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Cancer blog: Eczema Cream May Increase Cancer Risk

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Jan 20, 2006

Eczema Cream May Increase Cancer Risk

Eczema Cream May Increase Cancer Risk
Two creams commonly used for the treatment of eczema will now carry strong warnings about the possible risk of skin cancer, lymphoma and other cancers.

These creams used for the treatment of eczema, namely creams, Elidel and Protopic, will come with a strong warning that use of these creams may cause cancer and lymphoma.

Food and Drug Administration officials said while a clear link between the drugs and cancer risk had not been found, there have been enough cancer reports to warrant the change. A total of 78 cases were reported for both products as of October 2005, they said.

"The concern that is being highlighted today is that the long-term safety of these products has not been established," Dr. Julie Beitz, an acting office director within the FDA's office of drug evaluation, said.

The labels also include changes to make clear that both treatments are only supposed to be used after other drugs are tried first. They also say the creams are not recommended for children younger than 2 years old.

Eczema, a rash-like inflammation that causes itchy, red skin, can also be treated with antihistamines, oral and topical steroids and over-the-counter products.

Both companies continued to defend their drugs as safe, but agreed to make the change anyway after months of negotiation with the FDA.

"While Novartis believes this action is not substantiated by scientific or clinical evidence, Novartis has agreed to make the requested changes and will communicate them to physicians and patients so that they can continue to use Elidel as labeled to effectively manage eczema," the company said.

Joyce Rico, an Astellas vice president for research and development, said the data did not show any cancer link.

"I believe that the information that is available continues to show that Protopic is a safe and effective medication when used as prescribed, and that the causal relationship with lymphoma has not been documented," she said.


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Do you read all of the blogs published by Many of our bloggers are busy keeping you updated on the various health related topics. We publish the following blogs at this time.

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Cancer is a very common disease, approximately one out of every two American men and one out of every three American women will have some type of cancer at some point during the course of their life. Cancer is more common in the elderly and 77 percent of cancers occur in people above age 55 or older. Cancer is also common in children. Cancer incidence is said to have two peaks once during early childhood and then during late years in life. No age period is completely exempted from development of cancers. Some cancers occur predominantly in the elderly, other types occur in children, Cancer occurs in all ethnic races, however the cancer rates and rates of specific cancer types may vary from group to group. Late stages of cancer may be incurable in most cases, but with the advancement of medicine, more and more cancers are becoming curable.

Cancer blog: Eczema Cream May Increase Cancer Risk

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