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Topical Calcineurin Inhibitors

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Calcineurin inhibitor Elidel, Protopic Adult, Children

Topical Calcineurin Inhibitors - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Topical Calcineurin Inhibitors cause?

​Certain side effects of topical calcineurin inhibitor are common and may even disappear during treatment. If any of the following side effects do not go away or are severe, consult your doctor.

The most common side effects at the site of application are warm sensation (sometimes burning), stinging or itching of the skin. This is usually mild to moderate and most common during the first few days of treatment. It usually lessens as your skin heals.

Other side effects include:

  • Headache
  • Flu-like symptoms such as blocked or runny nose
  • Skin infections such as cold sores, chicken pox or shingles

Before taking Topical Calcineurin Inhibitors, what precautions must I follow?

​Inform your healthcare professional if:

  • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication
  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding
  • You suspect that you have an infection on your skin e.g. chickenpox or herpes
  • You have a weakened immune system (immunocompromised)
  • You are on ultraviolet light therapy, using sun lamps or tanning bed    
    • Avoid staying directly under sunlight or ultraviolet light for long durations. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen product with Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 and wear protective clothing when you are exposed to direct sunlight.
  • You have a history of skin cancer    
    • The association of skin cancer and this medication has not been proven. Safety of long-term use of this medication is unknown. Avoid using this medication continuously for a long time. If needed, treatment may be repeated with breaks in between.

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Topical Calcineurin Inhibitors?

Topical Calcineurin Inhibitors - Additional Information

​The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:

  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

  • Updated on
  • Article contributed by PSS National Medication Information Workgroup PSS National Medication Information Workgroup

    The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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