Generic name: Halobetasol propionateBrand names: Ultravate
Ultravate is a high-potency steroid medication that relieves the itching and inflammation caused by a wide variety of skin disorders. It is available in cream and ointment formulations.
Some of the medication in Ultravate is inevitably absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream. If applied over a large area, or under an airtight dressing, the drug can cause a number of unwanted side effects, including increased sugar in your blood and urine and a set of symptoms called Cushing's syndrome, characterized by a moon-shaped face, emotional disturbances, high blood pressure, weight gain, and growth of body hair in women. Use no more of Ultravate than your doctor directs, and do not bandage or wrap the affected area unless the doctor specifically recommends it.
Use Ultravate only on the skin. Do not apply it to the face, groin, or armpits, and be careful to keep it out of your eyes.
When treating an infant's diaper area, do not use tight diapers or plastic pants, which can increase absorption of the drug.
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe to continue using Ultravate.
Do not use Ultravate to treat red eruptions around the mouth (perioral dermatitis) or the red facial patches caused by rosacea. Avoid Ultravate if it causes an allergic reaction.
Use of steroid medications can lead to a slowdown in the body's production of natural steroids and result in a shortage when the medication is stopped. To reduce the likelihood of this problem, use Ultravate for no more than 2 weeks at a time, and apply it only to small areas.
When used on children, steroid creams and ointments have been known to stunt growth and raise pressure inside the skull, resulting in headaches, bulges on the head, and loss of vision. Ultravate is not recommended for children under 12.
No interactions have been reported.
In studies with animals, steroid medications have caused harm during pregnancy. Use Ultravate while pregnant only if the possible benefits outweigh the possible risks to the baby.
Steroids do make their way into breast milk, and can cause harm to a nursing infant. Use Ultravate with caution while breastfeeding.
Once or twice a day, gently and completely rub into the affected skin a thin layer of Ultravate. Do not use more than 50 grams per week, and do not continue treatment for more than 2 weeks.
Applied in excessive quantities, Ultravate can produce the problems discussed under "Most important fact about Ultravate." If you suspect an overdose, check with your doctor immediately.