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- What is pimecrolimus, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for pimecrolimus?
- Is pimecrolimus available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for pimecrolimus?
- What are the side effects of pimecrolimus?
- What is the dosage for pimecrolimus?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with pimecrolimus?
- Is pimecrolimus safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about pimecrolimus?
What is pimecrolimus, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
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.
What are the side effects of pimecrolimus?
The most common side effects of pimecrolimus are:
- reactions at the site of application,
- itching, and
Other important side effects include:
Quick GuideEczema (Atopic Dermatitis) Causes, Symptoms, Treatment
What is the dosage for pimecrolimus?
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.
Which drugs or supplements interact with pimecrolimus?
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.
Is pimecrolimus safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies that evaluate the use of pimecrolimus during pregnancy.
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.
What else should I know about pimecrolimus?
What preparations of pimecrolimus are available?
How should I keep pimecrolimus stored?
Pimecrolimus should be stored at room temperature, 15 C - 30 C (59 F - 86 F).
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information
Quick GuideEczema (Atopic Dermatitis) Causes, Symptoms, Treatment
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Take the Eczema QuizDoes dry, itchy, flaky, scaly, red, inflamed skin sound familiar to you? Take the Atopic Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis) Quiz to learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatments of this common skin condition.
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PsoriasisPsoriasis is a long-term skin condition that may cause large plaques of red, raised skin, flakes of dry skin, and skin scales. There are several types of psoriasis, including psoriasis vulgaris, guttate psoriasis, inverse psoriasis, and pustular psoriasis. Symptoms vary depending on the type of psoriasis the patient has. Treatment of psoriasis may include creams, lotions, oral medications, injections and infusions of biologics, and light therapy. There is no cure for psoriasis.
Take the Psoriasis QuizTake the mystery out of psoriasis. Take the Psoriasis Quiz and see what you know about the types, symptoms, treatments and more.
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