The Food and Drug Administration is warning that two common drugs used to treat eczema could cause cancer.
Elidel and Protopic, applied to the skin, help control eczema by suppressing the immune system. But a new report from the FDA says animal tests have shown an increased cancer risk. So now, the agency says it has sent an advisory to doctors about the risks encouraging them to prescribe the drugs only for short-term and intermittent use. Also, Elidel and Protopic will now be sold with black-box warning labels.
Researchers also reported a small number of cancers in small children and adults using the medication. Elidel is made by Novartis A.G. and Protopic is made by Fujisawa Healthcare Inc. The FDA advisory urges doctors to prescribe the drugs for short-term and intermittent use. The FDA also says that drug makers have agreed to do more testing on the creams.