pimecrolimus, Elidel (cont.)
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
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:
DOSING: Patients should completely rub in a thin layer of pimecrolimus to the affected areas twice daily. An improvement in symptoms can be seen within 8-15 days, and patients should contact their physician if there is no response after six weeks of use.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Interactions between pimecrolimus and other drugs have not been studied. Since very little pimecrolimus is absorbed from the skin, drug interactions are not expected. However, since some pimecrolimus is absorbed, caution should be exercised when pimecrolimus is used by individuals also taking drugs (for exmaple, ketoconazole [Nizoral, Extina, Xolegel, Kuric], itraconazole [Sporanox], erythromycin, fluconazole [Diflucan], calcium channel blockers [CCBs], cimetidine [Tagamet]) that inhibit the liver enzymes that eliminate pimecrolimus and could increase the levels of pimecrolimus and promote its toxicity.
PREGNANCY: There are no adequate studies that evaluate the use of pimecrolimus during pregnancy.
NURSING MOTHERS: Use of pimecrolimus by nursing mothers has not been evaluated, and it is not known if pimecrolimus is excreted in breast milk. Nursing mothers should decide whether to stop nursing or use alternative treatments.
SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects of pimecrolimus are reactions at the site of application. These include burning, itching and redness. Other side effects that may occur include sore throat, stuffy nose, headache, cough, respiratory tract and viral infections. Skin cancer and lymphoma have rarely occurred during treatment with pimecrolimus. Therefore, pimecrolimus should not be used for long-term treatment and should only be applied to affected areas.
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012
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