Why is this medicine prescribed?
Halobetasol topical is used to treat redness, swelling, itching, and discomfort of various skin conditions in adults and children 12 years of age and older, including plaque psoriasis (a skin disease in which red, scaly patches form on some areas of the body) and eczema (a skin disease that causes the skin to be dry and itchy and to sometimes develop red, scaly rashes). Halobetasol is in a class of medications called corticosteroids. It works by activating natural substances in the skin to reduce swelling, redness, and itching.
Are there other uses for this medicine?
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should this medicine be used?
Halobetasol comes in ointment, cream, foam, and lotion for use on the skin. Halobetasol topical is usually applied once or twice a day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use halobetasol topical exactly as directed. Do not apply more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor. Do not apply it to other areas of your body or use it to treat other skin conditions unless directed to do so by your doctor.
Your skin condition should improve during the first 2 weeks of your treatment. Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve during this time.
To use halobetasol topical, apply a small amount of cream, ointment, foam, or lotion to cover the affected area of skin with a thin even film and rub it in gently.
Halobetasol foam is flammable. Stay away from open fire, flames, and do not smoke while you are applying halobetasol foam, and for a short time afterwards.
This medication is only for use on the skin. Do not let halobetasol topical get into your eyes or mouth and do not swallow it. Avoid use on the face, in the genital and rectal areas, and in skin creases and armpits unless directed by your doctor.
Do not wrap or bandage the treated area unless your doctor tells you that you should. Such use may increase side effects.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using halobetasol topical,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to halobetasol, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in halobetasol topical products. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and nutritional supplements you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention the following: other corticosteroid medications and other topical medications.
- tell your doctor if you have an infection or have ever had cataracts, glaucoma (a condition in which increased pressure in the eye can lead to gradual loss of vision), diabetes, Cushing's syndrome (an abnormal condition that is caused by excess hormones [corticosteroids]), or liver disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while using halobetasol, call your doctor.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using halobetasol topical.
What should I do if I forget to take a dose?
Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not apply a double amount to make up for a missed dose.
What should I do in case of overdose?
If someone swallows halobetasol topical, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
What side effects can this medicine cause?
Halobetasol topical may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- burning, itching, irritation, redness, or dryness of the skin
- tiny red bumps or rash around the mouth
- small white or red bumps on the skin
- unwanted hair growth
- change in skin color
- bruising or shiny skin
- red or purple blotches or lines under the skin
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms call your doctor immediately:
- redness, swelling, or other signs of skin infection in the place where you applied halobetasol
- severe skin rash
- skin sores
- sudden weight gain
- unusual tiredness
- muscle weakness
- depression and irritability
- blurred vision or other vision changes
Children who use halobetasol topical may have an increased risk of side effects including slowed growth and delayed weight gain. Talk to your child's doctor about the risks of applying this medication to your child's skin.
Halobetasol may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online ( http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch ) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Do not freeze the foam product.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website ( http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p ) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your body's response to halobetasol. Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.