it easier for you to become ill from viruses like chicken pox or herpes. Tell your doctor right away if you are exposed to any illness while using this ointment.
Protopic ointment may make your skin more sensitive to the sun; avoid direct exposure to sunlight, sun lamps, and tanning beds during treatment to avoid burning.
Avoid drinking alcohol while using Protopic ointment because it can cause sudden warmth, redness, or tingling on your skin and face which may exacerbate your eczema condition.
Contact your doctor if your eczema does not improve after 6 weeks of treatment with Protopic ointment.
Consult with your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding before using Protopic ointment.
Do not administer Protopic ointment on any child who is younger than 2 years of age.
Some drugs may interact with tacrolimus and cause adverse reactions. Tell your doctor about all the medications you take to avoid this, including over the counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
Form and Strength
This eczema medication is available in the form of an ointment.
Protopic ointment strength:
The 0.03% strength Protopic ointment is available in quantities of 30 and 60 grams while the 0.1% strength ointment is available in quantities of 20, 40, and 60 grams.
How long does it take for Protopic to start working?
Protopic ointment is quickly absorbed into your skin where the tacrolimus begins working to suppress your immune response to help clear up your eczema. The medication should be applied twice daily until the affected skin areas are clear, but improvement in symptoms tends to occur within the first week of treatment.
Do you put moisturiser on before or after Protopic?
You should apply Protopic ointment to clean skin for the best results. This medicated eczema ointment can cause your skin to become dry which can lead to irritation. To avoid this, apply moisturizer after your administration twice a day.
Protopic Ointment, Tacroz Forte
20g, 40g, 60g
Ointment, Topical Ointment