Elidel Saga Continues – Are Elidel & Protopic Safe?

A lack of conclusive evidence linking the Elidel and Protopic drugs to cancer has lead to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) protesting to the Food and Drug Association”s (FDA) ruling that both these drugs must carry the “black box”.

The “black box”, the strongest safety warning has been a potential issue for both Elidel and Protopic for some months now due to an unproved ‘casual relationship’ between skin cancer and lymphoma among patients taking these drugs.

Elidel and Protopic were introduced to the market in 2000 and 2001. They offered great relief for the millions of eczema sufferers who battle eczema, the irritating skin condition that causes a rash and terrible itching.

Until these two drugs became available the main form of treatment for eczema sufferers were steroids. However as Dr Maria Hordinsky, professor and chair of the dermatology department at the University of Minnesota medical school states “Steroids are great, but they have side effects,”. Steroids can cause thin and reddened skin and stretch marks.

Long term problems with the body’s immune system will also result from prolonged use of steroids. With 10 – 15% of our children suffering from eczema this is a major issue and the arrival of Elidel and Protopic was a great relief, she said.

10 million scripts of Elidel and Protopic have been filled since the drugs hit the market about 5 years ago. During this time there have been 78 reports of cancer among the users of the drugs. But no direct connection has been proven, however animal tests have shown a cancer increase association with these drugs.

The dilema for eczema sufferers is what treatment should they use – what is safe?

The FDA advises that Elidel and Protopic should only be used as a last resort when other treatments have proved ineffective, and should not be used on children under 2 years of age. The drugs should only be used short term and only on the areas immediately affected with eczema.

For long term use where steroids, Elidel and Protopic are all contra indicated it would pay to consider the use of natural medications like Calendulis Plus Cream.

Calendulis Plus Cream is an all natural product that can be used long term and has no side effects. The body does not build up a permanent resistance to its use and it will not thin the skin or lead to stretch marks. And most importantly Calendulis Plus Cream is safe to use on any age group even children under 2 years of age.

Mel Sinclair, RN