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Clobetasol Propionate

Clobetasol Cream

Clobetasol cream, containing clobetasol propionate, is a potent topical corticosteroid used for skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. FDA-approved, it alleviates inflammation, itching, and swelling associated with these conditions. Available in various forms, including cream, foam, and shampoo, it’s applied once or twice daily to affected areas. Suitable for adults and adolescents over 12 years, dosages are determined by severity and individual response. It works by reducing inflammation and suppressing inflammatory chemicals in the body. While generally well-tolerated, side effects like itching or thinning skin may occur. Follow dosage instructions carefully, avoid using on infected skin, and store at room temperature. Consult a healthcare provider for personalized guidance.

Product Overview

Clobetasol cream is a potent topical corticosteroid medication containing clobetasol propionate as its main ingredient. This medication is commonly used to treat various skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. It is available in different formulations, including cream, foam, gel, lotion, ointment, shampoo, solution, and spray. Clobetasol cream is FDA-approved for topical use, relieving symptoms like inflammation, itching, and swelling associated with moderate to severe skin rashes and psoriasis.

Clobetasol cream’s strength varies depending on the formulation, with concentrations typically ranging from 0.025% to 0.05%. It is applied as a thin layer to the affected area(s) of the skin once or twice daily, as directed by a healthcare provider. This medication is suitable for adults and adolescents aged 12 years and older, with dosages and treatment duration determined by the severity of the condition and individual response to treatment.

Clobetasol cream works by reducing inflammation and suppressing the release of certain chemicals in the body that trigger inflammatory responses. This targeted action helps alleviate discomfort and improve the appearance of the skin affected by conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.

While clobetasol cream is generally well-tolerated, it may cause side effects such as itching, burning, swelling, thinning skin, or rash. Precautions should be taken to avoid using clobetasol on infected skin, open wounds, or areas with skin damage. It’s essential to follow a healthcare provider’s instructions regarding dosage, application, and duration of treatment to minimize the risk of side effects and ensure optimal therapeutic outcomes.

If a dose is missed, apply it as soon as possible unless it’s almost time for the next dose. However, if an overdose is suspected, seek medical assistance immediately. Clobetasol cream should be stored at room temperature, away from children and pets, and disposed of properly if expired or no longer needed. It’s important to discuss any concerns or questions about clobetasol cream with a healthcare provider for personalized guidance and advice tailored to individual needs.

Uses of Clobetasol Cream

  • Treatment of skin rashes and itchy skin
  • Treatment of moderate to severe scalp psoriasis
  • Treatment of plaque psoriasis (not on the scalp)

How to Use Clobetasol Cream?

Dosage

Cream, Topical:

  • 0.025% (Impoyz)
  • 0.05% (Temovate)

Foam, Topical:

  • 0.05% (Olux, Olux E)

Gel, Topical:

  • 0.05%

Lotion, Topical:

  • 0.05% (Clobex)

Ointment, Topical:

  • 0.05% (Temovate)

Shampoo, Topical:

  • 0.05% (Clobex Shampoo, Clodan Shampoo, Clodan Kit)

Solution, Topical:

  • 0.05%

Spray, Topical:

  • 0.05% (Clobex Spray)

Recommended Dosage for Different Patients

  • Adults (18 years and older)
      • Apply a thin layer of clobetasol cream to the affected area(s) of the skin once or twice daily, as directed by your healthcare provider.
      • Clobetasol cream’s maximum recommended duration of use is usually 2 to 4 weeks. Prolonged use beyond this period should be avoided, as it may increase the risk of side effects such as skin thinning or adrenal suppression.
  • Children (12 to 17 years)
      • A healthcare provider should supervise the use of clobetasol cream in children aged 12 to 17 years.
      • The dosage and duration of treatment will be determined by the healthcare provider based on the specific condition being treated and the patient’s response to treatment.
  • Children (under 12 years)
      • Clobetasol cream is generally not recommended for use in children under 12 years old unless specifically prescribed by a healthcare provider and deemed necessary.
      • If prescribed, the dosage and duration of treatment will be carefully determined by the healthcare provider based on the child’s age, weight, condition, and response to treatment.
  • Elderly
    • Elderly patients may require lower doses of clobetasol cream due to age-related skin thickness and absorption changes.
    • Healthcare providers may start elderly patients on a lower dosage and adjust as needed based on the individual’s response to treatment.

[Note: Remember these recommendations may vary depending on person to person. Discuss it with your doctor, and they’ll customize your dosage accordingly.]

How to Take It?

  • Before applying the cream, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Ensure the area of the skin where you’ll apply the cream is clean and dry.
  • Apply a thin layer of the medicine to the affected skin area.
  • Gently rub it in until it’s absorbed.
  • The lotion protects the skin from water, clothing, or anything that causes rubbing until the medicine has dried.
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions regarding how often to apply Clobetasol.
  • Typically, it’s applied once or twice daily.
  • Do not use Clobetasol on the face, groin, or underarms unless specifically directed by your doctor.

[Note: Your doctor will decide the right amount for you based on your condition, following guidelines and studies on the drug. They’ll adjust it as needed over time.]

How Does Clobetasol Cream Work?

Clobetasol cream is a highly potent topical corticosteroid that reduces inflammation, itching, and swelling in the affected area. It achieves this by suppressing the release of certain chemicals in the body that trigger inflammatory responses. When applied to the skin, clobetasol acts on the cells to inhibit the release of these inflammatory substances, effectively calming the skin and reducing symptoms of various dermatological conditions like psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis. This targeted action helps to alleviate discomfort and improve the appearance of the skin, making it an effective treatment for severe skin disorders that do not respond well to less potent steroids.

Important Safety Information

Side Effects

Common side effects of Clobetasol cream include:

  • itching, burning, swelling, or irritation of treated skin
  • skin that is dry or cracking
  • redness or crusting around your hair follicles
  • spider veins
  • stretch marks, thinning skin
  • rash or hives
  • acne
  • temporary hair loss

Serious side effects of this medication may include

  • Deterioration of your skin condition
  • Redness, warmth, swelling, oozing, or severe irritation in any treated area
  • Vision issues, including blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights
  • Symptoms of high blood sugar, such as increased thirst, more frequent urination, dry mouth, and fruity breath odor
  • Potential indicators of the medication being absorbed through your skin which might include weight gain in your face and shoulders, slow wound healing, skin discoloration, thinning skin, increased body hair, fatigue, mood swings, changes in menstrual cycle, and alterations in sexual function.

[Note: Remember, this list may not cover all possible side effects. Always consult with your healthcare giver for medical advice about side effects.]

Warnings

Hormonal Changes:

  • High-potency topical steroids like clobetasol can affect hormone levels if absorbed through the skin in large amounts. This might disrupt the body’s ability to produce stress hormones, potentially increasing blood sugar levels or causing easier bruising. Risks are heightened with prolonged use, extensive application, or covering the area with a bandage, especially in younger individuals. Always use the minimum effective dose for the shortest duration your healthcare provider prescribes. Lab monitoring may be required for extended use.

Topical Steroid Withdrawal (TSW):

  • Suddenly stopping clobetasol after long-term or extensive use may lead to TSW, characterized by itchy, burning, or flaky skin. Consult with your provider before discontinuing use to discuss gradual tapering and management of potential withdrawal symptoms.

Risk of High Blood Sugar:

  • Extended use of topical clobetasol, especially in large amounts, can elevate blood sugar levels, posing a risk of developing diabetes. Individuals with diabetes should monitor their blood sugar closely and discuss the safety of clobetasol with their provider.

Skin Infections:

  • Clobetasol may suppress your immune response, increasing your susceptibility to skin infections. If you have concurrent skin infections, use appropriate antifungal or antibacterial treatments. Discontinue use and seek medical advice if you experience redness, pain, swelling, or pus at the application site.

Skin Reactions:

  • Prolonged use of clobetasol or covering the treated area with a bandage can lead to adverse skin reactions such as thinning, stretch marks, spider veins, burning, itching, irritation, dry skin, inflamed hair follicles, color changes, or rash. Some skin changes may be permanent. Notify your healthcare provider immediately if you observe any new or worsening skin issues.

Precautions

Allergies:

  • Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have allergies to clobetasol, other corticosteroids like hydrocortisone or prednisone, or any other allergies. This medication may contain inactive ingredients that cause allergic reactions or other problems.

Medical History:

  • Before starting clobetasol, disclose your medical history to your healthcare provider, particularly if you have had issues with poor blood circulation, immune system problems, or certain skin conditions such as rosacea or perioral dermatitis.

Skin Infections:

  • Avoid using clobetasol in areas where there are skin infections or sores.

Corticosteroid Usage:

  • Long-term or extensive use of corticosteroids may impair your body’s ability to respond to physical stress. If you are about to undergo surgery, emergency treatment, or a serious illness or injury, inform your doctor or dentist that you are using or have recently used this medication.

Children’s Growth:

  • Extended use of this medication may slow a child’s growth. If clobetasol is being used over long periods, monitor your child’s growth regularly through doctor visits.

Use During Pregnancy:

  • Clobetasol should only be used during pregnancy when absolutely necessary. Assess the risks and benefits with your healthcare provider.

Breastfeeding:

  • It is not known if clobetasol passes into breast milk when applied topically. While similar medications are known to pass into breast milk when taken orally, consult your doctor before breastfeeding to discuss potential risks.

Other Important Precautions 

  • Pregnant Women: Clobetasol falls under category C for pregnancy drugs. This designation indicates two key points: Firstly, animal studies have demonstrated adverse effects on fetal development when pregnant mothers take the drug. Secondly, there is insufficient data from human studies to determine its impact on fetal development conclusively. Therefore, if you’re pregnant or planning to conceive, it’s crucial to discuss it with your doctor. The decision to use this medication should weigh the potential benefits against the possible risks.
  • Breastfeeding Women: Clobetasol has the potential to transfer into breast milk, which could lead to side effects in a breastfed child. If you’re breastfeeding, consulting your doctor is advisable. You may need to decide either to discontinue breastfeeding or cease the medication.
  • Seniors: As individuals age, the functioning of vital organs like the kidneys, liver, and heart may decline. This can result in a slower metabolism of drugs, leading to prolonged drug presence in the body and increased risk of side effects. Your doctor might initiate treatment with a lower dosage or adjust the treatment schedule to prevent excessive drug accumulation in your system.
  • Children: Clobetasol topical cream hasn’t been established as safe and effective for use in children under 12 years old. Similarly, the brand-name version, Impoyz, has yet to be deemed safe and effective for children under 18. Administering this drug to children may impair adrenal gland function, potentially causing Cushing’s syndrome, delayed growth, weight gain, and increased intracranial pressure. Consult their healthcare provider for more information tailored to your child’s situation.

Contraindications 

  • Hypersensitivity: Individuals with known hypersensitivity or allergic reactions to clobetasol or its components should avoid its use.
  • Infections: Clobetasol should not be used on infected skin unless the disease is concurrently treated. It may mask or exacerbate certain diseases, including bacterial, fungal, or viral infections.
  • Open Wounds: Clobetasol should be avoided when applied to open wounds, ulcers, or areas with significant skin damage due to the risk of systemic absorption and potential adverse effects.
  • Acne: Clobetasol is not indicated for treating acne and should not be used for this purpose due to the risk of exacerbating the condition or causing other adverse effects.
  • Rosacea or Perioral Dermatitis: Clobetasol is generally not recommended for use on the face, particularly in individuals with rosacea or perioral dermatitis, as it may worsen these conditions.

Missed Dose

If you remember soon after missing the dose, apply it as quickly as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not apply a double dose to make up for the missed one.

[Note: If you have missed a dose of your medication and are still determining when to take the next one, immediately consult your doctor or pharmacist.]

Overdose 

Excessive use of clobetasol can result in its absorption into the bloodstream, which may lead to serious side effects due to overdose. Symptoms can include adrenal insufficiency, with signs such as low blood pressure, fainting, dizziness, and fatigue. Additionally, an overdose might manifest as Cushing’s syndrome, which is characterized by high blood pressure and elevated blood sugar levels, which may also be detectable in the urine. Accompanying symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome can include an increased frequency of urination, intense thirst, and excessive hunger.

[Note: If you consumed more than the recommended dose, get medical help immediately or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.]

Storage

  • Keep the medicine at room temperature.
  • Do not refrigerate or freeze it.
  • Store it in a closed container, away from the reach of children and pets.
  • If the medicine is expired or no longer needed, properly discard it. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for guidance.

[Note: Discuss with your healthcare professional about the proper disposal of any unused medicine and any questions you may have regarding its storage.]

Clobetasol Cream Interactions

  • Topical Corticosteroids: Concurrent use of other topical corticosteroids may increase the risk of systemic corticosteroid side effects.
  • Calcineurin Inhibitors: Using clobetasol cream with calcineurin inhibitors, such as tacrolimus or pimecrolimus, may increase the risk of skin atrophy or other local side effects.
  • Skin Irritants or Sensitizers: Products containing skin irritants or sensitizers, such as certain cosmetics or soaps, may exacerbate skin irritation when used with clobetasol cream.
  • Medications Affecting Potassium Levels: Clobetasol may increase potassium levels in the body. Concurrent use with medications affecting potassium levels, such as potassium-sparing diuretics or ACE inhibitors, may lead to hyperkalemia (high potassium levels).
  • HIV Protease Inhibitors: Certain HIV protease inhibitors may increase systemic exposure to corticosteroids when used together with clobetasol cream.
  • CYP3A4 Inhibitors: Drugs that inhibit the CYP3A4 enzyme, such as ketoconazole or ritonavir, may increase the systemic absorption of corticosteroids like clobetasol when used concurrently.
  • Oral Corticosteroids: Concurrent use of oral corticosteroids with clobetasol cream may increase the risk of systemic side effects.
  • Immunosuppressants: Clobetasol cream may interact with systemic immunosuppressants, potentially increasing the risk of immunosuppression or other adverse effects.

[Note: This isn’t a complete list, and there could be other drugs that interact with Clobetasol Cream. Make sure to tell your doctor about any prescription, over-the-counter medicines, and herbal products you’re taking.]

Clobetasol Cream Alternatives

  1. Diprosone Cream (betamethasone dipropionate)
  2. Diprosone Lotion (betamethasone dipropionate micronized)
  3. Fluticasone Cream (fluticasone propionate)
  4. Elocon (mometasone furoate)
  5. Kenalog, Aristocort (triamcinolone acetonide)
  6. Cortizone (hydrocortisone)
  7. DesOwen (desonide)
  8. Synalar (fluocinolone acetonide) 
  9. Eumovate Cream (clobetasone butyrate)
  10. Eumovate Ointment (clobetasone butyrate)

[Note: Your doctor will choose what’s best for you. Don’t use any of these alternative medications without consulting your healthcare provider. Taking them by yourself may cause serious side effects.] 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to use Clobetasol with another topical steroid?

You should avoid using clobetasol simultaneously with other topical steroid products without consulting your healthcare provider. Overusing clobetasol or combining it with other steroids can increase the medication’s absorption through the skin. This might lead to complications such as skin thinning, changes in skin color, or severe side effects like fever and joint or muscle pain. If you’re unsure whether your product contains another topical steroid, it’s essential to discuss this with your healthcare provider.

Is it safe to use Clobetasol while breastfeeding?

The safety of using clobetasol during breastfeeding is not well-established due to limited information on whether it passes into breast milk. There is a potential risk of severe side effects for the child, such as stunted growth, if clobetasol is absorbed through breast milk. It is essential to consult your healthcare provider to determine if clobetasol is appropriate for you while breastfeeding. Should you use clobetasol, your provider may recommend applying it to the smallest possible area and for the shortest duration. Additionally, ensure that the treated area does not contact your baby’s skin.

Is it safe to use this medication during pregnancy?

The safety of using clobetasol during pregnancy is not well-documented, as there is limited information about its effects on human pregnancy. However, animal studies suggest that clobetasol can cause serious congenital disabilities when administered during pregnancy. Given that clobetasol is a potent topical steroid, there is a higher risk of it causing harm. It is crucial to discuss the potential benefits and risks with your healthcare provider before using clobetasol if you are pregnant.

How quickly does clobetasol propionate begin to show effects?

Clobetasol propionate typically starts alleviating symptoms within one to three days when used to treat eczema. During this initial period, you may notice a reduction in inflammation and itching. Other symptoms like dryness, crusting, or scaling might take slightly longer to improve, but you should see progress within a week.

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