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Clobetasol, Topical Cream

Highlights for clobetasol

  1. Clobetasol topical cream is only available as a generic drug.
  2. Clobetasol also comes as a lotion, shampoo, spray, foam, ointment, and gel you apply to your skin.
  3. Clobetasol cream is used to treat inflammation and itching from various skin conditions. It’s also used to treat plaque psoriasis.
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Important warnings

Important warnings

  • Warning for effects on your adrenal glands: This drug may cause your adrenal glands to stop working. This can lead to adrenal insufficiency. Symptoms can include dizziness, fainting, low blood pressure, and fatigue. This effect can happen during your treatment or after you stop treatment with this drug. Your risk may be higher if you:
    • apply this drug to a large area of your skin
    • use the drug for a long time
    • use the drug on broken skin
    • cover your skin after applying the drug
    • take other steroids
    • have severe liver problems
    Your doctor may do tests to check if your adrenal glands are working well. If they’re not, your doctor may change how often you use this drug or stop your treatment with it.
  • Cushing's syndrome warning: Absorbing this drug through your skin can cause Cushing’s syndrome. This is an issue related to low hormone levels. Symptoms can include high blood sugar and high blood pressure.
  • Skin reactions warning: This drug may cause skin reactions. These include acne, inflammation of your hair follicles, color changes, rashes, infections, allergic reactions, and other problems. Skin reactions are more likely to occur if you cover your skin with a dressing after you apply the drug. You should not apply this drug to your face.
  • Skin infections warning: If you develop a skin infection while using this drug, your doctor may give you a medication to treat the infection. If your infection doesn’t get better, your doctor may have you stop using clobetasol.

About

What is clobetasol?

Clobetasol topical cream is a prescription drug that is only available as a generic drug. It’s also available as a topical lotion, shampoo, topical spray, topical solution, topical foam, topical cream, topical ointment, and topical gel.

Why it's used

This drug is used to treat inflammation and itching from various skin conditions. The emollient cream is also used to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.

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

How it works

Clobetasol 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.

Clobetasol works by decreasing your body's response to inflammation. It also reduces the activity of your immune system. This prevents inflammation and itching and treats your skin condition.

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Side effects

Clobetasol side effects

Clobetasol topical cream doesn’t cause drowsiness. However, it does cause other side effects.

More common side effects

The most common side effects of clobetasol include:

  • burning, irritation, and itching of the skin where you applied the drug

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:

  • Adrenal insufficiency. Symptoms can include:
    • low blood pressure
    • fainting
    • dizziness
    • tiredness
  • Cushing’s syndrome. Symptoms can include:
    • high blood sugar or blood sugar in your urine, with symptoms such as:
      • urinating more often than normal
      • intense thirst
      • intense hunger
    • high blood pressure

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.

Interactions

Clobetasol may interact with other medications

Clobetasol topical cream 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.

Examples of drugs that can cause interactions with clobetasol are listed below:

Corticosteroids

Do not take these drugs with clobetasol. Doing so can cause dangerous effects in your body. An example of these drugs includes:

  • prednisone

Taking clobetasol topical cream with other corticosteroids may cause the steroids in your body to build up to dangerous levels. This can cause Cushing’s syndrome and high blood sugar. It may also stop your adrenal glands from working well.

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.

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Other warnings

Clobetasol warnings

Clobetasol topical cream comes with several warnings. This drug may transfer to other people if they contact your treated skin. Wash your hands well with soap and water after you apply it.

Allergy warning

Clobetasol may cause allergic skin reactions that are difficult to heal. Your doctor may do a skin patch test to check if you have an allergic skin reaction. Symptoms of a skin reaction can include:

  • skin irritation that doesn’t heal

This drug may also cause severe allergic reactions. Symptoms can include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue

If you have an allergic reaction, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

Warnings for people with certain health conditions

For people with liver problems: This drug is processed by your liver. If you have severe liver problems, your body may not be able to break down this drug as well. This could cause the drug to build up in your body. This may increase your risk of side effects.

Warnings for other groups

For pregnant women: Clobetasol 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 plan to become pregnant. This drug should only be used if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

For women who are breastfeeding: Clobetasol may pass into breast milk and cause side effects in a child who is breastfed. Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.

For seniors: The kidneys, liver, and heart of an older adult may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects. Your doctor may start you on a lowered dosage or a different treatment schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

For children: The topical emollient cream has not been confirmed as safe and effective for use in people younger than 16 years. The topical cream has not been confirmed as safe and effective for use in people younger than 12 years.

This drug may cause children’s adrenal glands to work more slowly. It may cause children to develop Cushing’s syndrome, grow more slowly, and gain weight. This drug can also increase brain pressure in children.

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Dosage

How to take clobetasol

This dosage information is for clobetasol 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

Forms and strengths

Generic: clobetasol

  • Form: Topical cream
  • Strengths: 0.05%
  • Form: Topical cream (emollient)
  • Strengths: 0.05%

Dosage for inflammation and itching from skin conditions

Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

Apply this drug to the affected areas of your skin twice per day. Rub it in carefully.

Child dosage topical cream only (ages 12–17 years)

Apply this drug to the affected areas of your child’s skin twice per day. Rub it in carefully.

Child dosage topical cream only (ages 0–11 years)

It hasn’t been confirmed that this drug is safe and effective for use in people younger than 12 years.

Child dosage emollient cream only (ages 16–17 years)

Apply this drug to the affected areas of your child’s skin twice per day. Rub it in carefully.

Child dosage emollient cream only (ages 0–15 years)

It hasn’t been confirmed that this drug safe and effective in people younger than 16 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys, liver, and heart of an older adult may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects. Your doctor may start you on a lowered dosage or a different treatment schedule.

Dosage for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis

Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

Apply this drug to the affected areas of your skin twice per day. Rub it in carefully.

Child dosage topical cream only (ages 12–17 years)

Apply this drug to the affected areas of your child’s skin twice per day. Rub it in carefully.

Child dosage topical cream only (ages 0–11 years)

It hasn’t been confirmed that this drug is safe and effective for use in people younger than 12 years.

Child dosage emollient cream only (ages 16–17 years)

Apply this drug to the affected areas of your child’s skin twice per day. Rub it in carefully.

Child dosage emollient cream only (ages 0–15 years)

It hasn’t been confirmed that this drug safe and effective in people younger than 16 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys, liver, and heart of an older adult may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects. Your doctor may start you on a lowered dosage or a different treatment schedule.

Dosage warnings

  • Don’t use more than 50 g of this drug per week.
  • Don’t use this drug for longer than 2 weeks to treat swelling and itching from skin conditions.
  • Don’t use this drug for longer than 4 weeks to treat plaque psoriasis.

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.

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Take as directed

Take as directed

Clobetasol topical cream is used for short-term treatment. It comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug suddenly or don’t take it at all: Your skin problems may not improve.

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule: Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely.

If you take too much: Clobetasol could reach your blood, which can cause problems. Symptoms of an overdose of this drug can include:

  • Adrenal insufficiency. Symptoms can include:
    • low blood pressure
    • fainting
    • dizziness
    • fatigue
  • Cushing’s syndrome. Symptoms can include:
    • high blood pressure
    • high blood sugar or blood sugar in your urine, with symptoms such as:
      • urinating more often than normal
      • intense thirst
      • intense hunger

If you think you’ve used too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

What to do if you miss a dose: Apply this medication as soon as you remember. If you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, apply it only once.

How to tell if the drug is working: The symptoms of your skin condition should get better.

Important considerations

Important considerations for taking clobetasol

Keep these considerations in mind if your doctor prescribes clobetasol topical cream.

General

  • Apply this drug at the times recommended by your doctor.
  • Not every pharmacy stocks this drug. When filling your prescription, be sure to call ahead.

Storage

  • Store this drug at room temperature. Keep it between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C).
  • Don’t freeze this medication.
  • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

Refills

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

Your doctor will tell your how to use this drug. Only use this drug on your skin. Don’t apply it to your face, armpits, or groin areas. Don’t cover the treated areas with a dressing unless your doctor tells you to do so.

Clinical monitoring

Your doctor may do tests to check how your adrenal glands are working. If your adrenal glands aren’t working well, your doctor may change how often you use this drug. They may also stop your treatment with this drug.

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Alternatives

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.

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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