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Reviewed by Dr Roy Kedem, MD
Information last reviewed 08/10/2020
Fluticasone Propionate (generic Cutivate or Beser) is a topical steroid available as a cream and an ointment. The only difference being the ointment is slightly thicker and greasier, containing less Fluticasone in it. It contains a medication called Fluticasone propionate, which treats symptoms of inflammation, including, swelling, itching, redness, and irritated skin.
It is normally prescribed for itching and inflammation caused by skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and lupus. It cannot be used for other skin conditions such as rosacea, acne, or infections.
The cream is prescription only; your physician can prescribe Cutivate for you. You can also receive a prescription through Medzino and have it prescribed and delivered to your door from the comfort of your own home.
When the skin is irritated or is allergic to a substance, various inflammatory mediators are released in the skin, causing blood vessels to widen. This reaction causes the skin to become red, swollen, itchy, and painful. Fluticasone stops cells from releasing inflammatory substances, reducing the symptoms.
Fluticasone cream works within a few days of use, so you should notice improvement after using it for about 3-7 days. If there are no improvements after two weeks, let your prescribing doctor know, and they will reassess your treatment.
Each 1 g contains 0.05 mg of fluticasone propionate (0.005% w/w).
The cream also contains the following inactive ingredients: propylene glycol, sorbitan sesquioleate, microcrystalline wax, and liquid paraffin.
Please note that inactive ingredients can vary between different manufacturers.
It is rare to have an allergic reaction to Cutivate. If you notice serious allergy symptoms such as a rash, itching/swelling of the face, tongue or throat, severe dizziness or trouble breathing, you should stop the medication and seek emergency medical treatment immediately.
Always follow the instructions on the leaflet or from your doctor when using the cream. A thin film of the medication should be applied to the affected area either once or twice daily. It is advised that you leave an 8-12 hour gap between doses. It is usually only used for up to 4 weeks and should not be used for longer unless recommended by the doctor.
Cutivate is unlikely to cause any severe side effects if you follow the instructions correctly. Sometimes you might experience burning or tingling at the treated area, but this only lasts a few days (while the body adjusts to the medication) and should then resolve. Long-term use can make skin thinner or cause stretch marks. Fluticasone contains alcohol, which may cause a skin reaction in the area you are treating. Rare side effects include impaired function of the adrenal glands, skin lightening (depigmentation), and excessive hair growth (hypertrichosis).
Fluticasone cream should not be used if you have these conditions:
It is essential to inform the prescribing doctor of any other health conditions you may have, so they can prescribe the most suitable medication.
Fluticasone has been found to interact with other medications, including immunosuppressive medications such as Aceclofenac. Ensure the prescribing doctor knows of any medications or treatments you are taking to avoid any drug interactions.
Yes, it is acceptable to drink alcohol while using Cutivate as there is no interaction.
No adequate studies have been conducted assessing the effects of Cutivate on pregnant women. Cutivate should only be used if the benefits justify the risk posed to the fetus, which would be determined by your prescriber.
Fluticasone comes as a cream and ointment. It also comes as a nasal spray, which is typically prescribed for allergy relief.
Hydrocortisone is another corticosteroid also used in the treatment of eczema and psoriasis. It relieves redness, itching, and swelling. Hydrocortisone is less potent than Fluticasone and thus is available over-the-counter. There is a more potent version called Hydrocortisone Butyrate, which does require a prescription.
Fluticasone and Triamcinolone are corticosteroids of similar strength and effectiveness. Triamcinolone is used to treat various skin conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis, and poison ivy (contact dermatitis). It can come under several brand names, including Aristocort A, Cinolar, Dermasorb TA Complete Kit, Kenalog, Pediaderm TA, Triacet, Triamcot, Trianex, Triderm, Zytopic. It is a prescription-only medication and can come as a cream, spray, ointment, or lotion.
Fluticasone and Desonide are both corticosteroid creams, although Desonide is a lower strength corticosteroid. Depending upon the severity of your condition, Desonide may be more suitable. Generally, the aim is to treat your condition with the lowest strength of medication - this is because it reduces your chance of side effects. The prescribing doctor will help you decide which treatment is most appropriate for you.
Desonide is available under the brand names Desonate, Desowen, LoKara, Tridesilon, and Verdeso. Desonide works to relieve redness, swelling, and itching. It is not available without a doctor's prescription and comes as a gel/jelly, ointment, cream, lotion, and foam.
Fluticasone and Betamethasone are both corticosteroids of similar strength and efficacy. Betamethasone spray, cream, lotion, and ointment are used to relieve itching, swelling, and redness. The spray is used more specifically to treat adults with plaque psoriasis. It is another corticosteroid medication only available with a doctor's prescription. It is available under the names Alphatrex, Del-Beta, Diprosone.
Clobetasol is a higher strength corticosteroid than Fluticasone. Clobetasol is available as a lotion, foam, ointment, emollient cream, gel/jelly, spray, shampoo, and solution. It works to relieve itching, swelling, redness. The cream and ointment are mainly used to treat eczema, while the other forms are more specific to psoriasis. This is a prescription-only medication.
Cutivate should not be used on the face unless directed by the doctor as it can thin and damage skin. It can also worsen other skin conditions such as acne or rosacea.
Cutivate cannot be used to treat acne, rosacea, or other viral infections like herpes or chickenpox.
Prolonged use of Fluticasone can cause the medication to enter your bloodstream, which can cause serious side effects like adrenal gland problems, high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), thinning of the skin, and visual impairment. If you have been using Cutivate for an extended period, your doctor will reduce the dose gradually before stopping. Normally, if no improvement is seen within two weeks, you may require reassessment of your doctor's initial diagnosis.
The inhalers and cream contain the same medication, Fluticasone, but they are used for different medical conditions. Fluticasone inhalers are used to treat Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Asthma, while the cream is for external use only, to treat conditions such as eczema.
Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. You and your physician will determine if and how you should take any medication prescribed to you following a medical consultation.
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