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What is Protopic Ointment?

Protopic is a topical macrolide immunosuppressant. It works by decreasing cell activity in the body's immune system, which helps to slow down the growth of atopic dermatitis (eczema) on your skin.

Protopic Ointment is used short-term to treat moderate to severe eczema in adults and children at least two years old. It is not for use in people who have a weak immune system.

Protopic comes as an ointment to apply to the skin. It is usually applied twice a day to the affected area. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use Protopic ointment exactly as directed. To use the ointment, follow these steps:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Be sure that the skin in the affected area is dry.
  • Apply a thin layer of Protopic Ointment to all affected areas of your skin.
  • Rub the ointment into your skin gently and completely.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water to remove any leftover ointment.
  • You may cover the treated areas with normal clothing, but do not use bandages, dressings, or wraps.
  • Be careful not to wash the ointment off affected skin areas. Do not swim, shower, or bathe immediately after applying Protopic Ointment.

Before Taking Protopic Ointment

Before taking Protopic Ointment, consider the following:

  • You should not use Protopic if you are allergic to tacrolimus.
  • Protopic is not approved for anyone younger than two years old.
  • Protopic ointment in 0.03% or 0.1% strengths may be used by adults and children 16 years and older. Only the 0.01% strength should be used on a child 2 to 15 years old.

To make sure Protopic is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • Skin cancer;
  • A bacterial or viral skin infection (including herpes or chickenpox);
  • Netherton's syndrome (a genetic skin disorder); or
  • A weak immune system (caused by disease or by using certain medicine)
  • Many people using Protopic ointment skin medications have developed skin cancer or lymphoma. However, it is not known if either of these medicines causes cancer. Ask your doctor about your risk.
  • Do not breastfeed or get pregnant while using this ointment.

Protopic Ointment Side Effects

The Protopic ointment may cause common side effects, including:

  • skin burning, stinging, redness or soreness
  • tingling skin
  • increased sensitivity of the skin to hot or cold temperatures
  • itching
  • acne
  • swollen or infected hair follicles
  • headache
  • muscle or back pain
  • flu-like symptoms
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • nausea

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • swollen glands
  • rash
  • crusting, oozing, blistering or other signs of skin infection
  • cold sores
  • chicken pox or other blisters
  • swelling of the hands, arms, feet, ankles, or lower legs

The Protopic ointment may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.


What is the purpose of Protopic Ointment?

Protopic Ointment is a prescription used on the skin to treat eczema. It's used in adults and children over two who don't have a weakened immune system.

Is Protopic Ointment safe to apply on the face?

Applying a small layer of Protopic Ointment to the face for a short time is possible.

How long can you use Protopic Ointment?

Protopic Ointment is not for long-term use. You should only use this medication for a maximum of 6 weeks. If you need to use it longer, your healthcare provider may recommend you take a break from the medication for a while. 

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