Protopic Ointment (Tacrolimus)

Protopic Ointment

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Prescription RequiredPrescription Required
FormulationFormulation: Topical Ointment
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(Generic Alternative)

Prescription RequiredPrescription Required
FormulationFormulation: Ointment
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Protopic ointment, containing tacrolimus, is utilized on the skin to address the skin condition known as eczema (atopic dermatitis) in patients who have not responded effectively to other eczema medications or should not use them. Eczema manifests as red, irritated, and itchy skin, and this medication is designed to alleviate these symptoms.

Tacrolimus, the active ingredient in Protopic, operates by weakening the skin's immune system, thereby reducing the allergic reaction and providing relief from eczema. It belongs to the class of drugs known as topical calcineurin inhibitors (TCIs), which are specifically effective in addressing allergic-type conditions such as eczema.

For children aged 2 to 15 years, it is recommended to use the lower-strength product. Additionally, the medication is not advisable for individuals with a history of a rare genetic disorder called Netherton's syndrome. Furthermore, it should not be used by those with a weakened immune system, such as individuals following an organ transplant.


  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before applying Protopic ointment.
  • Apply a thin layer of the ointment only to the affected skin areas, as directed by your healthcare provider, typically twice daily.
  • Gently rub the medication into your skin until fully absorbed.
  • Wash your hands again after applying, unless your hands are part of the treated area.
  • If recommended by your healthcare provider, use a moisturizer after applying Protopic.


  • Don't apply Protopic ointment to your eyes, nose, or mouth. Rinse thoroughly with water if accidental contact occurs.
  • Don't use Protopic on open wounds or infected skin areas.
  • Don't cover the treated area with dressings or bandages unless specifically instructed by your healthcare provider.
  • Don't bathe, shower, or swim immediately after applying Protopic, as it may wash off the medication.

Common side effects:

  • Stinging, burning, or itching at the application site
  • Dry skin
  • Acne
  • Swollen or infected hair follicles
  • Headache
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Allergic reactions

Serious side effects that may require immediate medical attention include:

  • Severe pain or redness at the application site
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Blurry or abnormal vision
  • Eye discharge
  • Feeling as if something is in the eye
  • Itching, redness, or pain around the eyes
  • Signs of a serious allergic reaction, such as abdominal cramps, difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting, or swelling of the face and throat
  • Rare cases of skin cancer and lymphoma due to continuous long-term use

This is not an exhaustive list, and other side effects may occur. If you experience any unusual or severe side effects while taking Protopic ointment,  contact your healthcare provider for medical advice.

Tell your healthcare provider about any allergies you have, especially to tacrolimus or macrolide medications.

Inform your healthcare provider of your medical history, particularly swollen lymph nodes, light therapy use, skin cancers, skin infections, other skin conditions, and kidney disease.

Protopic may increase your sensitivity to alcohol and sunlight. Limit alcohol consumption and sun exposure. Use sunscreen and protective clothing outdoors.

Protopic should only be used during pregnancy if clearly necessary. Consult your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits.

It is unknown if Protopic passes into breast milk. Discuss with your healthcare provider before breastfeeding.

The long-term safety of Protopic is not fully established. Rare cases of cancer have been reported in patients using Protopic. It's unknown if the medication caused these cancers.

Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you notice unusual lumps, swollen glands, or growths on your skin.

Protopic should only be used if other medications haven't worked or are not suitable for you, as determined by your healthcare provider. Use Protopic for short periods only, with breaks in between treatments if needed. Apply the smallest amount necessary to treat the affected area.

Protopic is not for children under 2 years old. Discuss the risks, benefits, and proper use of Protopic with your healthcare provider.

Brand Name:

Protopic Ointment

Generic name:

Tacrolimus, Tacrolimus

Other Names:

Tacroz Forte, Protopic Ointment

Strength(s): 0.10%, 0.03%
Quantities Available: 20, 40, 60

Ointment, Topical Ointment

Important Information
The information above for Protopic Ointment (Tacrolimus) was provided to by third parties. In no way should this information substitute for the advice of a physician. Consult a doctor or qualified health care professional if you have any medical concerns. widget logo