PROTOPIC (tacrolimus) Ointment for Skin

PROTOPIC Ointment is a prescription medicine used (used topically) to treat eczema (atopic dermatitis). It is for adults and children 2 years of age and older who do not have a weakened immune system. It is used on the skin for short periods, and if needed, treatment may be repeated with breaks in between.

PROTOPIC Ointment should only be used if other prescription medicines have not worked for you or if your doctor recommends that other prescription medicines should not be used.

Who should not use PROTOPIC Ointment?

PROTOPIC Ointment should not be used:

  • on children younger than 2 years of age.
  • if you are allergic to PROTOPIC Ointment or any of the ingredients present in it.

What should I tell my doctor before using PROTOPIC Ointment?

Before using PROTOPIC Ointment, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • have a skin disease called Netherton’s syndrome.
  • have any infection on your skin including herpes or chicken pox.
  • have a weakened immune system.
  • are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. It is not known if PROTOPIC Ointment can harm your unborn baby.
  • are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed. It is not known if PROTOPIC Ointment can pass into your breast milk.

How should I use PROTOPIC Ointment?

  • Use PROTOPIC exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Use the ointment only on areas of your skin that have eczema.
  • You can use it for short periods, and if needed, treatment may be repeated with breaks in between.
  • Stop using the ointment when the signs and symptoms of eczema, such as rash, itching, and redness go away, or as directed by your doctor.
  • Follow your doctor’s advice if symptoms of eczema return after treatment with PROTOPIC Ointment. Call your doctor if :
    • your symptoms get worse with PROTOPIC Ointment.
    • you get an infection on your skin.
    • your symptoms do not improve after 6 weeks of treatment.

To apply PROTOPIC Ointment:

  • Wash your hands before applying PROTOPIC Ointment.
  • Apply a thin layer of PROTOPIC Ointment twice daily to the areas of skin affected by eczema.
  • Use the smallest amount of PROTOPIC Ointment needed to control the signs and symptoms of eczema.
  • Do not shower, bathe, or swim right after applying PROTOPIC Ointment.
  • You can use moisturizer after applying PROTOPIC Ointment.

What should I avoid while using PROTOPIC Ointment?

  • You should avoid using sun lamps, tanning beds, or get treatment with ultraviolet light therapy during treatment with PROTOPIC Ointment.
  • Limit your time in the sun during treatment with PROTOPIC Ointment even when the medicine is not on your skin. If you need to be outside wear a loose-fitting cloth that protects the treated area from the sun and make sure to wear sunscreen. It is not known how PROTOPIC Ointment may affect your skin with exposure to ultraviolet light.
  • Do not cover the skin being treated with dressings, bandages, or wraps.
  • PROTOPIC Ointment should be used on the skin only. Do not get PROTOPIC Ointment in your eyes, nose, mouth, vagina, or mucous membranes. If you get PROTOPIC Ointment in any of these areas, wipe off any PROTOPIC Ointment from the affected area, and then rinse the area well with cold water.
  • Do not swallow PROTOPIC Ointment, If you do, call your doctor.
  • Avoid using PROTOPIC Ointment on skin areas that have cancers or precancers.

What are the possible side effects of PROTOPIC Ointment?

The common side effects of PROTOPIC Ointment at the skin application site are burning, stinging, or itching of the skin treated with PROTOPIC. These side effects are usually mild to moderate, are most common during the first few days of treatment, and usually, go away as your skin heals.

Other side effects include acne, headache, swollen or infected hair follicles, or flu-like symptoms such as skin tingling, upset stomach, the common cold and stuffy nose, increased sensitivity of the skin to hot or cold temperatures, muscle pain, swollen glands, or skin infections including chicken pox, cold sores, or shingles.

Talk to your doctor if you have a skin infection or if side effects (like swollen glands) continue
or bother you.

While you are using PROTOPIC, drinking alcohol may cause the skin to become flushed or red and feel hot.

What are the ingredients in PROTOPIC Ointment?

Active Ingredient: tacrolimus, either 0.03% or 0.1%

Inactive Ingredients: propylene carbonate, mineral oil, paraffin, white petrolatum, and white wax.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can protopic ointment be used for perioral dermatitis?

Yes, protopic be used for perioral dermatitis and is completely safe. Make sure to not use it for a very long time though.

Can protopic ointment be used for rosacea?

Yes, protopic can be used to treat rosacea and steroid-induced rosacea.

Can protopic ointment cause rosaceiform dermatitis?

Using protopic ointment for continuous periods of time may cause rosaceiform dermatitis.

Can protopic ointment be used for alopecia areata?

No, protopic ointment cannot be used for alopecia areata because it is not effective.

Can protopic ointment be used for eyelid dermatitis?

Yes, protopic ointment is a safe and effective treatment option for patients with moderate to severe eyelid dermatitis.

Can protopic ointment be used for vitiligo?

Yes, protopic ointment can be used for the treatment of vitiligo but not on its own, you will have to use it in combination with other available treatments.

Can protopic ointment be used for seborrheic dermatitis?

Yes, protopic ointment can be used for seborrheic dermatitis and might work for you. Many people have had positive experiences with it.

How long can you use protopic (tacrolimus) ointment?

Protopic (tacrolimus) ointment should be used for a short period of time (for up to six weeks).

Why is protopic (tacrolimus) ointment so expensive?

The protopic (tacrolimus) ointment is so expensive because there is no single-payer negotiation, lack of government regulation, and other reasons (prices rising faster than inflation, lack of comparative research across drugs, drug patents, and exclusivity).

Is protopic (tacrolimus) ointment safe?

Using protopic (tacrolimus) ointment short-term should be safe.