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Precautions and Warnings With Fluocinonide

Before starting treatment with fluocinonide, the warnings and precautions about the drug's possible side effects should be fully understood. For example, the longer you use it, the higher your risk of problems like diabetes and Cushing's syndrome. Fluocinonide has also been known to slow down the growth rate of children and teenagers, so extra monitoring may required if long-term use is necessary.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to using fluocinonide (Lidex®, Vanos®) if you:
  • Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding
  • Have any allergies, including to food, dyes, or preservatives.
You should also be sure to tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Fluocinonide Warnings and Precautions

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of with fluocinonide include the following:
  • Fluocinonide is a steroid and can cause serious side effects, such as Cushing's syndrome or diabetes. Although this is more likely to occur with oral or injected steroids, it is still possible with topical steroids such as fluocinonide.
The more you apply and the longer you use the drug, the more likely these problems become. Covering the medication with a dressing, which is sometimes recommended, may also increase the risk.
  • If you use this medication for an extended period, be sure to watch for any signs of Cushing's syndrome (a group of symptoms caused by prolonged exposure to steroids), such as:
    • A rounded face
    • Unusual body fat distribution (more fat in the trunk, face, and neck, and less fat in the arms and legs)
    • High blood sugar.
Let your healthcare provider know if you think you have signs of this problem.
  • Fluocinonide can suppress the body's ability to make natural steroids. Usually, this happens when large doses are used over a long period. In such circumstances, the medication should be stopped very slowly to give your body a chance to begin making natural steroids again. If this is not feasible, you might need to be given an oral steroid for a while after which you will slowly be weaned from the oral steroid.
  • For the higher strength of fluocinonide (Vanos), it is not recommended to use the product for more than two weeks at a time. Although the drug is highly effective, it should not be used on a long-term basis.
  • Like all steroids, fluocinonide may slow down the growth rate of children and teenagers. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you are concerned about a slow growth rate in your child. In general, children may be more susceptible to side effects of steroids. Close monitoring is necessary for any child receiving long-term steroids in any form.
  • Fluocinonide can potentially react with a few other medications (see Drug Interactions With Fluocinonide).
  • This product is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not currently known (see Lidex and Pregnancy or Vanos and Pregnancy).
  • It is unknown if fluocinonide passes through breast milk when applied to the skin. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to using the drug (see Lidex and Breastfeeding or Vanos and Breastfeeding).

Fluocinonide Drug Information

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