Side Effects of Fluocinonide

Fluocinonide is a medication used to treat skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. It is a drug belonging to the family of corticosteroids. Corticosteroids are a type of medication that works by reducing inflammation and swelling.


What is fluocinonide used for?

Fluocinonide can provide relief from the symptoms of eczema and psoriasis. It can also help to reduce inflammation and prevent further irritation of the skin. Fluocinonide comes in a cream, ointment, or solution (liquid) form.


Fluocinonide brand names

Fluocinonide is the generic name of the drug. Below is the list of the brand names of the drug:


United States:

Lidex, Lidex-E, Vanos



Lidemol, Lidex Mild, Lidex Regular, Lyderm, Tcis, Tiamol, Topsyn, Trisyn


Which body parts should be avoided when using fluocinonide?

Only the skin should be used for this medication. Avoid getting it in your mouth, nose, eyes, or vagina. It should not be applied to skin that has been burned, scraped, or cut. Rinse it off with water as soon as possible if it does get on these locations.


Certain skin infections or illnesses, like serious burns, shouldn’t be treated with this medication.

Unless advised by your doctor, avoid applying it to the face, groin, or underarms.

Unless your doctor advises you otherwise, do not use it for longer than 2 weeks.


How long does fluocinonide stay in your system?

The amount of time that fluocinonide stays in your system is dependent on the duration of use of the medicine. Some research suggests that suppression of cortisol levels is still apparent 96 hours after topical use of corticosteroid creams, which implies that fluocinonide can stay in your system for long periods of time, possibly for up to a few weeks. Fluocinonide is not recommended for long term use. More research is required about the half-life of fluocinonide and how long it stays in your system.


According to the NHS, for people who use fluocinonide for extended periods of time (more than 12 months in adults), a withdrawal reaction may occur which can include:

  • redness or changes in skin color (hyperpigmentation)
  • burning, stinging, itching or peeling of the skin, or oozing, open sores


What are the side effects of fluocinonide?

According to Mayo Clinic, use of fluocinonide can have side effects. Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

  • Blistering, burning, crusting, dryness, or flaking of the skin
  • irritation
  • itching, scaling, severe redness, soreness, or swelling of the skin
  • redness and scaling around the mouth
  • thinning of the skin with easy bruising, especially when used on the face or where the skin folds together (e.g. between the fingers)
  • thinning, weakness, or wasting away of the skin


Why does my skin burn when I apply fluocinonide to my skin?

If your skin burns after applying fluocinonide to your skin, you may have an allergic reaction to the steroid cream and your skin cannot tolerate it. Fluocinonide also contains cetostearyl alcohol which may cause acute allergic reactions.


How do I taper down from using fluocinonide?

To taper down from using fluocinonide many doctors advise adjusting to using a weaker steroid cream over an extended period of time. This is commonly known as climbing down the topical steroid ladder.


Which steroid creams are weaker than fluocinonide?

Fluocinonide is a super-potent topical steroid according to the Topical Steroid Potency Strength Chart. Below is the list of weaker topical steroids than fluocinonide:

  • Flurandrenolide 4 mcg/cm2
  • Halobetasol propionate
  • Amcinonide
  • Betamethasone dipropionate
  • Augmented betamethasone dipropionate
  • Desoximetasone
  • Augmented Diflorasone diacetate
  • Diflorasone diacetate
  • Fluocinonide
  • Halcinonide
  • Mometasone furoate
  • Fluticasone propionate
  • Triamcinolone acetonide 0.5%
  • Betamethasone valerate
  • Fluocinolone acetonide
  • Flurandrenolide
  • Hydrocortisone valerate
  • Triamcinolone acetonide
  • Betamethasone valerate 0.1%
  • Clocortolone pivalate
  • Hydrocortisone butyrate
  • Hydrocortisone probutate
  • Hydrocortisone valerate 0.2%
  • Prednicarbate
  • Alclometasone dipropionate
  • Desonide 0.05%
  • Hydrocortisone 0.5% – 2.5%
  • Hydrocortisone


Which steroid creams are stronger than fluocinonide?

The following are stronger topical steroids than fluocinonide:

  • Augmented betamethasone dipropionate
  • Clobetasol propionate
  • Desoximetasone
  • Augmented diflorasone diacetate
  • Diflorasone diacetate


What happens when you use fluocinonide too often?

If you use fluocinonide too frequently or for an extended period of time, tolerance or tachyphylaxis to that potency level of steroid cream may develop. Fluocinonide is not recommended for extended use which may result in some of the common side effects listed above. Consult with your doctor if you have concerns.


Does fluocinonide cause topical steroid withdrawal?

More research is required to understand the complexity of Topical Steroid Withdrawal and its specific connection to fluocinonide. Fluocinonide is a highly potent corticosteroid commonly used for skin conditions and the side effects of discontinuing the use of this topical steroid medicine is yet to be studied.

Throughout online groups and communities, there are serious concerns, accounts, discussions and images about corticosteroid creams (not just fluocinonide) causing Topical Steroid Withdrawal. The accounts and experiences of the Topical Steroid Withdrawal community continues to grow and has gathered media wide attention for the aesthetic physical severity of many suffering.

Topical Steroid Withdrawal is an iatrogenic health phenomena that requires more research and studies. The International Topical Steroid Awareness Network (ITSAN) is currently building a patient registry to begin preliminary studies.


Is there treatment for Topical Steroid Withdrawal?

Currently, there is no global protocol or medical treatment for topical steroid withdrawal. At TSW Assist, we are identifying crowd sourced insights of products, routines, and therapies that can help manage the inflammation and symptoms during the withdrawal period from topical steroids. Currently, there is no quick cure for Topical Steroid Withdrawal.

Through the community, we are finding insights of the management of the symptoms of TSW, through the tracking of the efficacy of specific products, methods and therapies.

Disclaimer: The information on this website is not medical advice. There is no known medical cure for topical steroid withdrawal, but there are collective methods to manage the symptom and inflammation during the withdrawal period. It should not be mistaken that all usage of steroid creams will cause topical steroid withdrawal. More clinical research is required to understand the cause of Topical Steroid Withdrawal within an individual.

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