Amcinonide is a topical corticosteroid used for the treatment of skin conditions. It is part of an older class of drugs and is not widely prescribed, except by physicians who have a reason to prefer it or to think it would be more effective for a patient than newer drugs. In some cases, a pharmacy may need to special order it because of the reduced availability, and when it is prescribed, patients may want to ask their doctors which pharmacy is most likely to have it.
This drug is used to treat inflammatory conditions of the skin like dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis. It should ease pain, swelling, itching, and redness, although it may take several days for the medication to start working effectively. Amcinonide is provided in the form of a topical cream designed to be spread on the skin in a thin layer. It is not suitable for use on the face, and it shouldn't be applied to the armpits or groin either. After applying the medication, it is advisable to wash the hands to avoid transferring traces of it when handling food or touching the face.
Patients often experience irritation, itching, and burning when they first apply the medication. This can persist through several doses, but should resolve relatively quickly. If it does not, or the skin appears more irritated, amcinonide should be discontinued and a different medication should be considered. Side effects like bumps on the skin, excessive hair growth, and discoloration of the skin can also occur, and can be a sign of a bad reaction to the medication.
Amcinonide is very powerful and it is not intended for internal use. Patients who use the medication for long periods of time sometimes absorb enough through the skin to start developing symptoms of excessive corticosteroid use, including weight gain, hair growth, and increased appetite. If these side effects do develop, patients may want to discuss switching to a different medication, or should get advice on applying their amcinonide in case they are putting too much on at a time.
Alternative medications are available for patients who experience unpleasant side effects or develop an allergy. Patients on amcinonide may react badly to other corticosteroids, and a doctor will exercise care when prescribing a different medication if a patient appears to have trouble with amcinonide. It is also important to be aware of the potential for bad drug interactions. Patients should make sure their doctors and pharmacists know which drugs they are taking and they should check before taking new medications, including over-the-counter therapies.