Tacrolimus is an immunosuppressant. In organ transplant patients, it works by suppressing your body’s immune response helping your body to accept the new organ as if it were your own. In allergic eye disease, it works by decreasing the production of chemicals (eg. histamine) that cause allergic eye symptoms such as inflammation (redness and swelling).
Tacropex is a medicine that modulates the immune system. It works on the immune system and mostly decreases its activity. It is used to treat moderate to severe eczema (atopic dermatitis) in adults who do not respond to steroids or develop side effects on using them. In atopic dermatitis, the skin’s immune system undergoes an overreaction and causes skin inflammation leading to itchiness, redness and dryness. Tacropex acts on the abnormal immune response and alters it, thereby relieving the skin inflammation and itchiness.
Q. What are the side effects of Tacropex?
Tacropex, when applied to the skin, may cause skin irritation, burning sensation and itching at the site of application. These are usually mild to moderate in severity and normally resolve within one week of starting the treatment. Redness is also a common manifestation along with sensation of warmth, pain, altered sensation and rash at the site of application. Using it increases the patients’ increased risk of getting inflamed or infected hair follicles, cold sores, acne and generalized herpes simplex infections.
Q. Is Tacropex ointment safe?
As compared to other immune-suppressing medicines, Tacropex has been found to be a safe and effective short-term treatment for atopic dermatitis. When applied on the affected part of the skin, its absorption to the blood and body is minimal. Hence, the side effects are less as compared to when taken through oral route.
Q. Does Tacropex has abuse potential?
No, Tacropex does not have abuse potential and thus, is not a controlled substance. Controlled substances have potential for abuse so they need permission by authorities and doctor for use.
Q. Does Tacropex cause cancer?
Long-term use of Tacropex has been found to have increased risk of lymph node tumors called lymphoma. Some studies have found that few patients who used Tacropex ointment or another similar medication developed skin cancer or lymphoma. Consult your doctor if you have to use Tacropex ointment for more than 6 weeks or if your eczema symptoms have not improved or are getting worse with time during your treatment.
Q. Is Tacropex a steroid?
No, Tacropex is not a steroid. It is a medicine which modulates the working of the immune system. It is used in the treatment of eczema, most commonly in atopic dermatitis. An advantage of Tacropex is that it does not cause skin thinning (atrophy) or other steroid-related side effects.
Information last updated by Dr. Varun Gupta, MD Pharmacology on 20th Feb 2020. The medicine details are for information purpose only. Consult a doctor before taking any medicine.