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Protopic Ointment - nonsteroidal prescription treatment for eczema - atopic dermatitis
WHAT IS PROTOPIC OINTMENT?
PROTOPIC OINTMENT is the first new prescription treatment for Eczema in 40 years, and Protopic is the first in a NEW class of topical medications called topical immunomodulators.  Protopic, tacrolimus, is steroid-free and will improve or completely clear eczema in more than 80% of treated patients with less side effects than topical steroids. The active agent, tacrolimus, is a macrolide immunosuppressant produced by Streptomyces that inhibits T-lymphocyte cell activation. Protopic Ointment has been FDA approved for short-term and intermittent long-term therapy for patients with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis in whom the use of conventional therapies is inadvisable or not adequately effective. 
HOW DOES PROTOPIC DIFFER FROM TOPICAL CORTICOSTEROIDS?
Protopic Ointment is the FIRST nonsteroidal topical treatment for eczema and it is safe and effective for intermittent LONG-TERM treatment of moderate to severe atopic dermatitis in adults. Corticosteroid topical treatments can not be used for longer than 2 consecutive weeks.   Also unlike corticosteroids, Protopic is safe for dermatologic use ANYWHERE on the body including the face, groin or axillae.  Topical corticosteroids can not be used on the face, groin or axillae.  In addition, unlike corticosteroids, Protopic demonstrates NO cutaneous atrophy or adrenal suppression.  Protopic is not associated with the side effects associated with topical steroids such as skin thinning, stretch marks and skin discoloration. Protopic offers a SAFE and EFFECTIVE long term treatment option alternative to those suffering from moderate to severe eczema. 
 WHAT IS ECZEMA?
Eczema Atopic Dermatitis lesions: Protopic Ointment Eczema TreatmentEczema - Atopic Dermatitis lesions: Protopic Ointment Eczema treatmentOver 15 million Americans  suffer from the chronic, life-altering disease of atopic dermatitis, commonly known as eczema,  characterized by painfully itchy, flaky, skin disorder. Eczema is a complex condition and there is usually no one single cause for a person's eczema.  External Factors such as climate, contact with irritants, clothing fibers as well as Internal Factors such as stress, diet and medications can affect eczema outbreaks. Most people with eczema, atopic dermatitis, have family members with similar problems or history of allergies, hay fever and asthma, about 20% have no family history.  Eczema often presents itself in childhood or young adults but can occur at any age, and about 50% of patients are affected throughout life. Eczema is NOT contagious.  Eczema typically affects the inside of the elbows, back of knees and the face, but it can cover most of the body.  The severity of the conditions ranges from a few dry red ITCHY patches to widespread involvement.  The itching may be so intense that patients often scratch until their skin bleeds and crusts.  When this happens the skin can get infected. DO NOT USE PROTOPIC OINTMENT IF YOUR ECZEMA LESIONS ARE INFLAMED, WEEPING OR INFECTED!
HOW DO I KNOW IF PROTOPIC IS RIGHT FOR ME?
Protopic is a new  kind of treatment that offers hope to those suffering from moderate to severe eczema who did not respond well to conventional therapy.  Protopic is not a steroid or antihistamine and it won't cause thinning of your skin or drowsiness.  Protopic can be used on any affected area of the body, including the face and the neck.  Protopic can be used for extended period of time intermittently - starting and stopping treatment as necessary.
WHEN & HOW OFTEN DUE I USE PROTOPIC OINTMENT?
Protopic ointment is simple and easy to use.  A thin layer is applied to the affected areas twice a day about 12 hours apart.  When applying Protopic after a bath or shower, make sure any moisturizer are well absorbed and your skin is completely dry before applying Protopic ointment.  Do not apply any other type of skin product on top of the Protopic Ointment.  Do not cover treated skin with occlusive dressings or bandages.  Wear loose clothing and avoid sun exposure.
CAN PROTOPIC BE SAFELY APPLIED TO THE EYELID AREA?
Protopic, unlike topical steroids, can be used safely on all parts of the body including the face, neck, hands, groin and axillae areas. Avoid getting ointment directly in the eye. Protopic Ointment is for EXTERNAL use only!
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR PROTOPIC TO WORK? 
Protopic can provide rapid clearing of your condition.  When using Protopic you can start to notice dramatic improvement in about 1 - 3 weeks. Most people start to notice that their skin starts to heal after the first few weeks of treatment and continues to improve as they keep using the ointment. Regardless of whether you see rapid improvement or not, you should continue to use Protopic as directed.   Protopic improves or completely clears eczema in more than 80% of patients. 
DOES PROTOPIC CURE ECZEMA?  HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO USE PROTOPIC?
Eczema CANNOT be cured, but it can be controlled.  Protopic can be used  for short term and intermittent long term use.  Therefore, even though your skin may start to heal and feel better within the first few weeks of treatment, it is important to keep using Protopic as prescribed for 1 week after clearing of eczema symptoms. Eczema or atopic dermatitis can recur within several weeks of stopping treatment.  Since Protopic has been approved for long term use and it is not a steroid, you can intermittently continue to treat eczema outbreaks until they occur. IF YOU NOTICE THAT YOUR ECZEMA GETS WORSE WITHIN THE FIRST FEW WEEKS OF TREATMENT, STOP PROTOPIC AND CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN FOR A PHYSICAL EXAMINATION!
CAN I CONTINUE TO USE MOISTURIZERS WITH PROTOPIC?
Eczema suffers most often have dry skin and important part of routine skin care is moisturizing.  It is best to apply moisturizers while you skin is still wet from bathing or showering.  Apply moisturizers to wet skin.  Allow moisturizer to be completely absorbed and skin dry before applying Protopic Ointment. 
CAN PROTOPIC BE COMBINED WITH OTHER TOPICAL PRESCRIPTIONS?
Protopic Ointment should NOT be combined with any other topical skin products or topical prescription medications.  Do NOT apply any other type of skin product on top of Protopic Ointment.
WHILE TAKING PROTOPIC  CAN I USE TANNING BEDS OR SUNBATHE?
While using Protopic you must AVOID sunlight and sun lamps, tanning beds and treatment with UVA or UVB light.  If you need to be outdoors after applying Protopic, wear loose fitting clothing that protects-the treated area from the sun.  In addition use sunscreens / sunblocks.   Tacrolimus, the active ingredient in Protopic,  has been shown to make the "time to skin tumor formation" shorter in animal studies but NOT in humans. If while on Protopic, you develop a photoreaction on your skin, stop taking Protopic, avoid sun exposure and consult your own doctor regarding a possible photosensitivity reaction.
CAN PROTOPIC BE USED SAFELY WITH SUNSCREENS?
Yes. Studies have demonstrated that commercially available sunscreens do not affect the chemical stability of Protopic Ointment. Of course, you need to avoid sunlight as much as possible while using Protopic.
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS of PROTOPIC ?
The most common side effects of Protopic Ointment are temporary stinging or burning sensation or itching (pruritis) at the application site.  These symptoms typically improve as the eczema lesions heal.  Protopic treatment may be associated with an increased risk of chicken pox, shingles, herpes simplex virus infection, or eczema herpeticum. Also Protopic may accentuate the adverse effects of ultraviolet light on the skin. Therefore patients using Protopic should avoid sunlight, sun lamps, tanning beds and treatment with UVA and UVB light.
While using Protopic, drinking alcohol may cause the skin or face to become flushed or red and feel hot. 
WHO SHOULD NOT USE PROTOPIC OINTMENT?
WHAT ARE THE CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR PROTOPIC?
  • Do NOT use PROTOPIC if you are pregnant or attempting to become pregnant. 
  • Do NOT use PROTOPIC if you are breast feeding.
  • Do NOT take PROTOPIC if you are allergic or have hypersensitivity to the active ingredient tacrolimus or any of the inactive ingredients, if unsure check with your pharmacist and/or physician. 
  • Do NOT use PROTOPIC if your eczema lesions are inflamed, weeping or infected! People with eczema are prone to infections, especially staph and herpes.  Increased redness, pus-filled bumps (pustules), weeping of lesions are early signs of infections and you must NOT use Protopic ointment.  If you experience signs of infections DISCONTINUE use of Protopic and consult your physician immediately!
  • Do NOT use PROTOPIC if you suffer from Netherton's Syndrome.
  • PROTOPIC 0.1%  is NOT approved for Pediatric use.  You must be 18 years or older to use Protopic Ointment 0.1% strength.
  • Do NOT combine with ultraviolet light treatment! Avoid sun exposure, tanning beds, sun lamps, UVA and UVB photolight treatments while using Protopic Ointment.
  • Do NOT combine with other topical medications. Do NOT use other over-the-counter topical medications or  topical prescription medications with Protopic Ointment.
  • PROTOPIC is for EXTERNAL use only!
  • Continue to moisturize your skin as directed.  Always apply moisturizer first to wet skin.  Wait until completely dry before applying Protopic Ointment.
  • Continue to use sunscreens and sunblocks.  Wait until Protopic Ointment completely absorbed into skin before applying.
We will not prescribe PROTOPIC to anyone under the age of 18. Also PROTOPIC should NOT be used by pregnant women, women attempting to become pregnant or women who are breast feeding. Protopic is NOT to be used on infected, weeping or oozing eczema lesions.
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