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Generic name: fluocinonide topicalFLOO-oh-SIN-oh-nide ]
Brand names: Fluocinonide-E, Fluovix, Vanos
Drug class: Topical steroids

Medically reviewed by on Dec 18, 2023. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is Fluocinonide-E?

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

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

Fluocinonide-E may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Fluocinonide-E side effects

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

Fluocinonide-E may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:

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 side effects of Fluocinonide-E may include:

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.


Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Fluocinonide-E if you are allergic to it.

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-E 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 this medicine. 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 this medicine 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 this medicine through the skin and may be more likely to have side effects.

How should I use Fluocinonide-E?

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 this medicine 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.

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-E 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-E in your eyes. If contact does occur, rinse with water.

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

Do not use Fluocinonide-E 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.

What other drugs will affect Fluocinonide-E?

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.

Popular FAQ

Topical corticosteroids ("steroids") like fluocinonide have been used to treat areas of hair loss in alopecia areata, an autoimmune skin condition that leads to patchy hair loss on the scalp. Some people with this condition will respond to high dose topical corticosteroids applied to the areas with hair loss. If you are experiencing hair loss, talk to your doctor for evaluation. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Yes, fluocinonide is a type of steroid called a corticosteroid. It is used to treat the redness, scaling and itching caused by flare-ups of skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis in adults and children age 12 or older. Continue reading

No, fluocinonide is not an antibiotic, it is a high-potency steroid typically used to treat psoriasis, eczema or dermatitis. Sometimes these conditions cause significant skin irritation and itching. Frequent scratching can break the skin, and then a bacterial infection may develop. In this case, antibiotics may be necessary. Continue reading

More FAQ

Further information

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.

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