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Medications for Atopic Dermatitis

Other names: Allergic Dermatitis; Contact Dermatitis; Dermatitis, Allergic; Dermatitis, Contact

What is Atopic Dermatitis?

Atopic dermatitis is a skin condition characterized by a recurring rash associated with itch. Most people with atopic dermatitis have at least one of the following other conditions: hay fever, asthma, chronic urticaria, or food allergies.

Dermatitis is another name for skin inflammation and the word “eczema” may be used interchangeably with dermatitis; therefore, atopic dermatitis is the same as atopic eczema.

Atopic dermatitis is common among certain families and it usually starts in early childhood, although it can occur at any age. It is the most common form of eczema seen in children. The exact cause of atopic dermatitis is not known, but researchers believe it may involve genetics, a defect in the skin’s barrier, the environment, and/or the immune system.

What are the Symptoms of Atopic Dermatitis?

  • Red, inflamed areas of skin that are very itchy.
  • Atopic dermatitis may affect the face (especially in infants), hands, feet or in the creases and folds of the skin on the arms and legs.
  • Affected areas may take on a scaly appearance.
  • General dry skin all over the body is also common.
  • Constant scratching may lead to thickened areas of skin or broken areas of skin which are prone to infection and may become crusted and “weepy”.

Symptoms of atopic dermatitis usually come and go. Periods of activity are called “flares” and these are usually followed by periods of relative skin normality.

If atopic dermatitis developed in childhood, it often improves with age, although some people may experience flares now and then in adulthood.

How is Atopic Dermatitis Treated?

Having a good skincare routine every day helps in the management of atopic dermatitis.

Skin should be cleansed with a mild, soap-free cleanser that is recommended for people prone to dermatitis. Using a cleanser that is too harsh can aggravate dermatitis. Cleansing should be followed by a hypoallergenic moisturizer – again choose one recommended for atopic dermatitis.

Try to pinpoint any atopic dermatitis triggers. These are events or substances that make your dermatitis worse and may include chemical irritants, stress, hot/cold temperatures, sweating, pollen, animal dander, dust, or hormones. Try and minimize exposure to these if possible.

Use your OTC and prescription medications exactly as your doctor has prescribed. These are important to help control flares or keep them at bay.

Dress in soft breathable fabrics and avoid itchy fabrics like wool.

Drugs Used to Treat Atopic Dermatitis

The following list of medications are in some way related to, or used in the treatment of this condition.

Drug name Rx / OTC Pregnancy CSA Alcohol Reviews Rating Popularity
triamcinolone C N 16 reviews
8.9

Generic name: triamcinolone topical

Brand names:  Kenalog, Triderm, Cinolar, Trianex, Aristocort A, Aristocort R, DermacinRx Trizapak, Juulissa Pharmapak …show all

Drug class: topical steroids

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

clobetasol C N 15 reviews
9.8

Generic name: clobetasol topical

Brand names:  Clobex, Temovate, Dermovate, Clobevate, Olux-E, Clodan, Cormax, Cormax Scalp, Embeline, Embeline E, Olux, Tovet …show all

Drug class: topical steroids

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Protopic C N 45 reviews
7.4

Generic name: tacrolimus topical

Drug class: miscellaneous topical agents

For consumers: dosage, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

betamethasone C N 8 reviews
7.6

Generic name: betamethasone topical

Brand names:  Diprolene, Betnovate, Luxiq, Beta-Val, Diprolene AF …show all

Drug class: topical steroids

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

fluocinonide C N 5 reviews
7.7

Generic name: fluocinonide topical

Brand names:  Fluocinonide-E, Vanos

Drug class: topical steroids

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, Prescribing Information

Elidel C N 13 reviews
6.7

Generic name: pimecrolimus topical

Drug class: miscellaneous topical agents

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

hydrocortisone C N 3 reviews
5.0

Generic name: hydrocortisone topical

Brand names:  Cortizone-10, Locoid Lipocream, Ala-Cort, Ala-Scalp, Ala-Scalp HP, Aquanil HC, Beta HC, Bioelements Immediate Comfort, Caldecort, Cetacort, Cortaid, Corticaine, Cortizone-5, Cotacort, Dermarest Plus Anti-Itch, Dermasorb HC, Dermtex HC, Gly-Cort, Hytone, Instacort, Itch-X Lotion, Locoid, MiCort-HC, NuCort, Pandel, Sarnol-HC, Texacort, U-Cort …show all

Drug class: topical steroids

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

prednisone C N 2 reviews
4.0

Generic name: prednisone systemic

Drug class: glucocorticoids

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

tacrolimus C N 76 reviews
6.6

Generic name: tacrolimus topical

Brand name:  Protopic

Drug class: miscellaneous topical agents

For consumers: dosage,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

fluocinolone C N 1 review
10

Generic name: fluocinolone topical

Brand names:  Synalar, Capex, Derma-Smoothe / FS, Derma-Smoothe / FS (Scalp), Synalar Ointment …show all

Drug class: topical steroids

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

desonide C N 3 reviews
10

Generic name: desonide topical

Brand names:  Verdeso, Desonate, DesOwen, LoKara …show all

Drug class: topical steroids

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

mometasone C N 6 reviews
8.3

Generic name: mometasone topical

Brand name:  Elocon

Drug class: topical steroids

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Clobex C N 3 reviews
9.5

Generic name: clobetasol topical

Drug class: topical steroids

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

MethylPREDNISolone Dose Pack C N Add review
0.0

Generic name: methylprednisolone systemic

Drug class: glucocorticoids

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

Eucrisa N 239 reviews
5.6

Generic name: crisaborole topical

Drug class: miscellaneous topical agents

For consumers: dosage, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

fluticasone C N 4 reviews
9.0

Generic name: fluticasone topical

Brand names:  Cutivate, Beser

Drug class: topical steroids

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, Prescribing Information

desoximetasone C N 3 reviews
10

Generic name: desoximetasone topical

Brand name:  Topicort

Drug class: topical steroids

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Elocon C N 4 reviews
9.8

Generic name: mometasone topical

Drug class: topical steroids

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Kenalog C N 4 reviews
9.3

Generic name: triamcinolone topical

Drug class: topical steroids

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

methylprednisolone C N 6 reviews
7.8

Generic name: methylprednisolone systemic

Brand names:  MethylPREDNISolone Dose Pack, Medrol Dosepak

Drug class: glucocorticoids

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Medrol Dosepak C N 1 review
10

Generic name: methylprednisolone systemic

Drug class: glucocorticoids

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

Topicort C N 1 review
10

Generic name: desoximetasone topical

Drug class: topical steroids

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

azathioprine D N 1 review
7.0

Generic name: azathioprine systemic

Brand names:  Imuran, Azasan

Drug class: antirheumatics, other immunosuppressants

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Cutivate C N 2 reviews
9.0

Generic name: fluticasone topical

Drug class: topical steroids

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

dexamethasone C N 2 reviews
9.0

Generic name: dexamethasone systemic

Brand names:  Dexamethasone Intensol, De-Sone LA, Dexpak Taperpak, Dxevo, HiDex …show all

Drug class: glucocorticoids

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Alternative treatments for Atopic Dermatitis

The following products are considered to be alternative treatments or natural remedies for Atopic Dermatitis. Their efficacy may not have been scientifically tested to the same degree as the drugs listed in the table above. However there may be historical, cultural or anecdotal evidence linking their use to the treatment of Atopic Dermatitis.

Learn more about Atopic Dermatitis

Symptoms and treatments

Drugs.com Health Center

Mayo Clinic Reference

ICD-10 CM Clinical Codes (External)

Legend

Rx Prescription Only
OTC Over the Counter
Rx/OTC Prescription or Over the Counter
Off Label This medication may not be approved by the FDA for the treatment of this condition.
Pregnancy Category
A Adequate and well-controlled studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy (and there is no evidence of risk in later trimesters).
B Animal reproduction studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.
C Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.
D There is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.
X Studies in animals or humans have demonstrated fetal abnormalities and/or there is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience, and the risks involved in use in pregnant women clearly outweigh potential benefits.
N FDA has not classified the drug.
Controlled Substances Act (CSA) Schedule
N Is not subject to the Controlled Substances Act.
1 Has a high potential for abuse. Has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. There is a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.
2 Has a high potential for abuse. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions. Abuse may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
3 Has a potential for abuse less than those in schedules 1 and 2. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.
4 Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 3. It has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 3.
5 Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 4. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 4.
Alcohol
X Interacts with Alcohol.

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