WHO Model Prescribing Information: Drugs Used in Skin Diseases
(1997; 132 pages) [French] [Spanish] View the PDF document
Table of Contents
View the documentPreface
View the documentIntroduction
Open this folder and view contentsParasitic infections
Open this folder and view contentsInsect and arachnid bites and stings
Open this folder and view contentsSuperficial fungal infections
Open this folder and view contentsSubcutaneous fungal infections
Open this folder and view contentsBacterial infections
Open this folder and view contentsViral infections
Open this folder and view contentsEczematous diseases
Open this folder and view contentsScaling diseases
Open this folder and view contentsPapulosquamous diseases
View the documentCutaneous reactions to drugs
Open this folder and view contentsPigmentary disorders
Open this folder and view contentsPremalignant lesions and malignant tumours
Open this folder and view contentsPhotodermatoses
Open this folder and view contentsBullous dermatoses
View the documentAlopecia areata
View the documentUrticaria
Open this folder and view contentsConditions common in children
View the documentAcne vulgaris
View the documentPruritus
View the documentTropical ulcers
Open this folder and view contentsAntimicrobial drugs
Open this folder and view contentsAntifugal drugs
Open this folder and view contentsAntiseptic agents
Open this folder and view contentsKeratoplastic and keratolytic agents
Open this folder and view contentsScabicides and pediculicides
Open this folder and view contentsAnti-inflammatory and antipruritic drugs1
Open this folder and view contentsAntiallergics and drugs used in anaphylaxis
Open this folder and view contentsUltraviolet radiation-blocking agents (sunscreens)
Open this folder and view contentsMiscellaneous drugs
Close this folderAnnex
View the documentClassification of topical corticosteroids
View the documentSelected WHO Publications of Related Interest
View the documentBack cover
 

Classification of topical corticosteroids

Hydrocortisone and betamethasone are examples of low- and high-potency topical corticosteroids. Topical corticosteroids have been ranked in terms of potency into four groups consisting of seven classes. Class I topical corticosteroids are the most potent and Class VII are the least potent. Efficacy and side-effects are greatest with the Class I ultra-high-potency preparations which should only be used for limited time periods (2-3 weeks). Representative preparations by group are listed in the table below. These groups may vary depending on the formulation and concentration and should be considered approximate. In general, ointments are more potent than creams or lotions. Potency is also increased when topical corticosteroids are used under occlusive dressings or in intertriginous areas.

Potency

Class

Topical corticosteroid

Formulation

Ultra high

I

Clobetasol propionate

Cream, 0.05%

   

Diflorasone diacetate

Ointment, 0.05%

High

II

Amcinonide

Ointment, 0.1%

   

Betamethasone dipropionate

Ointment, 0.05%

   

Desoximetasone

Cream or ointment, 0.025%

   

Fluocinonide

Cream, ointment or gel, 0.05%

   

Halcinonide

Cream, 0.1%

 

III

Betamethasone dipropionate

Cream, 0.05%

   

Betamethasone valerate

Ointment, 0.1%

   

Diflorasone diacetate

Cream, 0.05%

   

Triamcinolone acetonide

Ointment, 0.1%

Moderate

IV

Desoximetasone

Cream, 0.05%

   

Fluocinolone acetonide

Ointment, 0.025%

   

Fludroxycortide

Ointment, 0.05%

   

Hydrocortisone valerate

Ointment, 0.2%

   

Triamcinolone acetonide

Cream, 0.1%

 

V

Betamethasone dipropionate

Lotion, 0.02%

   

Betamethasone valerate

Cream, 0.1%

   

Fluocinolone acetonide

Cream, 0.025%

   

Fludroxycortide

Cream, 0.05%

   

Hydrocortisone butyrate

Cream, 0.1%

   

Hydrocortisone valerate

Cream, 0.2%

   

Triamcinolone acetonide

Lotion, 0.1%

Low

VI

Betamethasone valerate

Lotion, 0.05%

   

Desonide

Cream, 0.05%

   

Fluocinolone acetonide

Solution, 0.01%

 

VII

Dexamethasone sodium phosphate

Cream, 0.1%

   

Hydrocortisone acetate

Cream, 1%

   

Methylprednisolone acetate

Cream, 0.25%

 

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