Elidel (Pimecrolimus) Dosage and Side Effects
ELIDEL is a non-steroid prescription medicine that is used to treat eczema (atopic dermatitis) in adults and children age 2 years and older.
Proper Use of this medication
ELIDEL is for external use only. Do not use it in your nose, eyes or mouth. If your hands are being treated, avoid accidental transfer to these areas. If accidentally applied to the nose, eyes or mouth, the cream should be thoroughly wiped off and rinsed well with water.
- Wash and dry your hands before applying
- If your hands are not being treated, wash your hands with soap and water after applying
- Apply a thin layer to sufficiently cover all skin areas that your doctor has diagnosed as eczema. Try to cover the affected areas completely.
- It should be applied twice a day, about 12 hours apart.
- Do not cover the skin being treated with bandages, dressings, or wraps. However, you can wear normal clothing.
- Do not bathe, shower or swim right after applying, this could wash off the cream.
- Before applying after a bath or shower, be sure your skin is completely dry.
ELIDEL usually begins to provide relief from the symptoms of eczema within 1 week. It is important to use this medication as instructed by your doctor.
If you do not notice an improvement in your eczema within the first 3 weeks of treatment or if your eczema gets worse, you should stop using ELIDEL and talk to your doctor.
Avoid sunlight and sun lamps, tanning salons, and treatment with UVA or UVB light. If you need to be outdoors after applying ELIDEL, wear clothing that protects the treated area from the sun. In addition, you should ask your doctor what other type of protection from the sun you should use.
The most common side effects are a burning feeling or a sensation of warmth at the site of application. These side effects are usually mild to moderate, occurring within 5 days of treatment, and usually cleared up in the first few days of using ELIDEL. See your doctor if an application site reaction is severe or persists for more than 1 week.
Other common side effects include headache, and with long-term intermittent use, nasopharyngitis (nose and throat infection) and flu-like symptoms (common cold, congestion, upper respiratory infection), fever, viral infection, and cough. Some people may get herpes skin infections (like cold sores, chickenpox, or shingles), warts, or swollen lymph nodes (glands).
Rarely, facial flushing or skin irritations (e.g. rash, burning, itching or swelling) can occur in patients who drink alcohol while using ELIDEL 1% Cream.
Skin discoloration has been rarely reported.
Some side effects could be serious.
Rare: Swelling and pain [e.g. face], skin rashes or hives (signs of allergic reaction).
Very rare: Sudden wheezing and chest pain or tightening, swelling of eyelids, face or lips (signs of a serious allergic reaction called anaphylactic reaction).
If you experience any of these symptoms after using, stop using the cream and tell your doctor immediately.
See your doctor if side effects continue or become a problem.
This is not a complete list of side effects. For any unexpected effects while taking, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Warnings and Precautions
Long-term safety of topical calcineurin inhibitors (a new class of eczema medication that includes ELIDEL) has not been established. Although a link has not been shown, rare cases of skin malignancy and lymphoma have been reported in patients treated with topical calcineurin inhibitors, including ELIDEL Cream 1%.
- Continuous long-term use of ELIDEL Cream 1% should be avoided, and application limited to areas of the skin with eczema.
- ELIDEL Cream 1% is not indicated in children less than 2 years of age.
BEFORE use talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are:
- using any other prescription medicines.
- receiving any form of light therapy (phototherapy or UV) for your skin.
- using any medicine for which a prescription is not required, or any natural/herbal remedies.
- using any other type of skin product.
- pregnant, or planning to become pregnant, or breast-feeding.