Fluocinonide (Page 2 of 4)

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post approval use of fluocinonide cream, 0.1%:

Administration Site Conditions: discoloration, erythema, irritation, pruritus, swelling, pain and condition aggravated.

Immune System Disorders: hypersensitivity.

Nervous System Disorders: headache and dizziness.

Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue Disorders: acne, dry skin, rash, skin exfoliation and skin tightness.

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.


8.1 Pregnancy

Teratorgenic Effects: Pregnancy Category C

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Therefore, Fluocinonide Cream USP, 0.1% 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.

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 breast milk. Nevertheless, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

8.4 Pediatric Use

Safety and efficacy of Fluocinonide Cream USP, 0.1% in pediatric patients younger than 12 years of age have not been established; therefore use in pediatric patients younger than 12 years of age is not recommended.

HPA axis suppression was studied in 4 sequential cohorts of pediatric patients with atopic dermatitis covering at least 20% of the body surface area, treated once daily or twice daily with fluocinonide cream, 0.1%. The first cohort of 31 patients (mean 36.3% BSA) 12 to < 18 years old; the second cohort included 31 patients (mean 39.0% BSA) 6 to < 12 years old; the third cohort included 30 patients (mean 34.6% BSA) 2 to < 6 years old; the fourth cohort included 31 patients (mean 40.0% BSA) 3 months to < 2 years old. Fluocinonide cream, 0.1% caused HPA-axis suppression in 1 patient in the twice daily group in Cohort 1, 2 patients in the twice daily group in Cohort 2, and 1 patient in the twice daily group in Cohort 3. Follow-up testing 14 days after treatment discontinuation, available for all 4 suppressed patients, demonstrated a normally responsive HPA axis. Signs of skin atrophy were present at baseline and severity was not determined making it difficult to assess local skin safety. Therefore, the safety of fluocinonide cream, 0.1% in patients younger than 12 years of age has not been demonstrated [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1) ].

HPA axis suppression has not been evaluated in patients with psoriasis who are less than 18 years of age.

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 or after withdrawal of treatment. Adverse effects including striae have been reported with inappropriate use of topical corticosteroids in infants and children.

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 cosyntropin (ACTH1-24 ) stimulation. Manifestations of intracranial hypertension include bulging fontanelles, headaches, and bilateral papilledema.

8.5 Geriatric Use

Clinical studies of fluocinonide cream, 0.1% did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects.


Topically applied Fluocinonide Cream USP, 0.1% can be absorbed in sufficient amounts to produce systemic effects [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1) ].


Fluocinonide Cream USP, 0.1% contains fluocinonide, a synthetic corticosteroid for topical dermatologic use. The corticosteroids constitute a class of primarily synthetic steroids used topically as anti-inflammatory and antipruritic agents. Fluocinonide has the chemical name 6α, 9-Difluoro-11β, 16α, 17, 21-tetrahydroxypregna-1, 4-diene-3, 20-dione, cyclic 16, 17-acetal with acetone, 21-acetate. Its chemical formula is C26 H32 F2 O7 and it has a molecular weight of 494.52.

It has the following chemical structure:

Chemical Structure
(click image for full-size original)

Fluocinonide is an almost odorless white to creamy white crystalline powder. It is practically insoluble in water and slightly soluble in ethanol.

Each gram of Fluocinonide Cream USP, 0.1% contains 1 mg fluocinonide in a cream base of carbopol 980, citric acid, diisopropanolamine, glycerin, glyceryl monostearate, glyceryl stearate, isostearic acid, PEG-100 stearate, polyethylene glycol monomethyl ether, propylene glycol, and water.


12.1 Mechanism of Action

Corticosteroids play a role in cellular signaling, immune function, inflammation, and protein regulation; however, the precise mechanism of action of Fluocinonide Cream USP, 0.1% in corticosteroid responsive dermatoses is unknown.

12.2 Pharmacodynamics

Vasoconstrictor studies performed with fluocinonide cream, 0.1% in healthy subjects indicate that it is in the super-high range of potency as compared with other topical corticosteroids; however, similar blanching scores do not necessarily imply therapeutic equivalence.

Application of fluocinonide cream, 0.1% twice daily for 14 days in 18 adult subjects with plaque-type psoriasis (10–50% BSA, mean 19.6% BSA) and 31 adult subjects (17 treated once daily; 14 treated twice daily) with atopic dermatitis (2-10% BSA, mean 5% BSA) showed demonstrable HPA-axis suppression in 2 subjects with psoriasis (with 12% and 25% BSA) and 1 subject with atopic dermatitis (treated once daily, 4% BSA) where the criterion for HPA-axis suppression is a serum cortisol level of less than or equal to 18 micrograms per deciliter 30 minutes after stimulation with cosyntropin (ACTH1-24 ) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1) ].

HPA-axis suppression following application of fluocinonide cream, 0.1%, (once or twice daily) was also evaluated in 123 pediatric patients from 3 months to < 18 years of age with atopic dermatitis (mean BSA range 34.6 % — 40.0 %). HPA-axis suppression was observed in 4 patients in the twice daily groups. Follow-up testing 14 days after treatment discontinuation demonstrated a normally responsive HPA axis in all 4 suppressed patients [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 and the integrity of the epidermal barrier. Topical corticosteroids can be absorbed from normal intact skin. Inflammation and/or other disease processes in the skin may increase percutaneous absorption.


13.1 Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

Long-term animal studies have not been performed to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of fluocinonide cream, 0.1% because of severe immunosuppression induced in a 13-week dermal rat study. The effects of fluocinonide on fertility have not been evaluated.

Fluocinonide revealed no evidence of mutagenic or clastogenic potential based on the results of two in vitro genotoxicity tests (Ames test and chromosomal aberration assay using human lymphocytes). However, fluocinonide was positive for clastogenic potential when tested in the in vivo mouse micronucleus assay.

Topical (dermal) application of 0.0003%-0.03% fluocinonide cream to rats once daily for 13 weeks resulted in a toxicity profile generally associated with long term exposure to corticosteroids including decreased skin thickness, adrenal atrophy, and severe immunosuppression. A NOAEL could not be determined in this study. In addition, topical (dermal) application of 0.1% fluocinonide cream plus UVR exposure to hairless mice for 13 weeks and 150-900 mg/kg/day of 0.1% fluocinonide cream to minipigs (a model which more closely approximates human skin) for 13 weeks produced glucocorticoid-related suppression of the HPA axis, with some signs of immuno-suppression noted in the dermal minipig study. Although the clinical relevance of the findings in animals to humans is not clear, sustained glucocorticoid-related immune suppression may increase the risk of infection and possibly the risk for carcinogenesis.

Topical doses of 0% (fluocinonide cream vehicle), 0.0001%, 0.005% and 0.001% fluocinonide cream were evaluated in a 52 week dermal photo-carcinogenicity study (40 weeks of treatment followed by 12 weeks of observation) conducted in hairless albino mice with concurrent exposure to low level ultraviolet radiation. Topical treatment with increasing concentrations of fluocinonide cream did not have an adverse effect in this study. The results of this study suggest that topical treatment with fluocinonide cream would not enhance photo-carcinogenesis.

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