Elidel (generic: pimecrolimus) is a prescription medication used to treat eczema in adults and children at least 2 years of age. Elidel cream is in a class of drugs called topical calcineurin inhibitors. It works by reducing inflammation, which helps relieve symptoms of eczema.
Elidel is a prescription medication used to treat a skin condition called eczema (atopic dermatitis) in adults and children 2 years and older who do not have a weakened immune system. Elidel Cream is for use after other prescription medicines have not worked, or if other prescription medicines can not be used.
Elidel Cream may cause serious side effects. A very small number of people who have used Elidel Cream have gotten cancer (for example, skin cancer or lymphoma). But, a link that Elidel Cream caused these cancers has not been shown.
The most common side effect at the skin application site is burning or a feeling of warmth. These side effects are usually mild or moderate, happen during the first few days of treatment, and usually clear up in a few days. Call your doctor if the burning feeling is severe or lasts for more than 1 week.
Other side effects include headache, common cold or stuffy nose, sore throat, influenza, fever, viral infection, and cough. Some people may get viral skin infections (like cold sores, chicken pox, shingles, or warts) or swollen lymph nodes (glands).
Tell your doctor if you have a skin infection or if you have any side effect (for example, swollen glands) that bothers you or that does not go away.
These are not all the possible side effects with Elidel Cream. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you receive:
- antifungal medications
- calcium channel blockers
- cimetidine (Tagamet)
- clarithromycin (Biaxin)
- cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune)
- danazol (Danocrine)
- delavirdine (Rescriptor)
- erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Erythrocin)
- fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem)
- fluvoxamine (Luvox)
- HIV protease inhibitors
- isoniazid (INH, Nydrazid)
- metronidazole (Flagyl)
- oral contraceptives (birth control pills)
- other ointments, creams, or lotions
- troleandomycin (TAO)
- zafirlukast (Accolate)
This is not a complete list of Elidel drug interactions. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
It is not known if Elidel Cream is safe to use for a long period of time. A very small number of people who have used Elidel Cream have gotten cancer (for example, skin cancer or lymphoma). But a link that Elidel Cream use caused these cancers has not been shown. Because of this concern:
- Do not use Elidel Cream continuously for a long time.
- Use Elidel Cream only on areas of your skin that have eczema.
- Do not use Elidel Cream on a child under 2 years old.
Do not use Elidel Cream if you are allergic to Elidel Cream or anything in it.
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with Elidel and lead to potentially dangerous effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor.
Before you start using Elidel Cream, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions, including if you:
- have a skin disease called Netherton’s syndrome (a rare inherited condition)
- have any infection on your skin including chicken pox or herpes
- have been told you have a weakened immune system
- are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to become pregnant.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Elidel will harm your unborn baby.
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Elidel is excreted in human breast milk or if it will harm your nursing baby.
- Use Elidel Cream exactly as prescribed.
- Use Elidel Cream only on areas of your skin that have eczema.
- Use Elidel Cream for short periods, and if needed, treatment may be repeated with breaks in between.
- Stop Elidel Cream when the signs and symptoms of eczema, such as itching, rash, and redness go away, or as directed by your doctor.
- Follow your doctor’s advice if symptoms of eczema return after a treatment with Elidel Cream.
- Call your doctor if:
- your symptoms get worse with Elidel Cream
- you get an infection on your skin
- your symptoms do not improve after 6 weeks of treatment. Sometimes other skin diseases can look like eczema.
To apply Elidel Cream:
Read and carefully follow the directions below.
- Wash your hands before using Elidel Cream. If you apply Elidel Cream after a bath or shower, make sure your skin is dry.
- Apply a thin layer of Elidel Cream only to the affected skin areas, two times each day, as directed by your doctor.
- Use the smallest amount of Elidel Cream needed to control the signs and symptoms of eczema.
- If you apply Elidel Cream to another person, or if you have eczema and are not treating your hands, it is important for you to wash your hands with soap and water after applying Elidel Cream. This should remove any cream left on your hands.
- Do not bathe, shower or swim right after applying Elidel Cream. This could wash off the cream.
- You can use moisturizers with Elidel Cream. Make sure you check with your doctor first about the products that are right for you. People with eczema can have very dry skin, so it is important to keep up good skin care practices. If you use moisturizers, apply them after Elidel Cream.
What to avoid while using Elidel Cream:
- You should not use sun lamps, tanning beds, or get treatment with ultraviolet light therapy during treatment with Elidel Cream.
- Limit your time in the sun during treatment with Elidel Cream even when the medicine is not on your skin. If you need to be outdoors after applying Elidel Cream, wear loose fitting clothing that protects the treated area from the sun. Ask your doctor what other types of protection from the sun you should use. It is not known how Elidel Cream may affect your skin with exposure to ultraviolet light.
- Do not cover the skin being treated with bandages, dressings or wraps. You can wear normal clothing.
- Elidel Cream is for use on the skin only. Do not get Elidel Cream in your eyes, nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum (mucous membranes). If you get Elidel Cream in any of these areas, burning or irritation can happen. Wipe off any Elidel Cream from the affected area and then rinse the area well with cold water.
- Do not swallow Elidel Cream. If you do, call your doctor.
- Avoid using Elidel Cream on skin areas that have cancers or pre-cancers.
Use Elidel exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.
Elidel is usually applied in a thin layer to the affected skin twice daily.
If you use too much Elidel, contact your local Poison Control Center or seek emergency medical attention right away.
Active ingredient: pimecrolimus
Inactive ingredients: benzyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, citric acid, mono- and di-glycerides, oleyl alcohol, propylene glycol, sodium cetostearyl sulphate, sodium hydroxide, stearyl alcohol, triglycerides, and water
- Store Elidel Cream at room temperature between 59° to 86°F (15° to 30°C).
- Keep Elidel Cream and all medicines out of the reach of children.
Long-term Safety of Topical Calcineurin Inhibitors Has Not Been Established
Although a causal relationship has not been established, rare cases of malignancy (e.g., skin and lymphoma) have been reported in patients treated with topical calcineurin inhibitors, including Elidel Cream.
- Continuous long-term use of topical calcineurin inhibitors, including Elidel Cream, in any age group should be avoided, and application limited to areas of involvement with atopic dermatitis.
- Elidel Cream is not indicated for use in children less than 2 years of age.
Sign up for
- Follow the medications that matter most to you
- Receive email notifications as soon as your medication pages are updated