"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.
Dermatop Emollient Cream
Systemic absorption of topical corticosteroids can produce reversible hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis suppression with the potential for glucocorticosteroid 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 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. DERMATOP Emollient Cream (prednicarbate emollient cream) 0.1% did not produce significant HPA-axis suppression when used at a dose of 30g/day for a week in 10 adult patients with extensive psoriasis or atopic dermatitis. DERMATOP Emollient Cream (prednicarbate emollient cream) 0.1% did not produce HPA-axis suppression in any of 59 pediatric patients with extensive atopic dermatitis when applied BID for 3 weeks to > 20% of the body surface (See PRECAUTIONS, Pediatric Use.) If HPA-axis suppression is noted, an attempt should be made to withdraw the drug, to reduce the frequency of the application, or to substitute a less potent corticosteroid. Recovery of HPA-axis function is generally prompt upon discontinuation of topical corticosteroids. Infrequently, signs and symptoms of glucocorticosteroid 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, DERMATOP Emollient Cream (prednicarbate emollient cream) 0.1% should be discontinued and appropriate therapy instituted. Allergic contact dermatitis with corticosteroids is usually diagnosed by observing a failure to heal rather than noting a clinical exacerbation, as observed with most topical products not containing corticosteroids. Such an observation should be corroborated with appropriate diagnostic patch testing.
If a favorable response does not occur promptly, use of DERMATOP Emollient Cream (prednicarbate emollient cream) 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
In a study of the effect of prednicarbate on fertility, pregnancy, and postnatal development in rats, no effect was noted on the fertility or pregnancy of the parent animals or postnatal development of the offspring after administration of up to 0.80 mg/kg of prednicarbate subcutaneously.
Prednicarbate has been evaluated in the Salmonella reversion test (Ames test) over a wide range of concentrations in the presence and absence of an S-9 liver microsomal fraction, and did not demonstrate mutagenic activity. Similarly, prednicarbate did not produce any significant changes in the numbers of micronuclei seen in erythrocytes when mice were given doses ranging from 1 to 160 mg/kg of the drug.
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.
Prednicarbate has been shown to be teratogenic and embryotoxic in Wistar rats and Himalayan rabbits when given subcutaneously during gestation at doses 1900 times and 45 times the recommended topical human dose, assuming a percutaneous absorption of approximately 3%. In the rats, slightly retarded fetal development and an incidence of thickened and wavy ribs higher than the spontaneous rate were noted. In rabbits, increased liver weights and slight increase in the fetal intrauterine death rate were observed. The fetuses that were delivered exhibited reduced placental weight, increased frequency of cleft palate, ossification disorders in the sternum, omphalocele, and anomalous posture of the forelimbs.
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women on teratogenic effects of prednicarbate. DERMATOP Emollient Cream (prednicarbate emollient cream) 0.1% 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 excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when DERMATOP Emollient Cream (prednicarbate emollient cream) 0.1% is administered to a nursing woman.
DERMATOP Emollient Cream (prednicarbate emollient cream) 0.1% may be used with caution in pediatric patients 1 year of age or older, although the safety and efficacy of drug use longer than 3 weeks have not been established. The use of DERMATOP Emollient Cream (prednicarbate emollient cream) 0.1% is supported by results of a three-week, uncontrolled study in 59 pediatric patients between the ages of 4 months and 12 years of age with atopic dermatitis. None of the 59 pediatric patients showed evidence of HPA-axis suppression. Safety and efficacy of DERMATOP Emollient Cream (prednicarbate emollient cream) 0.1% in pediatric patients below 1 year of age have not been established, therefore use in this age group is not recommended. 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 and Cushing's syndrome when they are treated with topical corticosteroids. They are therefore also at greater risk of adrenal insufficiency during and/or after withdrawal of treatment. In an uncontrolled study in pediatric patients with atopic dermatitis, the incidence of adverse reactions possibly or probably associated with the use of DERMATOP Emollient Cream (prednicarbate emollient cream) 0.1% was limited.
Mild signs of atrophy developed in 5 patients (5/59, 8%) during the clinical trial, with 2 patients exhibiting more than one sign. Two patients (2/59, 3%) developed shininess, and two patients (2/59, 3%) developed thinness. Three patients (3/59, 5%) were observed with mild telangiectasia. It is unknown whether prior use of topical corticosteroids was a contributing factor in the development of telangiectasia in 2 of the patients. Adverse effects including striae have also been reported with inappropriate use of topical corticosteroids in infants and children. Pediatric patients applying topical corticosteroids to greater than 20% of body surface are at higher risk for HPA-axis suppression.
HPA axis suppression, Cushing's syndrome, linear growth retardation, delayed weight gain and intracranial hypertension have been reported in children receiving topical corticosteroids. Manifestations of adrenal suppression in children include low plasma cortisol levels, and absence of response to ACTH stimulation. Manifestations of intracranial hypertension include bulging fontanelles, headaches, and bilateral papilledema.
DERMATOP Emollient Cream (prednicarbate emollient cream) 0.1% should not be used in the treatment of diaper dermatitis.
Last reviewed on RxList: 1/20/2011
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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