Protopic is an ointment that acts as an immunosuppressant – that is, it inhibits the immune system’s response. It is used in dermatology and venereology for the topical treatment of atopic dermatitis. It is mainly recommended for those patients in whom corticosteroid treatment has failed to improve. Learn more about the drug protopic, its side effects, indications for use and dosage.
Protopic drug – what is it?
Treatment with Protopic ointment facilitates the healing of skin damage in patients with atopic dermatitis (AD), and is used to treat moderate to severe forms of the disease when the use of corticosteroids has failed to improve. Since in atopic dermatitis the increased reaction of the skin’s immune system causes inflammation of the skin, causing itching, redness, dryness, the drug eliminates inflammation and itching by altering the body’s abnormal immune response. Protopic is available in two variants:
- protopic ointment 0.1 – issued by prescription for proprietary action.
- protopic ointment 0.03% – issued by standard prescription.
The composition of the preparation is: 1 g of Protopic 0.03% ointment contains 0.3 mg of tacrolimus, and 1 g of Protopic 0.1% ointment contains 1 mg of tacrolimus.
Excipients: white petroleum jelly, liquid paraffin, solid paraffin, propylene carbonate, white wax, butylhydroxytoluene (E321), all-rac-α-tocopherol.
Protopic is a drug that is recommended for patients who have previously used conventional treatments like steroid drugs, which did not produce the desired results. The indications for the ointment are: treatment of exacerbations of moderate and severe forms of atopic dermatitis in adults and adolescents over 16 years of age, treatment of exacerbations of moderate and severe forms of atopic dermatitis in children over 2 years of age, maintenance treatment of moderate and severe forms of AD, to avoid relapse and prolong the relapse-free period.
Protopic – how to use?
How to use Protopic ointment? It all depends on the phase of AD. There are two ways of treatment – short-term or intermittent maintenance treatment. It all depends on the doctor’s recommendation. Protopic ointment should be applied to the affected skin area – we use a thin layer of the product. The dose itself and the frequency of application is determined by a specialist. The ointment can be applied to most areas of the body – including the surface of the face, neck, flexure areas – in addition to the mucous membrane. It is very important to be careful that the ointment does not get into the nose, eyes and mucous membranes. Protopic ointment should not be used under an occlusive dressing. Avoid exposing the skin to prolonged exposure to sunlight or artificial sunlight (as in a tanning bed), after applying the drug. If you spend time outdoors after using protopic, use cosmetics with sunscreen and wear loose clothing to protect your skin from the sun. You can use moisturizing creams and lotions during treatment with the ointment, but do not use them for a period of two hours after applying Protopic ointment. Under no circumstances should the ointment be used in children under two years of age. During treatment with Protopic ointment, drinking alcohol can cause flushing or redness of the skin or face, and a feeling of heat. Therefore, the use of Protopic ointment drinking alcohol is excluded. After applying Protopic ointment, wash your hands if they are not under treatment. Before applying Protopic ointment after bathing or showering, make sure that the skin is completely dry. Use the ointment as recommended by doctors. Read the information on the leaflet before use. The ointment should not be used after the expiration date! Improvement usually occurs about a week after the first application of the ointment, but if improvement does not occur, consult a doctor.
Protopic how to dose?
Your doctor may recommend applying Protopic ointment twice a week if the lesions caused by atopic dermatitis have completely disappeared or almost completely disappeared after treatment (Protopic 0.03% in children and Protopic 0.1% in adults). Protopic ointment should be applied once daily twice a week to the area affected by AD. The attending physician may also recommend using the ointment in children (aged 2 years and older) who have not responded to conventional treatment, such as topical corticosteroids.
Protopic side effects
What are the possible side effects of protopic ointment? The most common side effects are a burning sensation and itching of the skin, which usually pass spontaneously after the first week of treatment. Such side effects as tingling of the skin, redness, herpes labialis, rash, increased skin sensitivity, pain, inflammation or infection of hair follicles, Herpes simplex virus generalized infections, herpes on the lips and other skin infections of a local nature, feeling of heat, hot flashes on the face, skin irritation after drinking alcohol are also common.
Rarely occurs: acne.
Protopic side effects
Other side effects include: lentigines spots on the skin, rosacea, rosacea-like dermatitis, herpes virus in the eye, swelling at the application site, and in adults using the ointment twice a week, also infections at the application site.
A very small number of patients who used the drug were diagnosed with cancer, including cutaneous lymphoma. However, there is no confirmation of an association with treatment with Protopic ointment
Protopic is a very effective ointment, but it is not recommended for everyeco patient with atopic dermatitis. The ointment cannot be used in people who have been diagnosed with hypersensitivity to tacrolimus, macrolide antibiotics or other of the ointment’s auxiliary ingredients.
Before using Protopic ointment, inform your doctor about the presence of any malignant skin tumors (tumors) and weakened immune system (impaired immunity).
Protopic and pregnancy and during breastfeeding
Protopic is not recommended for use in women during pregnancy. It should also not be used in breastfeeding women. Before using the drug, consult a doctor or pharmacist and inform the attending physician about taking all medications currently – or recently. Also those without a prescription.
Protopic – general recommendations
Protopic ointment is a prescription drug issued by the attending physician. Protopic should be used as directed. Read the package insert carefully before use. Apply to clean and dry skin – avoid contact of the substance with the mouth, eyes and inside the nose. If the ointment gets into any of these areas, wipe it off thoroughly and rinse with water. Do not cover the treated skin area with bandages and dressings. Drinking alcohol is not recommended during the use of protopic ointment.