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What Is Clobetasone Butyrate?

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  • Written By: Jacquelyn Gilchrist
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 29 October 2016
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Clobetasone butyrate is a generic corticosteroid of moderate potency that may be prescribed for a variety of skin conditions, including eczema, seborrhoeic dermatitis, and other types of dermatitis. Patients with reactions to stings or insect bites, as well as allergic rashes may also find relief of symptoms with this medicine. This drug works to relieve itching, swelling, and redness by reducing the release of inflammatory substances that can cause widened blood vessels. Clobetasone butyrate is not a cure for any skin condition.

This medication is available as a cream or an ointment to be applied topically, or to the skin. The area of skin to be treated must be gently washed, rinsed, and dried prior to application. A thin line of the drug should be squeezed out on the patient's finger, from the tip of the finger down to the first crease. The cream may then be distributed in a thin, even layer on the affected area of skin. Dressings or bandages should not be applied unless the doctor instructs otherwise.

Some side effects may occur with the use of clobetasone butyrate, which should be reported to the doctor if they become severe. These can include skin reactions specific to the treated area, such as burning or stinging, as well as redness, itching, or irritation. If these effects do not diminish within several days, patients should discuss them with their doctors.

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More serious side effects may occur rarely and should be reported to the doctor as soon as possible. These can include excessive hair growth, thinning of the skin, or skin discoloration. The skin may become hypersensitive and it may also develop stretch marks. Rarely, a secondary infection may occur, which may present with oozing pus discharge and abnormal redness or swelling.

Before using clobetasone butyrate to treat a skin condition, patients must disclose their other medical conditions. As of 2011, it is unknown whether the drug applied topically may pass into breast milk. Women who apply the cream to the nursing area should thoroughly wash the skin before breastfeeding an infant. Clobetasone butyrate should only be used in women who are pregnant if going untreated poses a greater risk to the mother.

This topical cream may interact with other medications, including over-the-counter drugs. Patients must disclose their other medications and supplements before using clobetasone butyrate. It may interact with other corticosteroid medicines.

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