1 What is Elidel?

Brand: Elidel

Generic: Pimecrolimus

Elidel is used to treat mild to moderate atopic dermatitis (eczema) in patients that have received other forms of treatment and never worked well.

Pimecrolimus belongs to a class of medicines known as topical calcineurin inhibitors that decrease inflammation. It helps in the suppression of the symptoms of atopic dermatitis (e.g., itching, redness, or inflammation of the skin) which are caused by the body's immune system.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Elidel, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, ensure that you inform you doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals.

For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully. Pediatric appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of pimecrolimus in children. However, the use of pimecrolimus in children younger than 2 years of age is not recommended.

Geriatric appropriate studies on the relationship of age to the effects of pimecrolimus have not been performed in the geriatric population; no geriatric-specific problems have been documented to date. Pregnancy animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women or no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women. Moreover, there are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

It is also demonstrated that certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine. Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur.

Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco. The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially: Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) or Netherton's syndrome (a rare skin disease) or weakened immune system should not be used in patients with these conditions.

Eczema herpeticum (Kaposi's varicelliform eruption) or Herpes simplex virus infection or Lymphadenopathy (lymph node problem) or Lymphoma or Mononucleosis ("mono") or Skin cancer or Skin papilloma (warts) or viral infection (e.g., chicken pox or shingles). This drugs needs to be used with proper caution since they may make these conditions worse.

3 Proper Usage

To use Elidel correctly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor.

Strictly adhere to the doctor’s instructions. Do not use it for any other condition without checking first with your doctor. This medicine may cause unwanted effects when too much of the dose is used since it is used directly and absorbed directly through the skin. This medicine comes with a medication guide and a patient information insert.

  • It is important to read and follow the instructions carefully.
  • In case of any questions of burning issue on the use of this medicine, do not hesitate to ask your doctor.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after using this medicine.
  • Be careful not to get any of this medicine in your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Do not use it on skin areas that have cuts or scrapes.
  • If it does get on these areas, rinse it off right away.
  • This medicine should only be used for problems being treated by your doctor.
  • Check with your doctor before using it for other problems, especially if you think that an infection may be present.
  • Do not bathe, shower, or swim right after applying this medicine.
  • The treated skin areas should not be bandaged or covered after the medicine is applied.
  • You may use moisturizers to lessen dryness of the affected areas of your skin.
  • Apply the moisturizer after using this medicine. The dose of this medicine will vary for different patients.
  • Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label.

The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so. The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

For topical dosage form (cream) for treating atopic dermatitis in adults, teenagers, and children 2 years of age and above; apply a thin layer of the cream to the affected areas of the skin two times per day. However in children younger than 2 years of age, use of this medicine is not advisable or recommended. In case of missed doses apply it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing. Keep out of the reach of children. Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

4 Precautions to Take

In using Elidel, you must be careful and take some precautions as advised by your doctor.

It is very important that your doctor check your progress or your child's progress at regular visits. This will allow your doctor to see if this medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to use it. If your symptoms do not improve after 6 weeks or if they become worse, check with your doctor. Using this medicine for a long time may increase your risk of having infections, lymphoma, or skin cancer. If you have questions, discuss this with your doctor.

This medicine may cause soreness, itching, stinging, or a burning sensation on your skin. Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if this reaction becomes severe or persists for more than one week. Lymph node problems may occur while using this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have swollen, painful, or tender lymph glands in your neck, armpit, or groin.

Make sure your doctor knows if you are also having ultraviolet (UV) light treatment or phototherapy while you are using this medicine. This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when you are outdoors. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Elidel.

Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention. Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

The most common side effects include:

  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • Body aches or pain burning, itching, redness, skin rash, swelling, or soreness at the application site
  • Change in hearing
  • Chills
  • Cold or flu-like symptoms
  • Congestion (ear or nasal)
  • Cough producing mucus
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty with breathing or shortness of breath
  • Dryness or soreness of the throat
  • Ear ache or pain in the ear
  • Ear drainage
  • Fever
  • General feeling of discomfort or illness
  • Headache hoarseness
  • Itching joint pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of voice
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Nausea
  • Pain redness
  • Runny nose
  • Shivering
  • Sneezing
  • Sweating
  • Swelling tenderness
  • Tender, swollen glands in the neck
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Trouble with swallowing
  • Trouble with sleeping
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Voice changes
  • Vomiting
  • Warmth on the skin
  • Wheezing

The less common side effects include:

  • Blistering
  • Crusting
  • Irritation
  • Itching, or reddening of the skin
  • Blurred vision or other change in vision
  • Eye pain
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Hives
  • Itchy, raised, round, smooth, skin-colored
  • Bumps found on just one area of the body that are oozing, thick, white fluid
  • Irritation joint pain
  • Stiffness or swelling
  • Rash redness of the eye
  • Redness of the skin
  • Sensitivity of the eyes to light
  • Skin rash on the face, scalp, or stomach
  • Swelling of the eyelids, face, lips, hands, or feet
  • Tearing
  • Troubled breathing or swallowing

Some of the incidences are not known to occur in this condition such as:

  • Black, tarry stools
  • Change in size, shape, or color of existing mole
  • Cough
  • Dizziness
  • Itching, puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue large
  • Hive-like swelling on the face mole that leaks fluid or bleeds new mole small
  • Red skin lesion
  • Growth, or bump usually on the face, ears, neck, hands, or arms
  • Sores that will not heal
  • Weight loss
  • Yellow eyes and skin

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them.

The most common bothersome side effects may present as:

  • Burning
  • Itching
  • and Pain in hairy areas pus at the root of the hair

The less common bothersome side effects include:

  • Blemishes on the skin
  • Bloody nose
  • Burning or stinging of the skin
  • Difficulty having a bowel movement (stool) flushing
  • Redness of skin
  • Unusually warm skin at site heavy bleeding
  • Painful
  • Cold
  • Sores or blisters on the lips, nose, eyes, or genitals
  • Pimples
  • Redness or swelling in the ear
  • Vaginal pain and
  • Cramps

Some of the incidences are not known to occur in this condition and hence not known such as:

  • Burning
  • Stinging
  • Itching or mild discomfort of the eye (after applying the cream to the eyelids or near the eyes)
  • Feeling of warmth (with alcohol use)
  • Redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest (with alcohol use)

In the process of using this medicine, other side effects may present and may not be listed here while they occur in some of the patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

6 Related Clinical Trials