Topical Calcineurin Inhibitors

Pimecrolimus and Tacrolimus belong to a group known as topical calcineurin inhibitors (TCI).

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What is this medication used​​​ for

Pimecrolimus and Tacrolimus belong to a group known as topical calcineurin inhibitors (TCI).

TCI is used to treat eczema (atopic dermatitis). This is a skin condition where there is itching, redness and inflammation. TCI is used to suppress these symptoms which are a reaction caused by the body’s immune system. It can be used for short-term or long-term periodic treatment. It is often used when other types of treatment are either not working or when you cannot tolerate other types of treatment.

This medicine is also used for other skin conditions as determined by your doctor.

TCI is used in children above 2 years old. However, your doctor may prescribe the use of TCI in certain situations in children less than 2 years of age.

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Dosage and​​ How to Use

Use TCI only on areas of your skin that has eczema.

Dry skin completely before applying TCI.

Apply a thin layer of TCI and rub it in well to cover the affected areas. The dose of TCI will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label.
 
If you are a caregiver applying TCI on a patient, or if you are a patient who is not treating your hands, wash your hands with soap and water after applying TCI. This should remove any TCI left on the hands.

If you are using moisturizers, apply them after the TCI. 
 
Do not cover the skin being treated with bandages, dressings or wraps. You can wear normal clothing.

Do not bathe, shower or swim right after applying this medicine. This could wash off the TCI.

Do not use this medicine in the eyes and do not swallow it.

If you feel that the medicine is not working well, do not apply more than the prescribed dose. Consult your doctor.

Missed​​ a Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, apply it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next application, skip the missed application and go back to your regular usage schedule.

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Side Effects, Precaution​s, Contraindication

What possible side effects may it cause?

Certain side effects of this medicine are not unusual and may even disappear during treatment. If any of the following effects persist or are severe, consult your doctor.

  • The most common side effects of TCI at the site of application are burning (or a feeling of warmth), stinging or itching of the skin. This is usually mild to moderate and most common during the first few days of treatment, and usually lessens as your skin heals. 
  • Headache 
  • Flu-like symptoms such as the common cold and stuffy nose 
  • Viral skin infections including cold sores, chicken pox or shingles 
  • Swollen lymph nodes (glands) 

What precautions shou​ld I take?

  • Inform your doctor if you suspect any infection on your skin including chicken pox or herpes; any allergies or if you have been told you have a weakened immune system. 
  • For women: Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding 
  • Limit sun exposure during treatment with TCI even when the medicine is not on your skin. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when you are exposed to direct sunlight. 
  • The association between TCI and the incidence of skin tumors has not been proven. The safety of using TCI for a long period of time is not known. Do not use TCI continuously for a long time. Use it for short periods, and if needed, treatment may be repeated with breaks in between.

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Handling and Storage

  • ​Keep this medicine away from heat and direct sunlight in a cool, dry place, out of reach of children


When in doubt, consult your doctor or pharmacist

National Skin Centre
1 Mandalay Road, Singapore 308205
Tel: 63508454​

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Feb 2017

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Topical Calcineurin Inhibitors

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