Clocortolone | Side Effects, Dosage, Uses & More
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Generic Name:

clocortolone, Topical cream

All Brands

  • Cloderm
SECTION 1 of 4

Highlights for clocortolone

Topical cream
1

Clocortolone is a topical steroid that is used to relieve itching, redness, and swelling of your skin from dermatosis.

2

This drug comes as a cream that you put on your skin. Do not use it in your eyes, mouth, or vagina.

3

This drug is available as the brand-name drug Cloderm. It is also available as a generic drug.

4

The more common side effects of this drug include burning, itching, irritation, and dryness. 

5

In some cases, this drug can cause hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis suppression. This can happen if too much of the drug gets into your body through your skin. HPA axis suppression can cause high blood sugar levels and a certain low hormone problem called Cushing’s syndrome. 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Excess drug absorption

If too much of this drug is absorbed into your blood stream through your skin, it can cause conditions that change your hormone levels. This can disrupt the normal function of certain parts of your body. These conditions include hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis suppression, which can cause high blood sugar levels, and Cushing’s syndrome.

These conditions are more likely to occur if you:

  • use this drug on a large portion of your body
  • use it for a long time
  • cover the application area with bandages or dressings

These conditions go away when you stop using the drug. If any of these conditions occur, your doctor may have you stop this drug or use it less. Your doctor may also switch you to a drug that is less likely to cause this problem.

What is clocortolone?

Clocortolone is a prescription drug. It comes in a cream that you apply to your skin.

It’s available as the brand-name drug Cloderm. It is also available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name version. 

This drug may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to use it with other medications.

Why it's used

This drug is used to treat skin irritation such as redness or itching from dermatosis.

How it works

This drug belongs to a class of drugs called steroids.

More Details

How it works

This drug belongs to a class of drugs called steroids. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

It is unknown exactly how this drug works. This drug blocks chemicals in your skin that cause inflammation (swelling). It is thought that this drug may also narrow the blood vessels in your skin and decrease your body’s inflammatory response. This relieves itching, redness, and swelling.

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SECTION 2 of 4

clocortolone Side Effects

Topical cream

More Common Side Effects

The more common side effects of clocortolone can include:

  • burning

  • itching

  • irritation

  • dryness

  • inflamed hair follicles

  • excessive hair growth

  • acne-like rash

  • loss of skin color

  • rash around your mouth

  • thinning or breakdown of your skin

  • infection

  • stretch marks

  • heat rash

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 9-1-1 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis suppression. Symptoms can include:

    • high blood sugar levels
    • thin skin with easy bruising
    • round, red, full face
    • weak muscles
    • fatigue

Children are more likely to experience side effects from this drug than adults are. Additionally, long-term use of topical steroids in children may interfere with their growth and development.

Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

This drug doesn’t cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 4

clocortolone May Interact with Other Medications

Topical cream

An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well. To help prevent interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking.

To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Drug warnings
Pregnant women
Pregnant women

This drug is a category C pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother uses the drug.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. This drug should only be used if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

breastfeeding
Women who are breast-feeding

It is not known if using this drug can result in this drug passing into breast milk.

Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop using this medication.

for children
For children

Children are more likely to experience side effects from this drug than adults are.

Long-term use of topical steroids in children may interfere with their growth and development.

contact with drug
Contact with drug

This drug can be transferred to other people if they touch your treated skin. Talk to your doctor about what you should do to prevent this from happening.

call doctor
When to call the doctor

Call your doctor if your skin irritation does not get better while using this drug.

allergies
Allergies

This drug can cause a severe allergic reaction.  

If you have an allergic reaction, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room.

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How to Take clocortolone (Dosage)

Topical cream

All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you use the drug will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Skin irritation from dermatosis

Generic: clocortolone

Form: Topical cream
Strengths: 0.1%
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

Apply a thin layer to the affected area three times per day.

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)
  • Apply a thin layer to the affected area three times per day. Rub the cream in gently. 
  • When using on the diaper area, do not use tight-fitting diapers or plastic pants on your child. They can cause more of the drug to get into your child’s bloodstream. This may cause more side effects.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

If you stop using the drug suddenly or don’t use it at all

Your symptoms may not improve and your skin may continue to be itchy, red, and swollen.

If you miss doses or don’t use the drug on schedule

Your symptoms may not improve if you don’t use this drug.

If you use too much

You could have more side effects or a dangerous amount of the drug could get into your body through your skin. If you think you’ve used too much of this drug, call your doctor. 

What to do if you miss a dose

Apply your medication as soon as you remember. Do not use more of the drug or apply it more than three times per day to make up for the application you missed.

How to tell if the drug is working

You should have decreased itching, swelling, and redness of your skin.

This drug is used for short-term treatment.

Important considerations for taking this drug
storage
Store this drug carefully
refillable
A prescription for this medication is refillable
See Details
travel
Travel
See Details
self-management
Self-management
See Details
clinical monitoring
Clinical monitoring
See Details
not usually stocked
Not every pharmacy stocks this drug. When filling your prescription, be sure to call ahead.
prior authorization
Insurance
See Details

Store this drug carefully

  • Store this drug at room temperature between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C). Avoid freezing.

A prescription for this medication is refillable

You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Self-management

If you have psoriasis or other skin conditions, your doctor may tell you to apply a dressing or bandage over the medicated area. Only use dressings or bandages recommended by your doctor.

Clinical monitoring

Your doctor may monitor you for hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis suppression. Monitoring will help make sure you do not develop symptoms of HPA axis suppression or Cushing’s syndrome. This monitoring may be done through urine tests and blood tests.

Insurance

Many insurance companies require a prior authorization for this drug. This means your doctor will need to get approval from your insurance company before your insurance company will pay for the prescription.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.


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Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on January 22, 2016

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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