Elidel is classified as a topical immune-suppressant Calcineurin Inhibitor that has been prescribed to treat rosacea, eczema, and dermatitis. Elidel is manufactured and marketed by Novartis.
In 2006, the FDA required a black box warning to be placed on Elidel to warn about serious side effects. Since it is an immunosuppressant, this drug has been linked to cancer and a variety of other diseases. Since the drug reduces the body’s resistance to infection, it makes a patient more prone to become ill while taking it. The FDA has advised that Elidel only be used as a last resort, and for a limited time.
Reports have linked Elidel to skin cancer and other skin disorders including Vitiligo, which causes a loss of skin pigmentation leaving white patches on the skin. It has also been linked to T-Cell Lymphoma, Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC), Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC), Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and breast cancer.
Basal Cell Carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer and affects 800,000 people in the United States each year. Lymphoma, which has many different types, is brought on by the weakening of the immune system.
It is believed that Novartis did not initially warn about the serious side effects that go along with taking Elidel; therefore many people used the drug without knowing the dangers.
Serious side effects may include:
- Worsened skin symptoms
- Signs of a skin infection (redness, swelling, itching, oozing)
- Swollen glands
- Fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms
Less serious side effects may include:
- Burning, stinging, tingling, or soreness of treated skin (especially during the first few days of treatment)
- Swollen hair follices
- Acne or warts
- Upset stomach
- Muscle Pain
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Feeling more sensitive to hot or cold temperatures