Elidel (pimecrolimus) is a topical immuno-suppressant Calcineurin Inhibitor and is a popular steroid-free treatment for rosacea, eczema, and Atopic Dermatitis. Elidel side effects reportedly include an increased risk of certain cancers. Lawsuits have been filed against the maker of Elidel skin cream alleging the company failed to warn patients about the risk of serious Elidel side effects.
Since the FDA approved Elidel, several cases of lymphoma and skin cancer have been reported in patients. Elidel is classified as an immunosuppressant, which can lower a patient's normal immune response, making the user susceptible to a variety of diseases and cancers.
Elidel Side Effects
With research and reports linking Elidel ointment to skin cancer, the FDA recommends patients only use the cream prescription as a last resort and then only for a limited time. Elidel should not be used by those with a weakened immune system and never be used on babies under two years old. It should also not be used continuously for a long time.
Elidel is manufactured and marketed by Novartis.
On January 19, 2006, the FDA approved updated labeling for Elidel. The new label includes a boxed warning about the possible risk of cancer and includes a note that Elidel is recommended only after other prescription topical medicines have been tried.
It is alleged that Elidel has been linked to various types of skin cancer and other skin disorders, including Vitiligo, a skin disorder caused by an attack on the immune system often brought on by immunosuppressant drugs. Vitiligo results in a loss of skin pigmentation leaving white, milky skin patches.
Elidel Skin Cancer and Other Elidel Side Effects
Furthermore, Elidel has been linked to Skin Cancer, T-Cell Lymphoma, Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC), Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC), Hodgkin's Lymphoma (HL), Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, breast cancer and cancer in general.
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer (90 percent), affecting 800,000 people in the U.S. each year. Typically this cancer occurs in parts of the body that are not exposed to sunlight. Basal cell carcinoma often resembles eczema or psoriasis.
Basal Cell Carcinoma and Lymphoma
There are over 30 types of Lymphoma, including 5 types of Hodgkin's lymphoma and 25 types of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. These lymphomas start in the lymph nodes and symptoms include swelling of the lymph nodes, fever, night sweats, unexplained weight loss, lack of energy. Similar to basal cell carcinoma, there are many causes of lymphoma, including weakened immune functions.
Lawsuits against Novartis, maker of Elidel, allege the company did not adequately warn about the risk of cancer when the drug first came on the market. Some Elidel lawsuits further allege Novartis knew about the risk of cancer but did not include a warning about that risk until the FDA requested a black box warning. Finally, Elidel lawsuits allege that Elidel was marketed as safer than other methods of treating eczema.