fluticasone propionate (Cutivate)

What is fluticasone propionate-topical, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Fluticasone propionate is a synthetic (man-made) corticosteroid that is used on the skin (topically). The naturally-occurring corticosteroid is cortisol or hydrocortisone produced by the adrenal gland. Corticosteroids have potent anti-inflammatory actions and also suppress the immune response. Similar drugs include betamethasone dipropionate (Diprolene), clobetasol propionate (Temovate), halobetasol propionate (Ultravate), betamethasone dipropionate (Diprosone), desoximetasone (Topicort), halcinonide (Halog), amcinonide (Cyclocort), triamcinolone acetonide (Kenalog), fluocinolone acetonide (Synalar), hydrocortisone butyrate (Locoid), hydrocortisone valerate (Westcort), and mometasone furoate (Elocon). The FDA approved topical fluticasone propionate in December, 1990.

What brand names are available for fluticasone propionate-topical?


Is fluticasone propionate-topical available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for fluticasone propionate-topical?


What are the side effects of fluticasone propionate-topical?

WARNING Prolonged use or application of topical steroids to large surface areas can depress the ability of the body's adrenal glands to produce corticosteroids. This occurs because some of the fluticasone propionate is absorbed into the body and shuts off the production of the naturally occurring corticosteroids.Abruptly stopping hydrocortisone in these individuals can cause symptoms of corticosteroid insufficiency.

What is the dosage for fluticasone propionate-topical?

  • Fluticasone is available as cream, lotion, and ointment to apply to the skin.
  • It is usually applied one or two times a day to treat most skin conditions.
  • As with other corticosteroid medicines, treatment should be discontinued when control is achieved.
  • To avoid unwanted side effects, corticosteroid medicines should be used for the shortest duration possible to achieve the desired results.


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Is fluticasone propionate-topical safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

It is not known whether topical fluticasone can be excreted into human milk. Since many drugs are excreted into human milk topical fluticasone should be used cautiously in nursing mothers.

What else should I know about fluticasone propionate-topical?

What preparations of fluticasone propionate-topical are available?

  • Topical cream: 0.05%
  • Topical lotion: 0.05%
  • Topical ointment: 0.05%

How should I keep fluticasone propionate-topical stored?

Fluticasone propionate topical preparations should be stored at room temperature between 15 C to 30 C (59 F and 86 F).


Fluticasone propionate (Cutivate) is a corticosteroid prescribed to treat symptoms such as itching, dryness, scaling, inflammation, and redness associated with skin conditions like allergic reactions, eczema, and insect or bug bites. Side effects, drug interactions, storage, dosing, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.

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Medically reviewed by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP; Board Certified Emergency Medicine


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