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September 1977

Topical Halcinonide and Betamethasone Valerate Effects on Plasma CortisolAcute and Subacute Usage Studies

Arch Dermatol. 1977;113(9):1196-1202. doi:10.1001/archderm.1977.01640090044003

• The effect of topical application of halcinonide cream and betamethasone valerate cream on plasma cortisol was studied in an acute usage study as well as a subacute study, which more closely approximated common clinical usage. In the acute study, halcinonide cream caused a marked decrease in plasma cortisol, both with and without occlusion, in patients with extensive psoriasis, but only with occlusion in normal subjects. Betamethasone valerate cream decreased plasma cortisol levels in patients with extensive psoriasis when applied with occlusion and, to a lesser extent, without occlusion. In a double-blind subacute usage study without occlusion, two of 23 patients treated with halcinonide cream showed decreased plasma cortisol levels during the treatment period, while none of the 21 patients treated with betamethasone valerate cream showed such decreases. Three patients in the halcinonide group developed striae. Clinical response to halcinonide was superior to that with betamethasone valerate cream, but a similar number of patients were resistant to treatment with each medication.

(Arch Dermatol 113:1196-1202, 1977)