pimecrolimus, Elidel

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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GENERIC NAME: pimecrolimus

BRAND NAME: Elidel

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Pimecrolimus is a chemical that is used to treat atopic dermatitis (eczema). Atopic dermatitis is a skin condition characterized by redness, itching, scaling, and inflammation of the skin. The cause of atopic dermatitis is not known; however, scientists believe that it may be due to activation of the immune system by various environmental or emotional triggers. Scientists do not know exactly how pimecrolimus reduces the manifestations of atopic dermatitis, but pimecrolimus reduces the action of T-cells and mast cells which are part of the immune system and contribute to responses of the immune system. Pimecrolimus prevents the activation of T-cells by blocking the effects of chemicals (cytokines) released by the body that stimulate T-cells. Pimecrolimus also reduces the ability of mast cells to release chemicals that promote inflammation. Pimecrolimus was approved by the FDA in December 2001.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Pimecrolimus is used for the short-term treatment of mild to moderate atopic dermatitis in individuals who are two years of age or older and who cannot use or have failed to respond to other therapies. Pimecrolimus should not be used by individuals with a weakened immune system.

SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects of pimecrolimus are:

  • reactions at the site of application,
  • burning,
  • itching, and
  • redness.

Other important side effects include:

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/23/2015

Quick GuideEczema (Atopic Dermatitis) Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis) Causes, Symptoms, Treatment
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