"Scientists at the National Institutes of Health report they have discovered in mouse studies that a small molecule released in the spinal cord triggers a process that is later experienced in the brain as the sensation of itch.
Systemic absorption of topical corticosteroids can produce reversible hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis suppression with the potential for glucocorticoid insufficiency after withdrawal of treatment. Manifestations of Cushing's syndrome, hyperglycemia, and glucosuria can also be produced in some patients by systemic absorption of topical corticosteroids while on treatment.
Patients applying a topical steroid to a large surface area or to areas under occlusion should be evaluated periodically for evidence of HPA axis suppression. This may be done by using the ACTH stimulation, A.M. plasma cortisol, and urinary free cortisol tests. Patients receiving superpotent corticosteroids should not be treated for more than 2 weeks at a time and only small areas should be treated at any one time due to the increased risk of HPA suppression.
If HPA axis suppression is noted, an attempt should be made to withdraw the drug, to reduce the frequency of application, or to substitute a less potent corticosteroid. Infrequently, signs and symptoms of glucocorticoid insufficiency may occur requiring supplemental systemic corticosteroids. For information on systemic supplementation, see prescribing information for those products.
Pediatric patients may be more susceptible to systemic toxicity from equivalent doses due to their larger skin surface to body mass ratios. (See PRECAUTIONS — Pediatric Use).
If irritation develops, Capex® Shampoo (fluocinolone acetonide topical shampoo) should be discontinued and appropriate therapy instituted. Allergic contact dermatitis with corticosteroids is usually diagnosed by a failure to heal rather than noting a clinical exacerbation as with most topical products not containing corticosteroids. Such an observation should be corroborated with appropriate diagnostic patch testing.
If concomitant skin infections are present or develop, an appropriate antifungal or antibacterial agent should be used. If a favorable response does not occur promptly, use of Capex® Shampoo (fluocinolone acetonide topical shampoo) should be discontinued until the infection has been adequately controlled.
The following tests may be helpful in evaluating patients for HPA axis suppression.
- ACTH stimulation test
- A.M. plasma cortisol test
- Urinary free cortisol test
Carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, and impairment of fertility
Long-term animal studies have not been performed to evaluate the carcinogenic potential or the effect on fertility of Capex® Shampoo (fluocinolone acetonide topical shampoo) .
Teratogenic effects: Pregnancy category C: Corticosteroids have been shown to be teratogenic in laboratory animals when administered systemically at relatively low dosage levels. Some corticosteroids have been shown to be teratogenic after dermal application in laboratory animals.
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women or teratogenic effects from Capex® Shampoo (fluocinolone acetonide topical shampoo) . Therefore, Capex® Shampoo (fluocinolone acetonide topical shampoo) should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
Systemically administered corticosteroids appear in human milk and could suppress growth, interfere with endogenous corticosteroid production or cause other untoward effects. It is not known whether topical administration of corticosteroids could result in sufficient systemic absorption to produce detectable quantities in human milk. Because many drugs are secreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when Capex® Shampoo (fluocinolone acetonide topical shampoo) is administered to a nursing woman.
Safety and effectiveness in children and infants have not been established. Because of a higher ratio of skin surface area to body mass, pediatric patients are at a greater risk than adults of HPA axis suppression when they are treated with topical corticosteroids. They are therefore also at a greater risk of glucocorticoid insufficiency after withdrawal of treatment and of Cushing's syndrome while on treatment. Adverse effects including striae have been reported with inappropriate use of topical corticosteroids in infants and children.
HPA axis suppression, Cushing's syndrome and intracranial hypertension have been reported in children receiving topical corticosteroids. Manifestations of adrenal suppression in children include linear growth retardation, delayed weight gain, low plasma cortisol levels and absence of response to ACTH stimulation. Manifestations of intracranial hypertension include bulging fontanelles, headaches and bilateral papilledema.
Last reviewed on RxList: 5/8/2009
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Capex Shampoo Information
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