Known interactions

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Info about Tacrolimus ointment

Brand Name(s): Protopic

Generic Name Tacrolimus ointment

What is tacrolimus ointment?

TACROLIMUS (Protopic®) is used to treat certain skin conditions including atopic dermatitis (eczema). Generic tacrolimus ointment is not available.

What should my health care professional know before I receive tacrolimus ointment?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • cold sores or shingles
  • Netherton's syndrome
  • receiving any form of light therapy (phototherapy, UVA, or UVB) to your skin
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to tacrolimus, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Tacrolimus ointment is applied to the skin; avoid contact with the eyes. Apply a thin layer to the affected areas. Rub in gently and completely. Usually, you will continue using the ointment for 1 week after the areas heal. Wash your hands before and after use, unless you are treating your hands. Before applying tacrolimus ointment after a shower or bath, be sure your skin is completely dry. Do not use your medicine more often than directed or for other types of skin conditions unless directed by your health care provider.

Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What drug(s) may interact with tacrolimus ointment?

  • alcoholic beverages or medications containing high percentages of alcohol

Tell your prescriber or health care professional about other skin products you are using. Do not apply tacrolimus at the same site as other skin preparation without advice.

Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.

What side effects may I notice from using tacrolimus ointment?

Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • skin bleeding or change in your skin's appearance (color, change in a mole or freckle, new growth)
  • chickenpox infection
  • cold sores or shingles
  • extreme tiredness
  • skin infection or infection of hair follicles
  • swollen glands (lymph nodes)

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • headache
  • increased sensitivity of the skin to hot or cold temperatures
  • irritation at the site or sites where you apply tacrolimus including stinging, soreness, a burning feeling, tingling, or itching
  • muscle pains
  • nausea

What should I watch for while taking tacrolimus ointment?

Improvements to your skin may occur after the first few weeks of treatment. Even though your skin looks better, it is important to keep using the ointment as instructed by your health care provider. If you do not notice an improvement in your condition or if your condition gets worse within the first few weeks of treatment, tell your health care professional.

Avoid sunlight, sun lamps, tanning beds and treatment with UVA or UVB light while using tacrolimus ointment. If you need to be outdoors after applying the ointment, wear loose fitting clothing that protects the treated area from the sun. Ask your health care provider what other type of sun protection you should use.

Do not cover the skin being treated with bandages, dressings, or wraps. Unless otherwise instructed by your health care provider, do not apply another type of skin product on top of tacrolimus ointment. However you can wear normal clothing.

Do not bathe, shower, or swim right after applying tacrolimus ointment. This could wash off the ointment.

While you are using tacrolimus ointment, drinking alcohol may cause the skin or face to become flushed or red and feel hot. Let your prescriber know if you notice such reactions, particularly if they are bothersome.

Where can I keep my medicine?

Keep out of reach of children. Store at room temperature, 15 and 30 °C (59 and 86 °F).

(Note: The above information is not intended to replace the advice of your physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. It is not meant to indicate that the use of the product is safe, appropriate, or effective for you.)

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