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Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) Axis Suppression
Systemic effects of topical corticosteroids may include reversible HPA axis suppression, manifestations of Cushing's syndrome, hyperglycemia, and glucosuria.
Studies conducted in pediatric subjects demonstrated reversible HPA axis suppression after use of Locoid Lipocream (hydrocortisone butyrate) . Pediatric patients may be more susceptible than adults to systemic toxicity from equivalent doses of Locoid Lipocream (hydrocortisone butyrate) due to their larger skin surface-to-body-mass ratios [see Use in Specific Populations].
Patients applying a topical corticosteroid to a large surface area or to areas under occlusion should be considered for periodic evaluation of the HPA axis. This may be done by using cosyntropin (ACTH1-24) stimulation testing (CST).
If HPA axis suppression is noted, the frequency of application should be reduced or the drug should be withdrawn, or a less potent corticosteroid should be substituted. Signs and symptoms of glucocorticosteroid insufficiency may occur, requiring supplemental systemic corticosteroids.
Concomitant Skin Infections
If skin infections are present or develop, an appropriate antifungal, antibacterial or antiviral agent should be used. If a favorable response does not occur promptly, use of Locoid Lipocream (hydrocortisone butyrate) should be discontinued until the infection has been adequately controlled.
Locoid Lipocream (hydrocortisone butyrate) may cause local skin adverse reactions [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].
If irritation develops, Locoid Lipocream (hydrocortisone butyrate) should be discontinued and appropriate therapy instituted. Allergic contact dermatitis with corticosteroids is usually diagnosed by observing a failure to heal rather than noticing a clinical exacerbation. Such an observation should be corroborated with appropriate patch testing.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
No studies were conducted to determine the photoco-carcinogenic or dermal carcinogenic potential of Locoid Lipocream.
Hydrocortisone butyrate revealed no evidence of mutagenic or clastogenic potential based on the results of two in vitro genotoxicity tests (Ames test and L5178Y/TK+ mouse lymphoma assay) and one in vivo genotoxicity test (mouse micronucleus assay).
No evidence of impairment of fertility or effect on mating performance was observed in a fertility and general reproductive performance study conducted in male and female rats at subcutaneous doses up to and including 1.8 mg/kg/day (0.7X MTHD). Mild effects on maternal animals, such as reduced food consumption and a subsequent reduction in body weight gain, were seen at doses ≥ 0.6 mg/kg/day (0.2X MTHD).
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category C. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Therefore, Locoid Lipocream (hydrocortisone butyrate) should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. 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.
Note: The animal multiples of human exposure calculations in this label were based on body surface area comparisons for an adult (i.e., mg/m²/day dose comparisons) assuming 100% human percutaneous absorption of a maximum topical human dose (MTHD) for hydrocortisone butyrate cream (25 g).
Systemic embryofetal development studies were conducted in rats and rabbits. Subcutaneous doses of 0.6, 1.8 and 5.4 mg/kg/day hydrocortisone butyrate were administered to pregnant female rats during gestation days 6 – 17. In the presence of maternal toxicity, fetal effects noted at 5.4 mg/kg/day (2X MTHD) included an increased incidence of ossification variations and unossified sternebra. No treatment related effects on embryofetal toxicity or teratogenicity were noted at doses of 5.4 mg/kg/day and 1.8 mg/kg/day, respectively (2X MTHD and 0.7X MTHD, respectively).
Subcutaneous doses of 0.1, 0.2 and 0.3 mg/kg/day hydrocortisone butyrate were administered to pregnant female rabbits during gestation days 7 – 20. An increased incidence of abortion was noted at 0.3 mg/kg/day (0.2X MTHD). In the absence of maternal toxicity, a dose dependent decrease in fetal body weight was noted at doses ≥ 0.1 mg/kg/day (0.1X MTHD). Additional indicators of embyrofetal toxicity (reduction in litter size, decreased number of viable fetuses, increased post-implantation loss) were noted at doses ≥ 0.2 mg/kg/day (0.2X MTHD). Additional fetal effects noted in this study included delayed ossification noted at doses ≥ 0.1 mg/kg/day and an increased incidence of fetal malformations (primarily skeletal malformations) noted at doses ≥ 0.2 mg/kg/day. A dose at which no treatment related effects on embryofetal toxicity or teratogenicity were observed was not established in this study.
Additional systemic embryofetal development studies were conducted in rats and mice. Subcutaneous doses of 0.1 and 9 mg/kg/day hydrocortisone butyrate were administered to pregnant female rats during gestation days 9 – 15. In the presence of maternal toxicity, an increase in fetal deaths and fetal resorptions and an increase in the number of ossifications in caudal vertebrae were noted at a dose of 9 mg/kg/day (3X MTHD). No treatment related effects on embryofetal toxicity or teratogenicity were noted at 0.1 mg/kg/day (0.1X MTHD).
Subcutaneous doses of 0.2 and 1 mg/kg/day hydrocortisone butyrate were administered to pregnant female mice during gestation days 7 – 13. In the absence of maternal toxicity, an increased number of cervical ribs and one fetus with clubbed legs were noted at a dose of 1 mg/kg/day (0.2X MTHD). No treatment related effects on embryofetal toxicity or teratogenicity were noted at doses of 1 and 0.2 mg/kg/day, respectively (0.2X MTHD and 0.1X MTHD, respectively).
No topical embryofetal development studies were conducted with hydrocortisone butyrate cream. However, topical embryofetal development studies were conducted in rats and rabbits with a hydrocortisone butyrate ointment formulation. Topical doses of 1% and 10% hydrocortisone butyrate ointment were administered to pregnant female rats during gestation days 6 – 15 or pregnant female rabbits during gestation days 6 – 18. A dose-dependent increase in fetal resorptions was noted in rabbits (0.2 – 2X MTHD) and fetal resorptions were noted in rats at the 10% hydrocortisone butyrate ointment dose (80X MTHD). No treatment related effects on embyrofetal toxicity were noted at the 1% hydrocortisone butyrate ointment dose in rats (8 MTHD). A dose at which no treatment related effects on embryofetal toxicity were observed in rabbits after topical administration of hydrocortisone butyrate ointment was not established in this study. No treatment related effects on teratogenicity were noted at a dose of 10% hydrocortisone butyrate ointment in rats or rabbits (80X MTHD and 2X MTHD, respectively).
A peri- and post-natal development study was conducted in rats. Subcutaneous doses of 0.6, 1.8 and 5.4 mg/kg/day hydrocortisone butyrate were administered to pregnant female rats from gestation day 6 – lactation day 20. In the presence of maternal toxicity, a dose dependent decrease in fetal weight was noted at doses ≥ 1.8 mg/kg/day (0.7X MTHD). No treatment related effects on fetal toxicity were noted at 0.6 mg/kg/day (0.2X MTHD). A delay in sexual maturation was noted at 5.4 mg/kg/day (2X MTHD). No treatment related effects on sexual maturation were noted at 1.8 mg/kg/day. No treatment related effects on behavioral development or subsequent reproductive performance were noted at 5.4 mg/kg/day.
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 Locoid Lipocream (hydrocortisone butyrate) is administered to a nursing woman.
Safety and efficacy in pediatric patients below 3 months of age have not been established.
Because of higher skin surface-to-body-mass ratios, 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 glucocorticosteroid insufficiency after withdrawal of treatment and of Cushing's syndrome while on treatment.
Eighty-six (86) pediatric subjects (between 5 months and 18 years of age) with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis affecting at least 25% of body surface area (BSA) treated with Locoid Lipocream (hydrocortisone butyrate) three times daily for up to 4 weeks were assessed for HPA axis suppression in two separate studies. The disease severity (moderate to severe atopic dermatitis) and the dosing regimen (three times daily) in these HPA axis studies were different from the subject population (mild to moderate atopic dermatitis) and the dosing regimen (two times daily) for which Locoid Lipocream (hydrocortisone butyrate) is indicated in this population. Five of the 82 evaluable subjects (6.1%) demonstrated evidence of suppression, where the criterion for defining HPA axis suppression was a serum cortisol level of less than or equal to 18 micrograms per deciliter after cosyntropin stimulation. Suppressed subjects ranged in age from 5 months to 16 years and, at the time of enrollment, had 25% to 95% BSA involvement. These subjects did not demonstrate any clinical signs or symptoms despite evidence of HPA axis suppression. At the first follow up visit, approximately one month after the conclusion of treatment, cosyntropin stimulation results of all subjects had returned to normal, with the exception of one subject. This last subject recovered adrenal function by 65 days post-treatment.
Cushing's syndrome, linear growth retardation, delayed weight gain, and intracranial hypertension have also been reported in pediatric patients receiving topical corticosteroids. Manifestations of adrenal suppression in pediatric patients include low plasma cortisol levels to an absence of response to ACTH stimulation. Manifestations of intracranial hypertension include bulging fontanelles, headaches, and bilateral papilledema.
Clinical studies of Locoid Lipocream (hydrocortisone butyrate) did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects.
Last reviewed on RxList: 11/6/2009
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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