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Tacrolimus is a custom pharmacy drug that is classified in the family of drugs known as topical calcineurin inhibitors. Tacrolimus is sometimes prescribed for patients suffering from eczema (atopic dermatitis) whose condition has not responded to other more commonly given treatments. Eczema is a specific skin disease that can cause dry and/or itchy skin, sometimes with advancing scaly red rashes. Tacrolimus works by targeting the immune system and limiting or preventing the production of select substances that lead to the development of eczema.


Tacrolimus typically comes in the form of an ointment that is to be applied twice daily, or as specially directed by your doctor. However, it may be given orally or intravenously, or through another method depending on what your doctor orders. Make sure that you have a complete and comprehensive understanding of what form of this drug you are prescribed and how to take it. If you are unclear, seek clarification as different forms of this drug can be harmful or life threatening if taken in a manner for which they are not intended.

Regarding Topical Usage:

Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before applying this medication. Be sure that the target area is clean and dry beforehand. Use only a small amount of tacrolimus, just enough to cover the area. Do not bandage the treated area unless ordered to do so by your doctor. Wash hands thoroughly after usage, unless the treatment area is on your hand or hands.


Side effects may differ from individual to individual. While some may experience no side effects at all, others may experience one or more. See your doctor right away if you experience any side effect that lingers or worsens. Common side effects seen with tacrolimus are:

  • Increased Sensitivity of the Skin
  • Skin Stinging
  • Skin Burning
  • Skin Redness
  • Skin Soreness
  • Tingling Skin
  • Itching
  • Headaches
  • Muscle and/or Back Pain
  • Acne
  • Swollen Hair Follicles
  • Infected Hair Follicles
  • Stuffy Nose
  • Runny Nose
  • Flu-Type Symptoms
  • Nausea

Other side effects are possible so monitor your condition closely and seek medical assistance whenever necessary, or if anything is concerning to you.

Severe Side Effects Overview:

Some users may possibly experience more severe side effects that warrant prompt medical attention. If you experience anything that feels severe, see your doctor immediately, or get prompt medical attention at a healthcare facility or center. Some of the more common potentially severe side effects are listed below. Please note this list is not comprehensive and you may experience a severe side effect not listed.

  • Chicken Pox
  • Other Blisters
  • Rash
  • Cold Sores
  • Swollen Glands
  • Swelling (hands, arms, feet, ankles, lower legs)
  • Oozing, Crusting, and/or Blistering (signs of skin infection)


Talk to your doctor before beginning use of tacrolimus. Before beginning use of any drug you should undergo a full medical screening to ascertain whether the drug will be safe for your use.

Contraindications and/or Precautions for Tacrolimus are as Follows:

Neoplastic Diseases:

  • Skin cancer
  • Lung cancer

Other Contraindications and/or Precautions:

  • Hepatic disease
  • Occlusive Dressing
  • Breast-feeding
  • Infants
  • Infection
  • Immunosuppression
  • QT Interval Prolongation
  • Sunlight Exposure
  • Oliguria
  • Pregnancy
  • Netherton's Syndrome (or similar skin disease)
  • Certain Skin Infections
  • Known or Suspected Malignant Lesions

NOTE: Avoid grapefruit juice while using this drug.

  • "It is rare to find health professionals who are so willing to educate the patient on what they need to know."

    Clair C. | West Hollywood, CA