How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

This combination product contains two medications: clioquinol and flumethasone. Clioquinol is an anti-infective agent that fights bacteria and fungi. Flumethasone has an anti-inflammatory and anti-itching effect and belongs to the family of drugs called corticosteroids.

This combination of ingredients is used for the relief of inflammation and itching due to skin conditions such as contact or allergic dermatitis (eczema) or seborrheic dermatitis, which also have bacteria or fungus infecting the skin. The cream is slightly drying to the skin and is useful for moist, weeping wounds and in the folds of the skin.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are using this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to use this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Each tube of off-white, water-soluble cream contains 3% clioquinol and 0.02% flumethasone. Nonmedicinal ingredients: cetyl alcohol, cetyl palmitate, glycerin, petrolatum, phenoxyethanol, sodium lauryl sulfate, stearyl alcohol, and water.

How should I use this medication?

The recommended dose is one thin application 2 or 3 times daily.

Do not apply this medication near the eyes and do not use this cream under dressings that don't breathe unless instructed to do so by your doctor.

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

Flumethasone - clioquinol cream should not be applied to open wounds or sores.

Avoid getting any cream in the eyes. If the medication gets into your eyes accidentally, flush them at once with plenty of water.

This medication usually begins to work within the first few doses. Be sure to use the medication for the prescribed amount of time, even if the problem seems to have cleared, so that the infection will not come back.

If there is no improvement in the skin condition after a week, or if the condition appears to be worsening, stop using the medication and contact your doctor.

This medication may turn yellow when it is exposed to air. This is normal and the cream is still safe to use.

Staining may occur to skin, nails, hair, or fabric with the use of this medication.

It is important to use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not use a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Flumethasone - clioquinol cream should not be used by or given to anyone who:

  • is allergic to clioquinol, flumethasone pivalate, or any ingredients of the medication
  • is allergic to corticosteroids, hydroxyquinolines or quinolone derivatives
  • is under 2 years of age
  • has open wounds or ulcerated areas on the skin
  • has pre-existing tuberculosis of the skin, or viral infections of the skin (e.g., chickenpox, skin eruptions following vaccination, herpes simplex, herpes zoster)
  • has rosacea, acne vulgaris, or dermatitis around the mouth

What side effects are possible with this medication?

Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.

The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.

The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

  • burning, dryness, irritation, itching, or redness or skin (usually mild and temporary)
  • change in skin colour
  • increased redness or scaling of skin sores (usually mild and temporary)
  • skin rash (usually mild and temporary)
  • yellow staining of the skin, nails, hair, or fabrics

Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • acne blood-containing blisters on skin
  • burning and itching of skin
  • increased skin sensitivity
  • lack of healing of skin condition
  • numbness in fingers
  • painful, red or itchy, pus-containing blisters in hair follicles
  • raised, dark-red, wart-like spots on skin, especially when medication is used on the face
  • new or spreading skin infection
  • thinning of skin with easy bruising

Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.

Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?

Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.

Absorption: When flumethasone is used over extensive areas for prolonged periods and under dressings that don't breathe, it is possible that enough medication will absorb into the bloodstream to cause side effects. Speak to your doctor about when you should stop using the cream.

Prolonged use of the cream over large areas of the body or applying it under dressings that don't breathe could cause this medication to be absorbed into the bloodstream, potentially producing effects similar to those seen after taking corticosteroid medications by mouth for long periods of time.

Effectiveness of medication: Although the side effects associated with the use of this medication are uncommon and not to be expected from ordinary use, sensitization, irritation, and failure to produce improvement have been noticed in rare instances. If your condition does not improve after one week of using the cream, call your doctor.

Eyes: Use this medication with caution on lesions close to the eye. Take care to ensure that it does not enter the eye, as glaucoma may result. Cataracts have been reported following internal use of corticosteroids.

Kidney function: If you have reduced kidney function or kidney disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Laboratory tests: This medication may interfere with the results of certain thyroid function tests and tests for phenylketonuria.

Liver function: If you have reduced liver function or liver disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Medical treatment: Be sure to tell all health professionals involved in your care that you are using this medication.

Thinning of skin: Using topical corticosteroid medications for a long period of time can cause skin to thin or soften or cause stretch marks. Your doctor may recommend you stop using this medication once in a while or to apply to one area of the body at a time.

Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while using this medication, contact your doctor immediately.

Breast-feeding: It is not known if flumethasone - clioquinol cream passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are using this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.

Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children less than 2 years old.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

There may be an interaction between flumethasone - clioquinol and any of the following:

  • topical medications that contain corticosteroids
  • topical medications that irritate the skin

If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.