Desoximetasone | Side Effects, Dosage, Uses & More

Generic Name:

desoximetasone, Topical cream

All Brands

  • Topicort LP (Discontinued)
  • Topicort
A discontinued drug is a drug that has been taken off the market due to safety issues, shortage of raw materials, or low market demand.
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for desoximetasone

Topical cream
1

Desoximetasone is used to treat dermatosis and plaque psoriasis. These are skin conditions that can cause redness, swelling, itching, and discomfort.

2

Desoximetasone is available as a cream, ointment, gel, and spray (the spray is only used for plaque psoriasis).

3

This drug is available as the following brand-name drug Topicort. The cream, gel, and ointment are also available as generic drugs.

4

The more common side effects for desoximetasone include skin problems, such as burning, itching, irritation, redness or dryness of skin, swelling, redness or pus-filled blisters on the skin at the base of a hair, tiny red bumps around your mouth, unwanted hair growth and pimples. These side effects occur close to the areas where you apply the drug.

5

Use of desoximetasone can increase the level of steroid hormones in your body and cause high blood sugar levels. This could possibly lead to diabetes. Your risk of a condition called hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal suppression increases when you stop taking the drug. This condition decreases your steroid hormone level.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Abnormal steroid hormone levels

Use of desoximetasone can increase the level of steroid hormones in your body and cause high blood sugar levels. This could possibly lead to diabetes. Your risk of a condition called hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal suppression increases when you stop taking the drug. This condition decreases your steroid hormone level. Your risk of these conditions is increased if you use this drug on large areas of your body or for a long time. It’s also increased if you use a wrap or bandage over the medicated area.

Skin infections

Use of desoximetasone may increase your risk of skin infections.

Drug features

Desoximetasone is a prescription drug. It’s a topical drug, which means that you apply it to your skin. It comes as a spray, cream, gel, and ointment. Only the cream, gel, and ointment are available as generic drugs. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name version. The spray is only available as a brand-named drug.

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

Why it’s used

Desoximetasone is used to treat redness, swelling, itching, and discomfort from skin conditions called dermatosis and plaque psoriasis.

How it works

Desoximetasone belongs to a class of drugs called topical corticosteroids. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way.

More Details

How it works

Desoximetasone belongs to a class of drugs called topical corticosteroids. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions. Desoximetasone works by activating natural substances in your skin to reduce swelling, redness, and itching.

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SECTION 2 of 5

desoximetasone Side Effects

Topical cream

More common side effects

Some of the more common side effects that can occur with use of desoximetasone include:

  • Burning, itching, irritation, redness, or dryness of your skin

  • Swelling, redness, or pus-filled blisters on your skin at the base of hairs

  • Tiny red bumps around your mouth

  • Unwanted hair growth

  • Pimples

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:

  • Severe rash

  • Skin infection. Symptoms can include:

    • redness
    • swelling
    • oozing pus
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team
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 5

desoximetasone May Interact with Other Medications

Topical cream

Desoximetasone can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. 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 avoid 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.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Other corticosteroids

Use of other corticosteroids with dexoximetasone can increase the level of corticosteroids in your blood and increase your risk of side effects. Other corticosteroids include:

  • hydrocortisone
  • prednisone
  • dexamethasone

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.

People with skin infections

Use of this drug lowers your immunity and may put you at increased risk of skin infections.

Pregnant women

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

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes 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 be used only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Women who are breast-feeding

It’s not known if topical use of desoximetasone can cause this drug to pass into breast milk. This medication should be used with caution if you’re breast-feeding. If desoximetasone spray is used while you’re breast-feeding, you shouldn’t apply it to your chest. This will help prevent your infant from accidentally swallowing the drug when breast-feeding.

For children

Children are at an increased risk of experiencing side effects associated with this drug.

Use of this drug to treat plaque psoriasis hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used to treat plaque psoriasis in people younger than 18 years.

Contact with drug

If you use desoximetasone spray while you’re breast-feeding, you shouldn’t apply the drug to your chest to help prevent your infant accidentally swallowing the drug when breast-feeding.

When to call the doctor

Call your doctor if your skin doesn’t get better after use of this drug. This could be a sign of an allergic reaction called contact dermatitis.

Allergies

This drug can cause an allergic reaction. If your condition fails to heal after you use this drug, you may be having an allergic reaction to the drug called contact dermatitis. Call your doctor if your skin condition doesn’t get better after you use this drug.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it.

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How to Take desoximetasone (Dosage)

Topical cream

All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take 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?

Dermatosis

Brand: Topicort

Form: Topical cream
Strength: 0.05%, 0.25%
Form: Topical spray
Strength: 0.25%
Form: Topical ointment
Strength: 0.05%, 0.25%
Form: Topical gel
Strength: 0.05%

Generic: desoximetasone

Form: Topical cream
Strength: 0.05%, 0.25%
Form: Topical gel
Strength: 0.05%
Form: Topical ointment
Strength: 0.05%, 0.25%
Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)

Ointment, cream, or gel

Apply a thin film of the drug to the affected areas and gently rub it in. Apply it twice per day.

Spray

The spray form of this drug isn’t used to treat dermatosis.

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

Ointment, cream, or gel

  • There are no specific dosing recommendations for the use of desoximetasone cream, ointment, or gel in people younger than 18 years.
  • Desoximetasone cream, ointment, or gel should be used with caution as people younger than 18 may be at an increased risk of experiencing side effects associated with topical corticosteroid use.

Spray

The spray form of this drug isn’t used to treat dermatosis.

Warnings

Desoximetasone spray shouldn’t be used longer than 4 weeks.

Plaque psoriasis

Brand: Topicort

Form: Topical cream
Strength: 0.05%, 0.25%
Form: Topical spray
Strength: 0.25%
Form: Topical ointment
Strength: 0.05%, 0.25%
Form: Topical gel
Strength: 0.05%

Generic: desoximetasone

Form: Topical cream
Strength: 0.05%, 0.25%
Form: Topical gel
Strength: 0.05%
Form: Topical ointment
Strength: 0.05%, 0.25%
Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)

Spray

  • Apply a thin film of the drug to the affected areas and gently rub it in. Apply it twice per day.
  • It’s not recommended to use this medication for longer than 4 weeks.
  • Don’t cover the treated areas unless directed by your doctor.

Ointment, cream, and gel

The ointment, cream, and gel forms of this drug aren’t used to treat plaque psoriasis.

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

Ointment, cream, gel, or spray

The use of this medication to treat plaque psoriasis hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used in people younger than 18 years.

Warnings

Desoximetasone spray shouldn’t be used longer than 4 weeks.

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
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Desoximetasone comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug or don’t take it at all

You may see a worsening of your symptoms or no improvement at all.

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

Your medication may not work as well.

If you take too much

You may have an increased risk of side effects.

What to do if you miss a dose

Apply your dose as soon as you remember. But if you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, take only one dose. Don’t try to catch up by applying two doses at once.

How to tell if the drug is working

If you’re using the drug to treat dermatosis, you should see a reduction in itching, redness, dryness, crusting, scaling, and discomfort of various skin conditions that don’t involve inflammation.

If you’re using the drug to treat plaque psoriasis, you should see a reduction in the patches and scales, in addition to a reduction in the itching and pain associated with these patches and scales.

This drug is used for short-term treatment.

Important considerations for taking desoximetasone

Store this drug carefully

  • Store desoximetasone at room temperature between 68ºF and 77°F (20ºC and 25°C). When travelling, store it between 59ºF and 86°F (15ºC and 30°C). Keep it away from high temperatures.
  • Spray is flammable. Avoid heat, flame or smoking when using this product.
  • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

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.

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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How Much Does desoximetasone Cost?

Topical cream

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Lowest price for desoximetasone

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Target (CVS) $123.13
Walmart $124.98
These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for desoximetasone on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for desoximetasone on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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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 December 1, 2015

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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