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Tacrolimus is a "macrolide isolated from the culture broth of a strain of Streptomyces tsukubaensis that has strong immunosuppressive activity in vivo and prevents the activation of T-lymphocytes in response to antigenic or mitogenic stimulation in vitro."[1] It is a calcineurin inhibitor. Originally used as an antirejection drug in organ transplantation, it has been found useful in other medicial applications.[2]

Approved indications include therapy for Crohn's disease, and, in drug-eluting stents, as a means of preventing reocclusion after blood vessel revascularization. In topical form, it has been approved for atopic dermatitis.

Tacrolimus, and the related pimecrolimus, have also been employed for a number of off-label uses:[3]


  1. Anonymous (2015), Tacrolimus (English). Medical Subject Headings. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  2. American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, "Tacrolimus - Monograph", Medscape Drug Reference
  3. Bruce Jancin (February 2005), "Tacrolimus, Pimecrolimus Eyed for Off-Label Uses", Skin & Allergy News 36 (2): 22, DOI:10.1016/S0037-6337(05)70555-6