Protopic is a prescription medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000. Protopic is approved to treat moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis in people ages two years and older. In cases of psoriasis, Protopic may be prescribed for use on the face or genitals. Protopic is also known by its drug name, Tacrolimus.
Protopic should not be used by anyone with a compromised immune system or a history of hypersensitivity to Tacrolimus. Protopic should be used with caution in people who have kidney problems. Protopic may not be suitable for use by pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding.
Protopic is an immunosuppressant, or drug that suppresses the immune system. It is believed that Protopic works in cases of psoriasis by controlling inflammation.
How do I take it?
Protopic is available as a topical ointment. Protopic is applied to the affected areas twice a day. Apply Protopic at the same times each day. Only apply Protopic to dry skin. Protopic should not be applied to broken or infected skin. Avoid getting Protopic into your eyes or mouth or on unaffected areas of skin. Be careful not to wash Protopic off your skin immediately after applying it. If you apply a moisturizing product, use it after applying Protopic. Wash your hands thoroughly after applying Protopic, unless you have applied it to affected areas on your hands.
Avoid exposure to people with viruses such as chickenpox, shingles, and measles while using Protopic. If you believe you have been exposed to a virus, notify your doctor.
Ask your doctor about drinking alcohol while using Protopic.
Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds while using Protopic. Cover skin with clothing or sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher if you go out into the sunshine.
Do not wrap or apply bandages to the area treated with Protopic ointment unless your doctor instructs you to.
Always follow your doctor’s instructions exactly when using Protopic.
Tacrolimus (Protopic) has been evaluated for the treatment of psoriasis on the face or genitals in two small studies involving a total of 17 people. The results of both studies indicated that Tacrolimus may be a safe and effective treatment for psoriasis in these locations. Researchers involved with both trials called for further studies to investigate the use of Tacrolimus for psoriasis.
Side effects of Protopic may include stinging, burning, or itching. These symptoms may ease after a few days when your body becomes accustomed to the drug.
In rare cases, Protopic may increase your risk of developing skin cancer. The risk is increased if you apply Protopic to broken or infected skin.
Notify your doctor if you experience a worsening of your psoriasis while using Protopic.
Many drugs can cause allergic reactions that, in the most serious cases, can result in death. Seek immediate medical help if you experience signs of a severe allergic reaction such as difficulty breathing or swelling in the face, throat, eyes, lips or tongue.
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