Protopic
Alternatives

(tacrolimus)

Protopic (tacrolimus)

Prescription only

Elidel (pimecrolimus)

Prescription only
1 of 2 alternatives
Treats moderate to severe eczema.

Protopic (tacrolimus) is effective at treating eczema when other options haven’t helped, but its long-term effects on the body aren’t well known.

Treats eczema.

Elidel (pimecrolimus) is good for treating eczema if other options haven’t helped, but its long-term effects on the body are not well-known.

Upsides
  • Protopic (tacrolimus) is more effective than the similar medications.
  • Protopic (tacrolimus) is stronger than some steroids, making it a good option if similar medications have not worked for you.
  • Elidel (pimecrolimus) is more tolerable than similar alternatives.
  • Elidel (pimecrolimus) is stronger than some steroids, making it a good option if steroids have not worked for you.
  • Most people start to feel better within 2 weeks of starting Elidel (pimecrolimus).
Downsides
  • Is not a first-line option for eczema due to the risk of cancer.
  • Protopic (tacrolimus) can't be used if your immune system is weak (for example, if you have cancer or have been taking steroids for a long time).
  • Not recommended to be used for a very long period of time. If you have to keep using Protopic (tacrolimus), your doctor will have you take breaks in-between.
  • Elidel (pimecrolimus) is not a first-line option for eczema due to the risk of cancer.
  • Elidel (pimecrolimus) can't be used if your immune system is weak (for example, if you have cancer or are taking steroids for a long time).
  • Not recommended for long-term use. If you have to keep using Elidel (pimecrolimus), your doctor will probably have you take breaks in between.
  • May raise the risk of catching contagious illnesses like the common cold and seasonal flu.
Used for
  • Eczema (moderate to severe)
Dosage forms
  • Ointment
  • Cream
Price
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$47.32
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Lowest price near you
$272
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Side effects
10possible side effects
  • Skin burning
    46%
  • Itching
    46%
  • Skin redness
    25%
  • Flu-like symptoms
    23%
  • Headache
    20%
  • Allergic reaction
    12%
  • Skin infection
    12%
  • Asthma
    6%
  • Inflammation of the hair follicles
    6%
  • Rash
    5%
See more detailed side effects
8possible side effects
  • Application site burning
    26%
  • Common cold
    20%
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
    19%
  • Application site reaction
    15%
  • Fever
    12%
  • Headache
    11%
  • Flu
    10%
  • Cough
    9%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and warnings
  • Using in young children

    Age 2 years or younger

  • Sudden kidney failure

    Kidney problems

See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Sun exposure

    Sun exposure

See more detailed risks and warnings