Drugs Home > Precautions and Warnings With Fluocinolone Shampoo

Even though fluocinolone shampoo isn't taken internally, it is still a steroid -- which means serious side effects are possible and, in many cases, precautions should be taken. Safety warnings for this drug include such things as an increased risk of infection, diabetes, and drug interactions. It's also important to watch for changes in body fat distribution, high blood sugar, or other signs of Cushing's syndrome.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to using fluocinolone shampoo (Capex®) if you:
  • Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding
  • 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 Fluocinolone Shampoo Precautions and Warnings

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of with this medication include the following:
  • Fluocinolone shampoo 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 this one. The more you apply and the longer you use the drug, the more likely these problems become. Covering the medication with a dressing, which is not recommended, may also increase the risk.
  • If you use this medication continuously for an extended period, which is generally 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.
  • Fluocinolone shampoo 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, this drug 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 off it.
  • Like all steroids, fluocinolone shampoo 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.
  • Fluocinolone shampoo can suppress the immune system, perhaps leading to infections or other problems.
  • Fluocinolone shampoo can potentially react with a few other medications (see Drug Interactions With Fluocinolone Shampoo).
  • 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 Capex and Pregnancy).
  • It is unknown if fluocinolone shampoo passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to beginning treatment (see Capex and Breastfeeding).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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