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Here’s what you need to know about Protopic

I used Protopic for about 10 years, almost every day.

At the time, it was a great alternative to steroid creams but it never cured my eczema.

Only after going through TSW, I started researching in depth about these prescriptions medications. My goal is to raise awareness of the side effects you may not even know think Protopic could cause if used incorrectly.

What is Protopic?

Protopic is the trade name of the drug called Tacrolimus. This form of the drug is mainly used to treat skin conditions like eczema (atopic dermatitis). It also goes by the name of Prograf and Advagraf. This drug is prescribed on a short term basis to treat eczema and also prevent flare-ups. You should also be aware that it should be used on the skin for short treatment periods only.

So if you are using it, use a tracking app or calendar to know if it’s time to take a break. This would be an excellent period to use natural means to decrease your flare-ups. This way, you can slowly transition away from relying on the medications long term.

However, it is hard to only use it on a short term basis because the eczema always comes back. So you are stuck in a loop of applying and not applying it. This goes on forever.

According to WebMD, this drug works by weakening the skin’s defense (immune) system, thereby decreasing the allergic reaction and relieving the eczema.

My experience with Protopic

I was prescribed this medication as a kid. So I didn’t bother reading the size 5 font brochure. According to Neosporin, Eczema is a chronic problem for lots of people – it’s estimated that eczema affects 35 million Americans: 1-3% of adults, and 10-20% of children. This is just in America. Not the rest of the world.

You would think that if 10-20% of children are most likely going to be using the medication, the product brochure would be kid friendly…

I was in a constant loop with Protopic. I hated using it but I had to. As I grew older, my skin needed it more. My flares up increased as well. Throughout the use of this medication, I always sick. I either had a cold or runny nose/sneezing/sniffling from allergies. Sometimes I thought I had a cold and my allergies were acting up at the same time! Not sure if it was because this drug lowered my skin’s immune system.

Some of the skin related sides effects: skin tingling, stinging, burning, or itching of the skin area being treated, skin infection in the area where the medication was applied, acne, chickenpox or shingles, increased sensitivity of the skin to hot or cold temperatures

This post is not meant to scare you or blame the drug.

I just want to educate you on the drug, to make sure you don’t overuse them like I did and multiple other people around the world. If the health care system won’t teach me how to use these medications as a kid, the least I can do is educate myself, other people with eczema and the parents whose kids have eczema.


Published in All Posts Eczema Living Topical Steroid Withdrawal Treatments


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