Elidel

(pimecrolimus)

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Treats eczema.

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Our bottom line

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.

Lowest price near you
  • Lowest price with coupon
    $288.69
Quick facts about Elidel
  • Drug class: Dermatologic
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: No lower cost generic available

Upsides

  • 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).
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What to expect from Elidel, on one page

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Downsides

  • 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.
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What to expect from Elidel, on one page

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How it works

Elidel (pimecrolimus) is a topical calcineurin inhibitor. It works by blocking the inflammatory process so skin won’t react to irritants that make eczema worse.

Quick facts about Elidel
  • Drug class: Dermatologic
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: No lower cost generic available

Used for

Dosage forms

  • Cream
Tried Elidel? Write a review!

Prices and coupons

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What to expect when you take Elidel (pimecrolimus) for Eczema

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  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
  • Effectiveness
  • Starts to kick in
    Full effects
  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
  • Possible side effects
  • Application site burning
  • Headache
  • Application site itching
  • Application site irritation
  • Flu
  • Common cold
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Side effect rates for Elidel (pimecrolimus)

From 328 clinical trials of Elidel when taken for eczema (1%)
  • Application site burning
    26%26%
  • Common cold
    20%20%
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
    19%19%
  • Application site reaction
    15%15%
  • Fever
    12%12%
  • Headache
    11%11%
  • Flu
    10%10%
  • Cough
    9%9%
  • Common cold
    8%8%
  • Headache
    7%7%
  • Flu
    7%7%
  • Skin infection
    6%6%
  • Infection of hair follicles
    6%6%
  • Application site irritation
    6%6%
  • Application site itching
    6%6%
  • Ear infection
    6%6%
  • Skin infection
    5%5%
  • Sore throat
    5%5%
  • Allergies
    5%5%
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
    4%4%
  • Herpes infection
    4%4%
  • Sore throat
    4%4%
  • School sores
    4%4%
  • Asthma
    4%4%
  • Vomiting
    4%4%
  • Pink eye
    3%3%
  • Allergies
    3%3%
  • Middle ear infection
    3%3%
  • Sinus infection
    3%3%
  • Strep throat
    3%3%
  • Asthma
    3%3%
  • Abdominal pain
    3%3%
  • School sores
    2%2%
  • Bacterial infection
    2%2%
  • Inflammation of the airways
    2%2%
  • Stomach flu
    2%2%
  • Flu-like illness
    2%2%
  • Application site redness
    2%2%
  • Cough
    2%2%
  • Stuffy nose
    2%2%
  • Asthma
    2%2%
  • Diarrhea
    2%2%
  • Nausea
    2%2%
  • Acne
    2%2%
  • Back pain
    2%2%
  • Joint pain
    2%2%
  • Pneumonia
    2%2%
  • Bacterial skin infection
    2%2%
  • Application site burning
    2%2%
  • Application site reaction
    2%2%
  • Nose congestion
    2%2%
  • Stuffy nose
    2%2%
  • Abdominal pain
    2%2%
  • Menstrual cramps
    2%2%
  • Pink eye
    2%2%
  • Skin cuts
    2%2%
0%
10%
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30%
40%
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80%
Where we got our data »

The placebo bar shows how common a side effect was for people taking a sugar pill instead of Elidel.

Elidel (pimecrolimus)
Placebo

People taking Elidel felt side effect more

People taking Elidel felt side effect less

No difference

Risks and Warnings for Elidel (pimecrolimus)

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  • There is rare chance that Elidel (pimecrolimus) can cause skin and lymphoma cancer. You can help prevent this by using Elidel (pimecrolimus) as directed, not more frequently or longer than prescribed by your doctor. Try to keep Elidel (pimecrolimus) only on the treatment areas and away from healthy skin.

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect