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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 receiving a large dose of a higher potency topical steroid applied 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 Ointment (prednicarbate ointment) 0.1% did not produce significant HPA-axis suppression when used at a dose of 60 grams per day for a week in patients with extensive psoriasis or atopic dermatitis.
However, 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. Recovery of HPA-axis function is generally prompt and complete 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 Ointment (prednicarbate ointment) 0.1% should be discontinued and appropriate therapy instituted. Allergic contact dermatitis with corticosteroids is usually diagnosed by observing 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 DERMATOP Ointment (prednicarbate ointment) 0.1% 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 1900times and 45times, respectively, 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 which was higher than the spontaneous rate were noted.
In rabbits, there was noted increased liver weights and slight increase in the fetal intrauterine death rate. The fetuses 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. Therefore, DERMATOP Ointment (prednicarbate ointment) 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 Ointment (prednicarbate ointment) 0.1% is administered to a nursing woman.
Safety and effectiveness of DERMATOP Ointment (prednicarbate ointment) 0.1% in pediatric patients below the age of 10 years 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 greater risk of glucocorticosteroid 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 pediatric patients. (See PRECAUTIONS.)
HPA-axis suppression, Cushing's syndrome, and intracranial hypertension have been reported in pediatric patients receiving topical corticosteroids. Manifestations of adrenal suppression in pediatric patients 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: 1/20/2011
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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