Skin Home > Elidel Warnings and Precautions
If your healthcare provider prescribes Elidel, make sure he or she knows about any allergies you have or if you are taking any other medications. Safety precautions with Elidel also include warnings of complications this drug may cause, such as certain types of cancer, infections, or serious side effects. Also, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding may not be able to use it.
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to using Elidel® (pimecrolimus) if you have:
- A history of, or currently have, lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes), skin cancer, or any other type of cancer
- A rare genetic skin condition called Netherton's syndrome
- Any infection on your skin, including chickenpox or herpes
- A weakened immune system due to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), or any other cause
- Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Specific Precautions and Warnings With ElidelSome warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using this medication include the following:
- There have been rare reports of certain types of cancer, including skin cancer and lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes), in people using Elidel and other similar medications. Contact your healthcare provider if you notice any skin changes or develop lumps in your neck, underarms, or groin area (swollen lymph nodes), as these could be signs of skin cancer or lymphoma.
- This medicine may increase your risk for infections, including skin infections such as chickenpox, shingles, and warts. To reduce your risk for these infections, do not use more Elidel than necessary or use it more often than prescribed. Contact your healthcare provider right away if you have sores on your skin that do not heal or notice any symptoms of an infection, such as:
- Muscle aches
- Elidel may cause skin reactions, such as burning, stinging, redness, soreness, or itching, on areas of the skin where you apply the medicine. These reactions are more common when you first start using the cream, and should subside as your eczema improves. Contact your healthcare provider if you experience severe skin reactions, or if they do not go away after about a week.
- This medication should only be used in people who otherwise have a healthy immune system (are not immunocompromised).
- You should avoid prolonged or excessive sun exposure, including artificial sun (such as sunlamps and tanning beds) during Elidel treatment -- even when the medicine is not on your skin. When you are out in the sun, protect your skin by wearing sunscreen and protective clothing, such as a hat and a loose-fitting, long-sleeve shirt. Your healthcare provider can recommend an appropriate sunscreen for your skin.
- Elidel may cause your face to flush and become red and warm when you drink alcohol, especially on the areas where you apply the medicine. Talk to your healthcare provider about possible ways to reduce this effect if it becomes bothersome for you.
- People with certain skin conditions may have an increased risk for absorbing too much Elidel through the skin into the bloodstream, which could increase the risk for side effects. Make sure your healthcare provider knows your complete medical history before starting treatment. Also, make sure he or she knows if you have any type of skin infection.
- Elidel should only be applied on the skin. Avoid getting it into your eyes, nose, mouth, or other body openings, as it could cause irritation or burning. If you do get Elidel in any of these areas, wipe away the medicine, and then rinse the area well with cold water.
- Contact your healthcare provider if your symptoms worsen, or if they do not improve within six weeks of starting treatment. You may not have eczema, and could need a different treatment.
- This cream should only be applied to areas of the skin that are affected with eczema. Also, do not apply this medicine to areas of the skin that have cancer or pre-cancer.
- Elidel may react with a few other medications (see Elidel Drug Interactions).
- This product is a pregnancy Category C medication, which means it may not be safe for use during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using this medication while pregnant (see Elidel and Pregnancy).
- It is unknown if Elidel passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to using this product (see Elidel and Breastfeeding).