Included as part of the "PRECAUTIONS" Section
Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis Suppression And Other Adverse Endocrine Effects
LEXETTE is a topical corticosteroid that has been shown to suppress the hypothalamic-pituitaryadrenal (HPA) axis.
Systemic effects of topical corticosteroids may include reversible HPA axis suppression, with the potential for glucocorticosteroid insufficiency. This may occur during treatment or upon withdrawal of treatment of the topical corticosteroid. The potential for hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) suppression with LEXETTE was evaluated in a study of 25 adult subjects with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis involving ≥15% of their body surface area. LEXETTE produced laboratory evidence of HPA axis suppression when used twice daily for two weeks in 6 out of 25 (24%) adult subjects with plaque psoriasis. Recovery of HPA axis function was generally prompt with the discontinuation of treatment [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Because of the potential for systemic absorption, use of topical corticosteroids, including LEXETTE, may require that patients be evaluated periodically for evidence of HPA axis suppression. Factors that predispose a patient using a topical corticosteroid to HPA axis suppression include the use of more potent corticosteroids, use over large surface areas, prolonged use, occlusive use, use on an altered skin barrier, concomitant use of multiple corticosteroid-containing products, liver failure, and young age. An ACTH stimulation test may be helpful in evaluating patients for HPA axis suppression.
If HPA axis suppression is documented, attempt to gradually withdraw the drug, reduce the frequency of application, or substitute a less potent steroid. Manifestations of adrenal insufficiency may require supplemental systemic corticosteroids. Recovery of HPA axis function is generally prompt and complete upon discontinuation of topical corticosteroids.
Systemic effects of topical corticosteroids may also include Cushing's syndrome, hyperglycemia, and glucosuria. Use of more than one corticosteroid-containing product at the same time may increase the total systemic exposure to topical corticosteroids.
Pediatric patients may be more susceptible than adults to systemic toxicity from the use of topical corticosteroids due to their larger surface-to-body mass ratios [see Use In Specific Populations].
Local Adverse Reactions
Local adverse reactions from topical corticosteroids may include atrophy, striae, telangiectasias, burning, itching, irritation, dryness, folliculitis, acneiform eruptions, hypopigmentation, perioral dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, secondary infection, and miliaria. These may be more likely to occur with occlusive use, prolonged use, or use of higher potency corticosteroids, including LEXETTE. Some local adverse reactions may be irreversible.
Ophthalmic Adverse Reactions
Use of topical corticosteroids may increase the risk of posterior subcapsular cataracts and glaucoma. Cataracts and glaucoma have been reported in postmarketing experience with the use of topical corticosteroid products.
Advise patients to report any visual symptoms and consider referral to an ophthalmologist for evaluation.
Concomitant Skin Infections
Use an appropriate antimicrobial agent if a skin infection is present or develops. If a favorable response does not occur promptly, discontinue use of LEXETTE until the infection has been adequately treated.
Allergic Contact Dermatitis
Allergic contact dermatitis with corticosteroids is usually diagnosed by observing failure to heal rather than noting a clinical exacerbation. Consider confirmation of a clinical diagnosis of allergic contact dermatitis by appropriate patch testing. Discontinue LEXETTE if allergic contact dermatitis is established.
LEXETTE is flammable. Avoid fire, flame, or smoking during and immediately following application.
Patient Counseling Information
Advise the patient to read the FDA-approved patient labeling (PATIENT INFORMATION and Instructions for Use).
This information is intended to aid in the safe and effective use of this medication. It is not a disclosure of all administration instructions or all possible adverse or unintended effects.
Inform patients of the following:
Important Administration Instructions
- Total dosage should not exceed 50 grams (one can) per week [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].
- Advise patients to avoid use on the face, groin, or axillae. Avoid contact with eyes [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].
- Inform patients that topical corticosteroids may cause HPA axis suppression and local adverse reactions [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
- Breastfeeding women should not apply LEXETTE directly to the nipple and/or areola to avoid direct exposure to the infant [see Use In Specific Populations].
- This product is flammable; avoid heat, flame, or smoking during and immediately following application of this product.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility
Long-term animal studies have not been performed to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of halobetasol propionate.
In a 90-day repeat-dose toxicity study in rats, topical administration of LEXETTE at dose concentrations from 0.005% to 0.05% or from 0.011 to 0.11 mg/kg/day of halobetasol propionate resulted in a toxicity profile consistent with long-term exposure to corticosteroids including adrenal atrophy, histopathological changes in several organ systems indicative of severe immune suppression, and opportunistic fungal and bacterial infections. A no observable adverse effect level could not be determined in this study. Although the clinical relevance of the findings in animals to humans is not clear, sustained glucocorticoid-related immune suppression may increase the risk of infection and possibly the risk of carcinogenesis.
Halobetasol propionate was not found to be genotoxic in the Ames/Salmonella assay, in the Chinese hamster CHO/HGPRT assay, in the mouse micronucleus test, in the sister chromatid exchange test in somatic cells of the Chinese hamster, or in the chromosome aberration test in somatic cells of Chinese hamsters. Positive mutagenicity effects were observed in two genotoxicity assays: Chinese hamster nuclear anomaly test and mouse lymphoma gene mutation assay in vitro.
Studies in the rat following oral administration at dose levels up to 0.05 mg/kg/day indicated no impairment of fertility or general reproductive performance.
Use In Specific Populations
There are no available data on LEXETTE use in pregnant women to inform a drug-associated risk of major birth defects, miscarriage, or adverse maternal or fetal outcomes. Published data report an increased risk of low birthweight with the use of greater than 300 grams of potent or very potent topical corticosteroid during a pregnancy. In animal reproduction studies, increased malformations, including cleft palate and omphalocele, were observed after oral administration of halobetasol propionate during organogenesis to pregnant rats and rabbits. No comparisons of animal exposure with human exposure may be calculated due to minimal systemic exposure in humans after topical administration of LEXETTE [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
The background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population are unknown. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2-4% and 15-20%, respectively.
Multiple observational studies found no significant associations between maternal use of topical corticosteroids of any potency and congenital malformations, preterm delivery, or fetal mortality. However, when the dispensed amount of potent or very potent topical corticosteroid exceeded 300 g during the entire pregnancy, use was associated with an increase in low birth weight infants.
Halobetasol propionate has been shown to cause malformations in rats and rabbits when given orally during organogenesis at doses of 0.04 to 0.1 mg/kg/day in rats and 0.01 mg/kg/day in rabbits. Halobetasol propionate was embryotoxic in rabbits, but not in rats. Cleft palate was observed in both rats and rabbits. Omphalocele was seen in rats, but not in rabbits.
There are no data on the presence of halobetasol propionate or its metabolites in human milk, the effects on the breastfed infant, or the effects on milk production after topical application to women who are breastfeeding.
Systemically administered corticosteroids appear in human milk and could suppress growth, interfere with endogenous corticosteroid production, or cause other untoward effects. It is not known whether topical administration of corticosteroids could result in sufficient systemic absorption to produce detectable quantities in human milk. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for LEXETTE and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from LEXETTE or from the underlying maternal condition.
Advise breastfeeding women not to apply LEXETTE directly to the nipple and/or areola to avoid direct infant exposure.
Safety and effectiveness of LEXETTE in patients younger than 18 years of age have not been established.
Because of higher skin surface area to body mass ratios, pediatric patients are at a greater risk than adults of HPA axis suppression and Cushing’s syndrome when they are treated with topical corticosteroids. They are therefore also at greater risk of adrenal insufficiency during or after withdrawal of treatment. Adverse reactions including striae have been reported with use of topical corticosteroids in infants and children.
HPA axis suppression, Cushing’s syndrome, linear growth retardation, delayed weight gain, and intracranial hypertension have been reported in children receiving topical corticosteroids. Manifestations of adrenal suppression in children include low plasma cortisol levels and an absence of response to ACTH stimulation. Manifestations of intracranial hypertension include bulging fontanelles, headaches, and bilateral papilledema.
Clinical studies with LEXETTE included 131 subjects aged 65 years and over. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these subjects and those younger than 65 years.