Adrenal suppression following low-dose topical clobetasol propionate.
The use of topical steroids is associated with adverse systemic effects such as suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, and application of more than 50 g per week of clobetasol propionate cream has been shown to cause secondary adrenal failure. We describe 4 patients who used clobetasol propionate cream over a prolonged period; 3 patients used less than 50 g per week (7.5, 25 and 30 g per week) and yet all developed secondary adrenal failure for up to 4 months after cessation of therapy. Adrenal insufficiency following prolonged use of clobetasol propionate in moderate dosages may therefore be more common than previously recognized. It is suggested that the metyrapone test, which conveniently examines the entire HPA axis, should be employed in patients receiving long-term topical clobetasol propionate cream and that glucocorticoid supplementation should be given during episodes of stress, such as infections and surgery, for up to 4 months after cessation of therapy.
Ohman, EM; Rogers, S; Meenan, FO; McKenna, TJ
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