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Can clobetasol make you gain weight?

Medically reviewed by Sally Chao, MD. Last updated on Feb 3, 2021.

Official Answer

by Drugs.com

Weight gain is not a common side effect of clobetasol. Sudden weight gain when using clobetasol can be a sign of a serious problem and requires immediate medical attention. Similarly, changes in the way body fat is distributed can be another sign of a serious side effect.

Clobetasol is a type of steroid called a corticosteroid. It is used to relieve the symptoms of certain skin conditions, including:

  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Dermatitis

It can be applied to the skin or the scalp (topical use).

Sometimes people using corticosteroids develop a rare but serious condition called Cushing's syndrome. Weight gain related to clobetasol could be a symptom of Cushing's syndrome. Other than weight gain and fat accumulation in some regions of the body, symptoms of Cushing's syndrome include slowed growth in children and facial swelling.

Serious complications of clobetasol are rare. Only an estimated 1 in 10,000 people who use clobetasol experience severe side effects, but they are more likely to occur if the medicine is used extensively over a long time.

Clobetasol is available in many forms for use on the skin, including:

  • Cream
  • Gel
  • Ointment
  • Lotion
  • Foam
  • Spray

It also comes as a foam, spray and shampoo for use on the scalp.

Some forms should be used only once per day, while others may be used twice a day. In general, clobetasol should not be used for more than a week or applied to the face without a health care provider's approval.

Other signs of severe side effects from clobetasol include:

  • Skin reactions or infections
  • Severe stomach upset or vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Mood changes or confusion
  • Vision problems

Common side effects of clobetasol include:

  • Thinning of the skin
  • Burning, itching, irritation, redness or dryness of the skin
  • Acne
  • Widening of the small veins in the skin
  • Small white or red bumps on the skin
  • Blotches or lines under the skin
  • Changes in skin color

Follow the instructions on the medication's label carefully to reduce the risk of side effects. Also, do not use more medication or take it for longer than prescribed.

References
  1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Impeklo (clobetasol propionate): highlights of prescribing information. May 2020. Available at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2020/213691s000lbl.pdf. [Accessed January 18, 2021].
  2. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Clobetasol topical. February 15, 2018. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a686008.html. [Accessed January 18, 2021].
  3. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Exogenous Cushing syndrome. May 6, 2019. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000389.htm. [Accessed January 18, 2021].
  4. National Health Service. Clobetasol. August 29, 2019. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/clobetasol/. [Accessed January 18, 2021].

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