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Fluocinonide Cream and other topical products

Generic Name: fluocinonide topical (FLOO oh SIN oh nide)
Brand Names: Fluocinonide-E, Fluovix, Vanos, Lidex, Licon, Lidex-E, Dermacin, Fluex

Medically reviewed by Philip Thornton, DipPharm. Last updated on Sep 23, 2020.

What is fluocinonide?

Fluocinonide is a potent corticosteroid that prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation.

Fluocinonide topical (for the skin) is used to treat inflammation and itching caused by plaque psoriasis and skin conditions that respond to steroid medication.

Fluocinonide topical is available in a cream, gel, ointment, and solution.

Important Information

Fluocinonide may affect growth in children and teens in some cases. They may need regular growth checks. Talk with your doctor.

Use care when using fluocinonide topical on a large part of the skin or where there are open wounds.

Do not use fluocinonide on cuts, scrapes, damaged skin, or on open wounds.

Do not use tight-fitting diapers or plastic pants if treated part is in the diaper area. This may cause more of the medicine to ne absorbed into the body.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use fluocinonide topical if you are allergic to it.

To make sure fluocinonide is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Steroid medicines can increase the glucose (sugar) levels in your blood or urine. Tell your doctor if you have diabetes.

It is not known whether fluocinonide topical will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It may not be safe to breastfeed while using fluocinonide. Ask your doctor about any risk. If you apply fluocinonide to your chest, avoid areas that may come into contact with the baby's mouth.

Do not give fluocinonide to a child without medical advice. Some brands or forms of this medicine are not approved for use by anyone younger than 12 years old.

Children can absorb larger amounts of fluocinonide through the skin and may be more likely to have side effects.

How should I use fluocinonide topical?

Use fluocinonide exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Do not take by mouth. Topical medicine is for use only on the skin. Do not use on open wounds or on sunburned, windburned, dry, or irritated skin. Rinse with water if this medicine gets in your eyes or mouth.

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

Apply a thin layer of medicine to the affected skin and rub it in gently. Do not apply fluocinonide over a large area of skin unless your doctor has told you to.

Do not cover the treated skin area with a bandage or other covering unless your doctor tells you to. Covering treated areas can increase the amount of medicine absorbed through your skin and may cause harmful effects.

If you are treating the diaper area, do not use plastic pants or tight-fitting diapers.

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.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 2 weeks of treatment, or if they get worse.

If you need surgery, tell your surgeon you currently use this medicine.

You should not stop using fluocinonide suddenly. Follow your doctor's instructions about tapering your dose.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not freeze.

Fluocinonide dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Dermatitis:

0.05% cream, gel, ointment: Apply a thin layer to affected area two to four times a day

0.1% cream: Apply a thin layer to affected area once or twice a day.

Usual Adult Dose for Eczema:

0.05% cream, gel, ointment: Apply a thin layer to affected area two to four times a day

0.1% cream: Apply a thin layer to affected area once or twice a day.

Usual Adult Dose for Atopic Dermatitis:

0.1% cream: Apply a thin layer to affected area once a day.

Usual Adult Dose for Psoriasis:

0.1% cream: Apply a thin layer to affected area once or twice a day.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Dermatitis:

12 years or older:
0.05% cream, gel, ointment: Apply a thin layer to affected area two to four times a day

0.1% cream: Apply a thin layer to affected area once or twice a day.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Eczema:

12 years or older:
0.05% cream, gel, ointment: Apply a thin layer to affected area two to four times a day

0.1% cream: Apply a thin layer to affected area once or twice a day.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Psoriasis:

12 years or older:
0.1% cream: Apply a thin layer to affected area once or twice a day.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Atopic Dermatitis:

12 years or older:
0.1% cream: Apply a thin layer to affected area once a day.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Apply the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not apply two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if anyone has accidentally swallowed the medication.

High doses or long-term use of fluocinonide topical can lead to thinning skin, easy bruising, changes in 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 fluocinonide topical?

Do not get fluocinonide topical in your eyes. If contact does occur, rinse with water.

Avoid applying fluocinonide to your face, scalp, underarms, or groin area.

Do not use fluocinonide topical to treat any skin condition that has not been checked by your doctor.

Avoid using other topical steroid medications on the areas you treat with fluocinonide unless your doctor tells you to.

Fluocinonide topical side effects

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

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • redness, warmth, swelling, oozing, or severe irritation of any treated skin;

  • worsening of your skin condition; or

  • possible signs of absorbing fluocinonide through your skin - weight gain (especially in your face or your upper back and torso), slow wound healing, thinning or discolored skin, increased body hair, muscle weakness, nausea, diarrhea, tiredness, mood changes, menstrual changes, sexual changes.

Steroid medicine can affect growth in children. Tell your doctor if your child is not growing at a normal rate while using this medicine.

Common fluocinonide side effects may include:

  • burning, stinging, itching, or dryness of treated skin;

  • redness or crusting around your hair follicles;

  • stretch marks;

  • spider veins;

  • acne;

  • lightened color of treated skin;

  • headache; or

  • stuffy nose, sore throat.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect fluocinonide topical?

Medicine used on the skin is not likely to be affected by other drugs you use. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use fluocinonide topical only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Related questions

Examples of substitutes that could be used in place of fluocinonide cream include: clobetasol, halobetasol or betamethasone, depending upon which strength of fluocinonide you are using. You will need to see your doctor, as all of these creams require a prescription. Read more

No, fluocinonide is not an antifungal cream. It is a potent topical corticosteroid (“steroid”) treatment used to treat skin inflammation (redness and swelling) and itching of conditions such as plaque psoriasis, atopic dermatitis (eczema) or other steroid-responsive skin conditions. Read more

Fluocinonide is a very potent topical steroid medicine used to treat skin inflammation and itching caused by plaque psoriasis, atopic dermatitis (eczema) and other skin conditions. Fluocinonide can relieve symptoms such as pain, itching, redness, crusting, and scaling. It comes as a topical solution, cream, ointment or gel and is available as a generic product. Read more

You should not use fluocinonide, a potent topical corticosteroid (“steroid”), on your skin for longer than 2 weeks unless directed to do so by your doctor. Fluocinonide is used on the skin to treat inflammation and itching caused by plaque psoriasis, atopic dermatitis (eczema) or other skin conditions, such as allergies or rashes. Read more

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