|Type of medicine||Moderately potent topical corticosteroid|
|Used for||Inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis|
|Available as||Cream, ointment, and tape|
Fludroxycortide is a moderately potent topical corticosteroid (also referred to as a topical steroid). Topical steroids are used in addition to emollients (moisturisers) for treating inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis. A topical steroid is used when patches of eczema or dermatitis flare up. It is not a cure for your condition, but it will help to relieve the symptoms of a flare-up by reducing inflammation, itching and redness.
Before using fludroxycortide
To make sure this is the right treatment for you, before you start using fludroxycortide it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you have any areas of infected skin.
- If you have rosacea or acne.
- If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a skin preparation.
How to use fludroxycortide
- Before you start using fludroxycortide, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The leaflet will give you more information about topical steroids and a full list of side-effects that you may experience from using them.
- Apply a small amount on to the areas of skin which are inflamed. Then gently rub it into the skin until it has disappeared. Do not use it on any areas of infected skin.
- Your doctor will tell you how often to apply fludroxycortide. It must not be applied more than twice a day, and once a day is often sufficient.
- The amount of topical steroid that you should apply is commonly measured by fingertip units (FTUs). One FTU is the amount of cream that is squeezed out along an adult's fingertip (that is, from the very end of the finger to the first crease in the finger). As a guide, one FTU is enough to cover an area twice the size of an adult hand. Your doctor will give you an idea of how many FTUs you will need to cover the area of your skin which is affected.
- If you are using more than one topical corticosteroid, make sure you know when and where to use each one. If you are unsure, check with your doctor or ask your pharmacist for further advice.
- If you are using the tape, cut a piece of tape to fit the area. Make sure your skin is dry and hair-free, then apply the tape and leave it in place for the time your doctor has said. This is usually no more than 12 hours.
- After you have applied fludroxycortide, wash your hands (unless your hands are the treated area).
Getting the most from your treatment
- If you are using an emollient along with fludroxycortide, apply the emollient first. Then wait 10-15 minutes before applying fludroxycortide. This allows time for the emollient to be absorbed before the topical steroid is applied. (Your skin should be moist but not slippery when you apply the fludroxycortide).
- Do not use fludroxycortide on your face unless your doctor has said you should. If you have been told to use it on your face, be careful not to get any cream/ointment near your eyes and do not use it for longer periods of time than you have been advised.
- Unless advised to do so by your doctor, do not apply a bandage or dressing to the area being treated, as this will increase absorption of the preparation and increase the risk of side-effects.
- Continue to use fludroxycortide until the flare-up has completely gone and then stop it. A course of treatment for 7-14 days is often sufficient. If your symptoms have not improved after this time (or if they get worse), speak again with your pharmacist or doctor for further advice. Topical corticosteroids like fludroxycortide should not be used for long periods of time or on large areas of the body, especially in children.
- After you stop using fludroxycortide, continue to use your emollients every day. This will help to prevent a further flare-up.
Can fludroxycortide cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. You can reduce the risk of side-effects from topical corticosteroids like fludroxycortide, by applying the preparation thinly, no more than twice a day, and to the affected areas only.
|Side-effects of fludroxycortide||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Thinning of your skin, striae (like stretch marks), bruising, discolouration, or thin spidery blood vessels||Speak with your doctor if you notice any of these|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this topical steroid, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store fludroxycortide
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 62nd Edition (Sep 2011) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.
Prof Cathy Jackson