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Brand Name: Elidel®
Active Ingredient:   pimecrolimus
Strength(s): 1%
Dosage Form(s):   Cream
Company Name:    Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.
Availability:         Prescription only
*Date Approved by FDA:  December 13, 2001
*Approval by FDA does not mean that the drug is available for consumers at this time.

What is Elidel used for?  

Elidel is a prescription medicine you put on your skin (topical) to treat atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema. Elidel is for use on the skin only . Elidel is for adults and children age 2 years and older. You can use Elidel for short or intermittent long periods of treatment. Intermittent means starting and stopping repeatedly, as directed by your doctor. You can use it on all affected areas of your skin, including your face and neck.

Who should not use Elidel?

  • If you are pregnant or a nursing mother, you should use Elidel only if your doctor determines that it is clearly necessary. It is not known if the medicine in Elidel will pass through your milk to the baby. 
  • If you have a skin condition called Netherton's syndrome, ask your doctor before you start using Elidel. 
  • If you are allergic to Elidel or any of its ingredients. The active ingredient is pimecrolimus. If you need to know the inactive ingredients, ask your doctor or pharmacist. 
  • If you think you have a viral infection of your skin, such as chicken pox or herpes, do not apply Elidel on these areas. Check with your doctor about what to do.

General Precautions with Elidel:

Avoid sunlight and sun lamps, tanning beds, and treatment with UVA or UVB light. If you need to be outdoors after applying Elidel, wear loose fitting clothing that protects the treated area from the sun. In addition, ask your doctor what other type of protection from the sun you should use.

What should I tell my health care provider?

Before you start using Elidel, tell your doctor if you are: 

  • using any other prescription medicines, non-prescription (over-the-counter) medicines, supplements or herbal medicines. Some medicines should be used carefully if you use Elidel. 
  • receiving any form of light therapy (phototherapy, UVA or UVB) on your skin. 
  • using any other type of skin product. 
  • pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Elidel may not be right for you.

What are some possible side effects of Elidel? (This is NOT a complete list of side effects reported with Elidel. Your doctor can discuss with you a more complete list of side effects.

The most common side effect at the site of application is burning or a feeling of warmth. The burning feeling is usually mild or moderate, occurring in the first 5 days of treatment, and the burning usually clears up in a few days. See your doctor if an application site reaction is severe or persists for more than 1 week. 

Other common side effects include headache, and with long-term intermittent use, nasopharyngitis (common cold/stuffy nose), influenza, pharyngitis (sore throat), fever, viral infection, and cough. Some people may get herpes skin infections (like cold sores, chicken pox, or shingles), warts, or swollen lymph nodes (glands). 

See your doctor if side effects continue or become a problem.

For more detailed information about Elidel, ask your doctor or pharmacist.    Link to Elidel's approved label 

Revised: 3/13/03


Back to Drug Side Effects

source: FDA

last update: December 2004

This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this material to diagnose or treat a health condition or disease without consulting with your healthcare provider.
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