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Precautions and Warnings With Desonide Gel

Cushing's syndrome and diabetes are some of the effects of long-term use of steroids, such as desonide gel. Other precautions and warnings extend to children and teenagers using this drug (it may affect growth), as well as women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. If you are allergic to any of the ingredients used to make this product, you should not use desonide gel.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to using desonide gel (Desonate®) if you:
  • Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding
  • Have any allergies, including to food, dyes, or preservatives.
You should also tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Desonide Gel Precautions and Warnings

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of with this medication include the following:
  • Desonide gel is a steroid and can cause serious side effects, such as Cushing's syndrome or diabetes. Although this is more likely to occur with oral or injected steroids, it is still possible with topical steroids such as desonide gel. The more you apply and the longer you use the drug, the more likely these problems become. Covering the gel with a dressing, which is not recommended, may also increase the risk.
  • It is not recommended to use desonide gel for more than four weeks at a time. Although the drug is very effective, it should not be used on a long-term basis.
  • If you use this medication for an extended period, which is not recommended, be sure to watch for any signs of Cushing's syndrome (a group of symptoms caused by prolonged exposure to steroids), such as:
    • A rounded face
    • Unusual body fat distribution (more fat in the trunk, face, and neck, and less fat in the arms and legs)
    • High blood sugar.
Let your healthcare provider know if you think you have signs of this problem.
  • Desonide gel can suppress the body's ability to make natural steroids. Usually, this happens when large doses are used over a long period, which is not recommended. In such circumstances, desonide gel should be stopped slowly to give your body a chance to begin making natural steroids again. If this is not feasible, you might need to be given an oral steroid for a while, after which you will be slowly weaned from the oral steroid.
  • Like all steroids, desonide gel may slow down the growth rate of children and teenagers. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you are concerned about a slow growth rate in your child. In general, children may be more susceptible to side effects of steroids. Close monitoring is necessary for any child receiving long-term steroids.
  • Desonide gel can potentially react with a few other medications (see Drug Interactions With Desonide Gel).
  • Desonide gel is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not currently known (see Desonate and Pregnancy).
  • It is unknown if desonide gel passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to using the drug (see Desonate and Breastfeeding).

Desonide Gel Information

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