4 doctors weighed in:

I heard that protopic ointment can cause skin cancer, should I continue to use it?

4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Fisher
Dermatology
2 doctors agree

In brief: Protopic(Tacrolimus)

Although there is a theoretical concern that topical immunomodulatory therapy with tacrolimus and pimecrolimus may increase the risk of cancer, there is no evidence to date to suggest an increased risk of cutaneous or visceral cancer. The european agency for the evaluation of medicinal products has not recommended any change to labelling or approval of these topical agents.

In brief: Protopic(Tacrolimus)

Although there is a theoretical concern that topical immunomodulatory therapy with tacrolimus and pimecrolimus may increase the risk of cancer, there is no evidence to date to suggest an increased risk of cutaneous or visceral cancer. The european agency for the evaluation of medicinal products has not recommended any change to labelling or approval of these topical agents.
Dr. Michael Fisher
Dr. Michael Fisher
Thank
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology

In brief: I believe it is

Tacrolimus given systemically for immunosuppression can cause the virus-induced hyperplasias that mimic cancer but generally resolve on its withdrawal.
It strains credulity to think this could apply to the common anti-eczema ointment. Br. J. Derm. Sept 2011 actually looked at this hard and probably the excess lymphomas had been misdiagnosed as common eczema rather than caused by the tacrolimus.

In brief: I believe it is

Tacrolimus given systemically for immunosuppression can cause the virus-induced hyperplasias that mimic cancer but generally resolve on its withdrawal.
It strains credulity to think this could apply to the common anti-eczema ointment. Br. J. Derm. Sept 2011 actually looked at this hard and probably the excess lymphomas had been misdiagnosed as common eczema rather than caused by the tacrolimus.
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Peter Kurzweil
Board Certified, Internal Medicine
46 years in practice
16M people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors