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a synthetic corticosteroid used topically as the diacetate salt in the treatment of inflammation and pruritus in certain dermatoses.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.
Pregnancy Category: C
ClassificationTherapeutic: anti inflammatories steroidal
Management of inflammation and pruritis associated with various allergic/immunologic skin problems.
Suppresses normal immune response and inflammation.
Suppression of dermatologic inflammation and immune processes.
Absorption: Minimal. Prolonged use on large surface areas, application of large amounts, or use of occlusive dressings may increase systemic absorption.
Distribution: Remains primarily at site of action.
Metabolism and Excretion: Usually metabolized in skin.
Time/action profile (response depends on condition being treated)
Contraindicated in: Hypersensitivity or known intolerance to corticosteroids or components of vehicles (ointment or cream base, preservative, alcohol); Untreated bacterial or viral infections.
Use Cautiously in: Hepatic dysfunction; Diabetes mellitus, cataracts, glaucoma, or tuberculosis (use of large amounts of high-potency agents may worsen condition); Patients with pre-existing skin atrophy; Obstetric / Lactation / Pediatric: Chronic high-dose usage may result in adrenal suppression in mother, growth suppression in children; children may be more susceptible to adrenal and growth suppression.
Adverse Reactions/Side Effects
- allergic contact dermatitis
- hypersensitivity reactions
- perioral dermatitis
- secondary infection
- adrenal suppression (use of occlusive dressings, long-term therapy)
Drug-Drug interactionNone significant.
Topical (Adults) Apply to affected area(s) 1–4 times daily (depends on condition being treated).
Topical (Children) Apply to affected area(s) once daily.
Availability (generic available)
- Assess affected skin before and daily during therapy. Note degree of inflammation and pruritus. Notify health care professional if symptoms of infection (increased pain, erythema, purulent exudate) develop.
- Lab Test Considerations: Periodic adrenal function tests may be ordered to assess degree of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis suppression in chronic topical therapy if suspected. Children and patients with dose applied to a large area, using an occlusive dressing, or using high-potency products are at highest risk for HPA suppression.
- May cause increased serum and urine glucose concentrations if significant absorption occurs.
Potential Nursing DiagnosesRisk for impaired skin integrity (Indications)
Risk for infection (Side Effects)
Deficient knowledge, related to medication regimen (Patient/Family Teaching)
- Choice of vehicle depends on site and type of lesion. Ointments are more occlusive and preferred for dry, scaly lesions. Creams should be used on oozing or intertriginous areas, where the occlusive action of ointments might cause folliculitis or maceration. Creams may be preferred for aesthetic reasons even though they may be more drying to skin than ointments.
- Topical: Apply ointment orcream sparingly as a thin film to clean, slightly moist skin. Wear gloves. Apply occlusive dressing only if specified by physician or other health care professional.
- Instruct patient on correct technique of medication administration. Emphasize importance of avoiding the eyes. If a dose is missed, it should be applied as soon as remembered unless almost time for the next dose.
- Caution patient to use only as directed. Avoid using cosmetics, bandages, dressings, or other skin products over the treated area unless directed by health care professional.
- Advise parents of pediatric patients not to apply tight-fitting diapers or plastic pants on a child treated in the diaper area; these garments work like an occlusive dressing and may cause more of the drug to be absorbed.
- Advise patient to consult health care professional before using medicine for condition other than indicated.
- Instruct patient to inform health care professional if symptoms of underlying disease return or worsen or if symptoms of infection develop.
- Caution women that medication should not be used extensively, in large amounts, or for protracted periods if they are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
- Resolution of skin inflammation, pruritus, or other dermatologic conditions.
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