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Precautions and Warnings With Fluticasone Propionate Ointment

Because it is a steroid, fluticasone propionate ointment decreases the body's ability to produce natural steroids and could increase a person's risk for infections. In addition, long-term use may lead to signs of Cushing's disease. Warnings with fluticasone propionate ointment also apply to women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, as well as to people with certain allergies.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

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

Specific Fluticasone Propionate Ointment Warnings and Precautions

Some precautions and warnings to be aware of with this medication include the following:
  • Fluticasone propionate ointment is a steroid and can cause serious steroid-related 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 like fluticasone propionate ointment. The more you apply and the longer you use the drug, the more likely these problems become. Covering the cream with a dressing, which is not recommended, may also increase the risk.
  • If you use this medication for an extended period, 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. 
  • Fluticasone propionate ointment can suppress the body's ability to make natural steroids. Usually, this happens when large doses are used over a long time, which is not recommended. In such circumstances, the medication should be stopped very 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 off of it.
  • Like all steroids, fluticasone propionate ointment may slow down the growth rate of children and teenagers. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you are concerned about this. In general, children may be more susceptible to side effects of steroids. Close monitoring is necessary for any child receiving long-term steroids.
  • If you develop a skin infection while using fluticasone propionate ointment, you will need to be treated with appropriate antibiotics or antifungal medications. If the infection does not clear up, you may need to stop using this medicine.
  • Fluticasone propionate ointment can interfere with a few other medications (see Drug Interactions With Fluticasone Propionate Ointment).
  • This product 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 Cutivate Ointment and Pregnancy).
  • It is unknown if fluticasone propionate ointment passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to beginning treatment (see Cutivate Ointment and Breastfeeding).

Fluticasone Propionate Ointment Information

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