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Protopic Ointment is a topical medication made up of a calcineurin inhibitor (TCI) drug called tacrolimus. We carry this medication in both the brand choice and generic alternative in 0.03% and 0.10%!

Protopic Ointment is used to treat a skin condition called eczema in patients who either cannot use other medications due to medical (like those with allergies) or in patients where other medications were not successful in treating the eczema. Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is when areas of the skin, commonly the face, neck, elbows, wrists, groin, knees, and ankles become inflamed. When the skin becomes inflamed, it becomes red, itchy, and dry, and in some cases even cracked and leathery. If the inflamed skin is scratched, dry patches and open sores with crusts may develop, resulting in potential for infection. This condition is considered an allergic-type skin condition as most times eczema flares up due to allergens in the air such as pollen.

Protopic Ointment is effective at treating atopic dermatitis due to its ability to weaken the skins immune system to lessen the bodys reaction to allergens and relieve the eczema symptoms.

Use this medication only the way your doctor has directed you too. Most prescription labels will have directions from your doctor on them in case you forget.

This medication is a topical medication therefore it should only be applied directly to the skin and not administered by mouth. If this medication comes into contact with your mouth, nose, or eyes; rinse with water.

Wash your hands before beginning. Clean the affected area and dry thoroughly; apply a thin layer of ointment and gently rub it in. Avoid putting the ointment on skin that is not inflamed or on irritated skin caused by a condition it was not prescribed for. After applying the ointment, avoid using coverings such as bandages, make up, or tight clothes and water activities such as swimming, bathing, or showering unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Wash your hands following the use of Protopic; this does not need to be done if the affected area is located on the hands.


Do not use Protopic Ointment (tacrolimus)

If you are allergic to tacrolimus, you will need to find a different medication to treat your medical condition; do not use Protopic Ointment.

Dose adjustment or special precautions may be required

Before using this medication, to ensure it is safe for you to take, tell your doctor about all medical conditions you have, most importantly, if you have skin cancer or a skin infection (including herpes or chickenpox), any genetic skin disorder, a weak immune system, kidney disease, or swelling, redness, or irritation of large areas of your skin.


This medication is effective because it is able to weaken the immune system; because of this method, you may be more susceptible to infections. Avoid contact with those who are sick or infected.

In some cases, patients who have recently taken tacrolimus have developed cancer or lymphoma shortly after. It is not known if tacrolimus is the main cause but it should be taken into consideration. Consult your doctor about the risks of this drug before started treatment.

It is not known if this medication will harm an unborn baby if taken during pregnancy. If you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant; speak with your doctor about the possible risk.

This medication can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing infant. Do not use this medication while breast feeding without telling your doctor first.

Side Effects

Less serious side effects of Protopic Ointment (tacrolimus) may include:

mild burning, stinging, or itching; skin redness; acne; cold or flu symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat; headache; or feeling more sensitive to hot or cold temperatures.

The above side effects should not alarm you.

Serious side effects of Protopic Ointment (tacrolimus) may include:

severe stinging, burning, itching, or soreness where the medicine is applied; swollen glands; or redness or crusting around your hair follicles.

If you have any of the above side effects, contact your doctor right away.

Please note this is not a complete list of side effects. Not everyone experiences side effects; they are not guaranteed. If you do have side effects and they become unmanageable, consult your doctor about alternate medications.

Contact your doctor if you notice signs of…

a skin infection: redness, swelling, itching, or oozing.


Is this medication safe for children to use?

Yes. Protopic Ointment is child friendly. Those are 2 years old and up may use this medication. Children 2-15 years old may use the 0.03%; it has not been established if the higher doses are safe or effective for children.

What other drugs may interact with Protopic Ointment?

Other drugs that interact with Protopic Ointment include Vaprisol (conivaptan), Gleevec (imatinib), isoniazid (a tuberculosis treatment), antibiotics, antidepressants, antifungal medications, heart or blood medications, and HIV and AIDS medications.

This is not a complete list of drugs that interact with tacrolimus (Protopic Ointment). Consult your doctor to inquire more about which drugs interact with this one.

What should I avoid while using this medication?

Avoid direct sunlight exposure, including tanning beds and phototherapy treatments with UVA or UVB. When you are in the sun, ensure you are wearing sun protective clothing and sunscreen.

Can I drink alcohol while using this medication?

Though dangerous effects are unlikely to occur, you may want to avoid alcohol consumption during treatment as your skin nor face may become hot and red or flushed.

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