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Can halobetasol propionate be bought over-the-counter (OTC)?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Aug 29, 2021.

Official answer

by Drugs.com

No, halobetasol propionate is not available as an over-the-counter (OTC) product. Halobetasol requires a prescription from your healthcare provider.

Topical halobetasol is a highly potent prescription medicine used on the skin that reduces inflammation in psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis and other corticosteroid-responsive conditions.

Topical halobetasol is available as a cream, ointment, lotion, or foam.

Brand names for topical halobetasol available in the U.S. are:

Halobetasol is also available in a combination lotion product with tazarotene (brand name: Duobrii), approved for use in plaque psoriasis in adults.

Halobetasol is also widely available as a generic option in topical creams and ointments. Generic options may be more affordable, but there is no generic option for the halobetasol foam or lotion formulations yet.

What is halobetasol used for and how does it work?

Halobetasol is FDA-approved to treat plaque psoriasis and skin conditions that are responsive to topical corticosteroids, such as dermatitis and eczema (atopic dermatitis). It can also be used for more serious skin allergies or rashes, but may not be specifically approved for these uses.

Topical corticosteroids (a cortisone-like medicine or steroid) work by preventing the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation and pain, redness, and itching. They also help to relieve dryness, crusting or scaling often seen with inflammatory skin conditions like psoriasis. They come in prescription and over-the-counter strengths.

What are the alternative OTC options for halobetasol?

Halobetasol is a very high potency corticosteroid and there are no equivalent products available without a prescription. Topical corticosteroids are classified into groups according to how strong they are. Halobetasol is one of the most potent topical corticosteroids.

The only topical over-the-counter (OTC) corticosteroid option available in the U.S. is hydrocortisone 1%, which is very weak in strength compared to halobetasol and will most likely not be as effective.

Do not substitute halobetasol with any over-the-counter product unless approved by your doctor.

Is halobetasol expensive?

Generic halobetasol cream or ointment may be a more affordable option for you (about $20 to $50 per 15 gram tube) and will usually be covered by prescription insurance. Discount coupons may help to lower your cost if you are paying out-of-pocket. If you prefer a generic option, tell your doctor and pharmacist.

You can view more prices and find a discount card here:

Some manufacturers of brand name products may offer copay savings cards which can significantly lower your cost. Check with Ortho Dermatologics, the manufacturers of Bryhali, and Mayne Pharma, the manufacturer of Lexette to learn more about cost savings for their products.

This is not all the information you need to know about halobetasol propionate for safe and effective use and does not take the place of talking to your doctor about your treatment. Review the full halobetasol information here, and discuss this information and any questions you have with your doctor or other health care provider.

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