Highlights for desoximetasone

  1. Desoximetasone cream is available as a brand-name drug and a generic drug. Brand name: Topicort.
  2. Desoximetasone comes in four forms: cream, ointment, gel, and spray.
  3. Desoximetasone cream is used to treat dermatoses. These are skin conditions that can cause redness, swelling, itching, and discomfort.
  • Abnormal steroid hormone levels warning: Use of desoximetasone can increase the level of steroid hormones in your body and cause high blood sugar levels. This could 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 warning: Use of desoximetasone may increase your risk of skin infections.

Desoximetasone is a prescription drug. It’s a topical drug, which means you apply it to your skin. It comes as a cream, gel, ointment, and spray.

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

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

Why it’s used

Desoximetasone cream is used to treat redness, swelling, itching, and discomfort from skin conditions called dermatoses.

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.

Desoximetasone topical cream doesn’t cause drowsiness, but it can cause other side effects.

More common side effects

Some of the more common side effects that can occur with use of desoximetasone include these effects, which occur close to the areas where you apply this drug:

  • 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 911 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

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.

Desoximetasone 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 desoximetasone are listed below.

Other corticosteroids

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

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.

This drug comes with several warnings.

Allergy warning

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.

If you develop these symptoms, 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 skin infections: Use of this drug lowers your immunity and may put you at increased risk of skin infections.

Warnings for other groups

For 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.

For women who are breastfeeding: 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 breastfeeding.

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.

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

Drug form and strengths

Generic: Desoximetasone

  • Form: topical cream
  • Strengths: 0.05%, 0.25%

Brand: Topicort

  • Form: topical cream
  • Strengths: 0.05%, 0.25%

Dosage for dermatoses

Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)

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

Child dosage (ages 0 to 17 years)

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

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 speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.

Desoximetasone 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 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, use 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 dermatoses, you should see a reduction in itching, redness, dryness, crusting, scaling, and discomfort of various skin conditions that don’t involve inflammation.

Keep these considerations in mind if your doctor prescribes desoximetasone for you.


  • Store desoximetasone at room temperature between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C). When travelling, store it at a temperature between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C). Keep it away from high temperatures.
  • 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.


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 harm your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled container 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.


Not every pharmacy stocks this drug. When filling your prescription, be sure to call ahead to make sure your pharmacy carries it.

Prior authorization

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.

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.