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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Sep 7, 2020.


(al kloe MET a sone)

Index Terms

  • Alclometasone Dipropionate

Dosage Forms

Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling. [DSC] = Discontinued product

Cream, External, as dipropionate:

Aclovate: 0.05% (15 g [DSC], 60 g [DSC]) [contains cetearyl alcohol, propylene glycol]

Generic: 0.05% (15 g, 45 g, 60 g)

Ointment, External, as dipropionate:

Generic: 0.05% (15 g, 45 g, 60 g)

Brand Names: U.S.

  • Aclovate [DSC]

Pharmacologic Category

  • Corticosteroid, Topical


Topical corticosteroids have anti-inflammatory, antipruritic, and vasoconstrictive properties. May depress the formation, release, and activity of endogenous chemical mediators of inflammation (kinins, histamine, liposomal enzymes, prostaglandins) through the induction of phospholipase A2 inhibitory proteins (lipocortins) and sequential inhibition of the release of arachidonic acid. Alclometasone has low range potency.


Topical: ~3% absorbed systemically after 8 hours when applied to intact skin

Onset of Action

Initial response (Ruthven 1988): Eczema: 5.3 days; Psoriasis: 6.7 days

Time to Peak

Peak response (Ruthven 1988): Eczema: 13.9 days; Psoriasis: 14.8 days

Use: Labeled Indications

Steroid-responsive dermatosis: Treatment of inflammation and pruritic manifestations of corticosteroid-responsive dermatosis in adults and pediatric patients ≥1 year.


Hypersensitivity to alclometasone or any component of the formulation.

Documentation of allergenic cross-reactivity for corticosteroids is limited. However, because of similarities in chemical structure and/or pharmacologic actions, the possibility of cross-sensitivity cannot be ruled out with certainty.

Dosing: Adult

Steroid-responsive dermatoses: Topical: Apply a thin film to the affected area(s) 2 to 3 times daily. Note: Therapy should be discontinued when control is achieved; if no improvement is seen within 2 weeks, reassessment of diagnosis may be necessary.

Dosing: Geriatric

Refer to adult dosing.

Dosing: Pediatric

Steroid-responsive dermatoses: Children and Adolescents: Topical: Apply thin film to affected area 2 to 3 times daily. Note: Therapy should be discontinued when control is achieved; if no improvement is seen within 2 weeks, reassessment of diagnosis may be necessary. Do not use for >3 weeks.


For external use only. Apply a thin film to clean, dry skin and rub in gently. Avoid contact with eyes; generally not for use on the face, underarms, or groin area (including diapered area). Use of occlusive dressings is not recommended. Wash hands thoroughly before and after use.


Store between 2°C and 30°C (36°F and 86°F).

Drug Interactions

Aldesleukin: Corticosteroids may diminish the antineoplastic effect of Aldesleukin. Avoid combination

Adverse Reactions

The following adverse drug reactions and incidences are derived from product labeling unless otherwise specified.

Frequency not always defined.

Central nervous system: Localized burning (1% to 2%)

Dermatologic: Local dryness (2%), papular rash (2%), erythema (1% to 2%), pruritus (1% to 2%), acne vulgaris, allergic dermatitis, atrophic striae, folliculitis, hypopigmentation, miliaria, perioral dermatitis, skin atrophy

Endocrine & metabolic: Cushing's syndrome, growth suppression, HPA-axis suppression

Infection: Secondary infection

Local: Local irritation (2%)


Concerns related to adverse effects:

• Adrenal suppression: May cause hypercortisolism or suppression of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, particularly in younger children or in patients receiving high doses for prolonged periods. HPA axis suppression may lead to adrenal crisis.

• Contact dermatitis: Allergic contact dermatitis can occur, it is usually diagnosed by failure to heal rather than clinical exacerbation.

• Immunosuppression: Prolonged use may result in fungal or bacterial superinfection; discontinue if dermatological infection persists despite appropriate antimicrobial therapy.

• Kaposi sarcoma: Prolonged treatment with corticosteroids has been associated with the development of Kaposi sarcoma (case reports); if noted, discontinuation of therapy should be considered (Goedert 2002).

• Sensitization: Topical use has been associated with local sensitization (redness, irritation); discontinue if sensitization is noted.

• Systemic effects: Topical corticosteroids may be absorbed percutaneously. Absorption of topical corticosteroids may cause manifestations of Cushing syndrome, hyperglycemia, or glycosuria. Absorption is increased by the use of occlusive dressings, application to denuded skin, or application to large surface areas.

Special populations:

• Pediatric: Not for the treatment of diaper dermatitis. Safety and efficacy for use >3 weeks has not been established. Children may absorb proportionally larger amounts after topical application and may be more prone to systemic effects. HPA axis suppression, intracranial hypertension, and Cushing syndrome have been reported in children receiving topical corticosteroids. Prolonged use may affect growth velocity; growth should be routinely monitored in pediatric patients.

Other warnings/precautions:

• Appropriate use: Avoid use with occlusive dressings. Discontinue use if irritation occurs. If no improvement is seen within 2 weeks, reassessment of diagnosis may be necessary. Avoid contact with eyes. Generally not for routine use on the face, underarms, or groin area (including diapered area).

Monitoring Parameters

Growth in pediatric patients, signs/symptoms of HPA axis suppression/adrenal insufficiency; bacterial or fungal skin infection.

If HPA axis suppression is suspected, evaluate patient using the following tests: ACTH stimulation test, AM plasma cortisol test, and urinary free cortisol test

Pregnancy Risk Factor C Pregnancy Considerations

Adverse events have been observed with corticosteroids following topical application in animal reproduction studies.

Systemic bioavailability of topical corticosteroids is variable (integrity of skin, use of occlusion, etc) and may be further influenced by trimester of pregnancy (Chi 2017). In general, the use of topical corticosteroids is not associated with a significant risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes. However, there may be an increased risk of low birth weight infants following maternal use of potent or very potent topical products, especially in high doses. Use of mild to moderate potency topical corticosteroids is preferred in pregnant women and the use of large amounts or use for prolonged periods of time should be avoided (Chi 2016; Chi 2017; Murase 2014). Also avoid areas of high percutaneous absorption (Chi 2017). The risk of stretch marks may be increased with use of topical corticosteroids (Murase 2014).

Patient Education

What is this drug used for?

• It is used to treat skin irritation.

• It is used to treat skin rashes.

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

• High blood sugar like confusion, fatigue, increased thirst, increased hunger, passing a lot of urine, flushing, fast breathing, or breath that smells like fruit

• Adrenal gland problems like severe nausea, vomiting, severe dizziness, passing out, muscle weakness, severe fatigue, mood changes, lack of appetite, or weight loss

• Cushing syndrome like weight gain in upper back or abdomen; moon face; severe headache; or slow healing

• Skin discoloration

• Skin changes like pimples, stretch marks, slow healing, or hair growth

• Skin irritation

• Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Talk to your doctor if you have questions.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a limited summary of general information about the medicine’s uses from the patient education leaflet and is not intended to be comprehensive. This limited summary does NOT include all information available about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. For a more detailed summary of information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine, please speak with your healthcare provider and review the entire patient education leaflet.

Further information

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