The FDA issued a warning in July of 2005 on two skin creams, Elidel (pimecrolimus) and Protopic (tacrolimus) to all ages. Recent animal studies have found that Protopic causes lymphomas and skin cancers in an unknown percentage of users. The FDA recommends that healthcare providers be very careful prescribing and applying these medications.
Protopic belongs to the class of medications called immunosuppressants. This kind of medication is used on short-term basis to treat atopic dermatitis, or eczema. The cream works on certain areas of the immune system that may be involved in developing this serious skin condition. It is used only if other, safer treatments have not worked or cannot be used for some reason. It is sometimes prescribed for off-label uses, but you should discuss this with your doctor and make sure you know why you are using Protopic.
The risk this drug poses to developing children is as of yet unknown. While a lower dosage Protopic cream is available for younger children, the FDA recommends that children and pregnant women refrain from using the medication. If you are a patient using Protopic cream and you have developed skin abnormalities, lymphomas, or skin caner, talk to a lawyer right away. Since the FDA has recognized Protopic as a dangerous drug, you could be entitled to damages from the drug company.
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