A compound known as Pimecrolimus is used in the treatment of atopic dermatitis. It is made available in the form of a tropical cream by Novartis, under the trade name Elidel. This is believed to be effective against atopic eczema. Immunomodulators are pharmaceutical drugs which work by benefiting the immune system.
In essence these drugs actually suppress the immune system in the specific affected area. This means the body’s immune system is not able to develop its typical signals on the affected site. The normal symptoms include rashes, itching, scaling or inflammation. This way Elidel helps in counteracting a potential eczema attack.
The ‘Therapy Guidelines Committee’ of The British Association of Dermatologists had issued a guideline way back in the end of 2012, requesting doctors to not use such drugs as main line treatments but to rather reserve them as second line treatment. This association suggested that such drugs should be reserved for patients that conventional treatments do not work for.
Recently, the United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has made it mandatory for Elidel packaging to carry a black box warning stating the possible risk of cancer of lymph node or skin. The link between cancer and Elidel has not yet been proved, so it is just a possibility. And so the long term use of Elidel should be avoided.
Nevertheless when other treatments fail, then some relief can be found by using Elidel, but it must be taken with care and precaution. There are certain guidelines for usage of Elidel. It is important to always go and consult your doctor before starting on a course of Elidel. Also the doctor must be made aware of the patient’s complete past history of infections and medications taken.
FDA categorizes drugs and compounds according their known, unknown, favorable and unfavorable effects. Elidel is in the pregnancy category C, which indicates that effect of Elidel is not known on an unborn baby. Elidel should not be used by pregnant women or any woman who is still breastfeeding her baby.
For patients who are using Elidel there are again some precautions that need to be exercised. It is strictly for external application on skin. Swallowing Elidel can cause serious side effects. It must always be stored out of the reach of children and pets. Clothing and hands must be washed after contact.
After applying Elidel sunlight or ultraviolet radiation must be avoided. This can be ensured by remaining indoors or going out with loose, protective clothing covering all parts of your body. Sun lamps, tanning beds should be avoided at all costs.
With some precautions, it is possible for many people to benefit from the use of Elidel. There are some risks associated, so it’s important to consider whether or not it’s right for you.