Clobetasol propionate is a corticosteroid used to treat various skin disorders including eczema and psoriasis. It is also highly effective for contact dermatitis caused by exposure to poison ivy/oak. Clobetasol belongs to US Class I (Europe class IV) of the corticosteroids, making it one of the most potent available. It comes in shampoo, mousse, ointment and emollient cream presentations. It has very high potency and typically should not be used with occlusive dressings, or for extended continuous use. It is also used to treat several auto-immune diseases including alopecia areata, vitiligo and lichen planus (auto immune skin nodules).
In a 90-day repeat-dose toxicity study in rats, topical administration of clobetasol propionate foam at dose concentrations from % to % or from to mg/kg/day of clobetasol propionate resulted in a toxicity profile consistent with long-term exposure to corticosteroids including adrenal atrophy, histopathological changes in several organs systems indicative of severe immune suppression, and opportunistic fungal and bacterial infections. A no observable adverse effect level (NOAEL) could not be determined in this study. Although the clinical relevance of the findings in animals to humans is not clear, sustained glucocorticoid-related immune suppression may increase the risk of infection and possibly the risk for carcinogenesis.