Generic Name: fluocinonide topical (floo oh SIN oh nide)
Brand Name: Fluocinonide-E, Lidex, Lidex-E, Vanos

What is Lidex (fluocinonide topical)?

Fluocinonide is a topical (for the skin) steroid. It reduces the actions of chemicals in the body that cause inflammation, redness, and swelling.

Fluocinonide topical is used to treat the inflammation and itching caused by a number of skin conditions such as allergic reactions, eczema, and psoriasis.

Fluocinonide topical may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Lidex (fluocinonide topical)?

Use this medication exactly as directed on the label, or as it has been prescribed by your doctor. Do not use the medication in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Topical steroid medicine can be absorbed through the skin, which may cause steroid side effects throughout the body.

Do not cover treated skin areas with a bandage or other covering unless your doctor has told you to. Plastic film covering (such as plastic wrap) is sometimes used when treating psoriasis. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Slideshow: Psoriasis: Treatment Options to Manage Your Symptoms

If you are treating the diaper area of a baby, do not use plastic pants or tight-fitting diapers. Covering the skin that is treated with fluocinonide topical can increase the amount of medicine your skin absorbs, which may lead to unwanted side effects.

Do not use this medication on a child without a doctor's advice. Children are more likely to absorb large amounts of a topical steroid through the skin. Steroid absorption in children may cause unwanted side effects, or a delay in growth with long-term use. Talk with your doctor if you think your child is not growing at a normal rate while using this medication over a long treatment period.

Contact your doctor if your condition does not improve after 2 weeks of using this medicine, or if you develop signs of a bacterial, fungal, or viral skin infection.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using Lidex (fluocinonide topical)?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to fluocinonide.

Before using fluocinonide topical, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have any type of skin infection.

Also tell your doctor if you have diabetes. Topical steroid medicines absorbed through the skin may increase the glucose (sugar) levels in your blood or urine.

FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether fluocinonide topical passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not use this medication on a child without a doctor's advice. Children are more likely to absorb large amounts of a topical steroid through the skin. Steroid absorption in children may cause unwanted side effects, or a delay in growth with long-term use. Talk with your doctor if you think your child is not growing at a normal rate while using this medication over a long treatment period.

How should I use Lidex (fluocinonide topical)?

Use this medication exactly as directed on the label, or as it has been prescribed by your doctor. Do not use the medication in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Topical steroid medicine can be absorbed through the skin, which may cause steroid side effects throughout the body.

Wash your hands before and after using fluocinonide topical, unless you are using the medication to treat the skin on your hands.

Apply a small amount to the affected area and rub it gently into the skin. Do not use this medication over a large area of skin.

If you are treating your scalp, part the hair and apply the medicine directly to the scalp, rubbing in gently. Avoid washing or rubbing the treated scalp area right away. Wait until the medicine has dried thoroughly.

Do not cover treated skin areas with a bandage or other covering unless your doctor has told you to. If you are treating the diaper area of a baby, do not use plastic pants or tight-fitting diapers. Covering the skin that is treated with fluocinonide topical can increase the amount of medicine your skin absorbs, which may lead to unwanted side effects. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Contact your doctor if your condition does not improve after 2 weeks of using this medicine, or if you develop signs of a bacterial, fungal, or viral skin infection. It is important to use fluocinonide topical regularly to get the most benefit.

To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects with long-term use, you may need blood tests. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

If you need to have any type of surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using fluocinonide topical.

Store fluocinonide topical at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep from freezing.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the medication as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and use the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

An overdose of fluocinonide is not expected to produce life-threatening symptoms. However, long-term use of high steroid doses can lead to symptoms such as thinning skin, easy bruising, changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your face, neck, back, and waist), increased acne or facial hair, menstrual problems, impotence, or loss of interest in sex.

What should I avoid while using Lidex (fluocinonide topical)?

Fluocinonide topical should not be used to treat any skin condition your doctor has not prescribed it for.

Avoid getting this medication in your eyes. If contact does occur, rinse with water. Do not use fluocinonide topical on broken or infected skin. Also avoid using this medication in open wounds.

Lidex (fluocinonide topical) side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have severe irritation of any treated skin, or if you show signs of absorbing fluocinolone topical through your skin, such as:

  • blurred vision, or seeing halos around lights;

  • mood changes;

  • sleep problems (insomnia);

  • weight gain, puffiness in your face; or

  • muscle weakness, feeling tired.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild skin itching, burning, peeling, or dryness;

  • headache;

  • stuffy nose, sore throat;

  • thinning or softening of your skin;

  • skin rash or irritation around your mouth;

  • swollen hair follicles;

  • changes in color of treated skin;

  • blisters, pimples, or crusting of treated skin; or

  • stretch marks.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Lidex (fluocinonide topical)?

It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on topically applied fluocinonide topical. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about fluocinonide topical.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 6.03. Revision Date: 2010-12-15, 5:01:39 PM.

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