Clobex (Page 2 of 4)

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure. The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of CLOBEX Shampoo, 0.05%.

  • Endocrine disorders: Cushing’s syndrome, Adrenal suppression
  • Eye: Eye pain, Vision blurred, Eye irritation
  • CNS: Dizziness
  • GI: Nausea
  • Skin: Erythema, Skin exfoliation, Rash, Skin irritation, Hair color changes, Allergic contact dermatitis, Pain of skin, Skin tightness
  • Other: Psoriasis (aggravation)


8.1 Pregnancy

Teratogenic effects: Pregnancy Category C.
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Therefore, CLOBEX Shampoo, 0.05% 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 to laboratory animals.
Clobetasol propionate is absorbed percutaneously, and when administered subcutaneously it was a significant teratogen in both the rabbit and the mouse.
Clobetasol propionate has greater teratogenic potential than steroids that are less potent.
The effect of clobetasol propionate on pregnancy outcome and development of offspring was studied in the rat. Clobetasol propionate was administered subcutaneously to female rats twice daily (0, 12.5, 25, and 50 µg/kg/day) from day 7 of presumed gestation through day 25 of lactation or day 24 presumed gestation for those rats that did not deliver a litter. The maternal no-observed-effect-level (NOEL) for clobetasol propionate was less than 12.5 μg/kg/day due to reduced body weight gain and feed consumption during the gestation period. The reproductive NOEL in the dams was 25 μg/kg/day (ratio of animal dose to proposed human dose of 0.07 on a mg/m2 /day basis) based on prolonged delivery at a higher dose level. The no-observed-adverse-effect-level (NOAEL) for viability and growth in the offspring was 12.5 μg/kg/day (ratio of animal dose to proposed human dose of 0.03 on a mg/m2 /day basis) based on incidence of stillbirths, reductions in pup body weights on days 1 and 7 of lactation, increased pup mortality, increases in the incidence of umbilical hernia, and increases in the incidence of pups with cysts on the kidney at higher dose levels during the preweaning period. The weights of the epididymides and testes were significantly reduced at higher dosages. Despite these changes, there were no effects on the mating and fertility of the offspring.

8.3 Nursing Mothers

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 CLOBEX Shampoo, 0.05%, is administered to a nursing woman.

8.4 Pediatric Use

Use of CLOBEX Shampoo, 0.05%, in patients under 18 years old is not recommended due to potential for HPA axis suppression [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1) ].

The effect of CLOBEX (clobetasol propionate) Shampoo, 0.05%, on HPA axis suppression was evaluated in one trial in adolescents 12 to 17 years of age with moderate to severe scalp psoriasis with involvement of at least 25% of the scalp. In this trial, 5 of 12 evaluable subjects developed suppression of their HPA axis following 4 weeks of treatment with CLOBEX (clobetasol propionate) Shampoo, 0.05%, applied once daily for 15 minutes to a dry scalp before lathering and rinsing. Only 1 of the 5 subjects who had suppression was tested for recovery of HPA axis, and this subject recovered after 2 weeks.
No studies have been performed in patients under the age of 12. 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. Adverse effects including striae have been reported with inappropriate use of topical corticosteroids in infants and children. Therefore, use is not recommended in patients under the age of 18.
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 an absence of response to ACTH stimulation. Manifestations of intracranial hypertension include bulging fontanelles, headaches, and bilateral papilledema.

8.5 Geriatric Use

​Clinical studies of CLOBEX Shampoo, 0.05%, did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently than younger subjects. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be made with caution, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.​


Topically applied, CLOBEX Shampoo, 0.05%, can be absorbed in sufficient amounts to produce systemic effects [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1) ].


CLOBEX (clobetasol propionate) Shampoo, 0.05%, contains clobetasol propionate, a synthetic fluorinated corticosteroid, for topical use. The corticosteroids constitute a class of primarily synthetic steroids used topically as anti-inflammatory and antipruritic agents.The chemical name of clobetasol propionate is 21-chloro-9-fluoro-11β, 17-dihydroxy-16β-methylpregna-1, 4-diene-3, 20-dione 17-propionate.

It has the following structural formula:

clobex structure
(click image for full-size original)

Clobetasol propionate has a molecular weight of 466.97 (CAS Registry Number 25122-46-7). The molecular formula is C25 H32 CIFO5 . Clobetasol propionate is a white to practically white crystalline, odorless powder insoluble in water.Each gram of CLOBEX (clobetasol propionate) Shampoo, 0.05%, contains 0.5 mg of clobetasol propionate in a translucent, colorless to pale yellow viscous liquid shampoo base consisting of alcohol, citric acid, coco-betaine, polyquaternium-10, purified water, sodium citrate, and sodium laureth sulfate.


12.1 Mechanism of Action

Like other topical corticosteroids, CLOBEX (clobetasol propionate) Shampoo, 0.05%, has anti-inflammatory, antipruritic, and vasoconstrictive properties. The mechanism of the anti-inflammatory activity of the topical steroids, in general, is unclear. However, corticosteroids are thought to act by the induction of phospholipase A2 inhibitory proteins, collectively called lipocortins. It is postulated that these proteins control the biosynthesis of potent mediators of inflammation such as prostaglandins and leukotrienes by inhibiting the release of their common precursor, arachidonic acid. Arachidonic acid is released from membrane phospholipids by phospholipase A2 .

12.2 Pharmacodynamics

Vasoconstrictor Assay
CLOBEX Shampoo, 0.05%, is in the super-high range of potency as demonstrated in vasoconstrictor studies in healthy subjects when compared with other topical corticosteroids. However, similar blanching scores do not necessarily imply therapeutic equivalence.
Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis Suppression
In studies evaluating the potential for hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis suppression, use of CLOBEX (clobetasol propionate) Shampoo, 0.05%, resulted in demonstrable HPA axis suppression in 5 out of 12 (42%) adolescent subjects [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1) and Use in Specific Populations (8.4)].

12.3 Pharmacokinetics

The extent of percutaneous absorption of topical corticosteroids is determined by many factors, including the vehicle, the integrity of the epidermal barrier and occlusion.
Topical corticosteroids can be absorbed from normal intact skin. Inflammation and other disease processes in the skin may increase percutaneous absorption.
There are no human data regarding the distribution of corticosteroids to body organs following topical application. Nevertheless, once absorbed through the skin, topical corticosteroids are handled through metabolic pathways similar to systemically administered corticosteroids. They are metabolized, primarily in the liver, and are then excreted by the kidneys. In addition, some corticosteroids and their metabolites are also excreted in the bile.

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