What Are the Side Effects of Fluocinonide?

Medically Reviewed on 10/5/2022
Side Effects of Fluocinonide
When taking fluocinonide, if any of your side effects become bothersome, contact your doctor immediately.

Fluocinonide, like other medications, can produce adverse effects, but not everyone experiences them. If you have severe skin irritation or evidence of skin infection after using fluocinonide topical solution, discontinue using it and contact your doctor.

How does fluocinonide work?

Fluocinonide works by absorbing into the skin via topical application. The cream begins to work as soon as it is absorbed by the skin, constricting nearby blood vessels and stopping inflammation-inducing chemical signals that travel from the brain to the immune system. 

Fluocinonide cream is a highly effective treatment for itchy, irritated, and inflamed skin. It may be prescribed to patients who have:

Fluocinonide is a topical corticosteroid (“steroid”) cream with a high potency that is used to reduce inflammation and itching in a variety of skin conditions. Fluocinonide is a prescription medication, which is available as a cream, gel, ointment, or solution.

Fluocinonide can be used as part of combination therapy.

17 possible side effects of fluocinonide topical solution

  1. Itching
  2. Burning
  3. Dryness
  4. Irritation
  5. Headache
  6. Excessive hair growth
  7. Different types of acne outbreak
  8. Hypopigmentation
  9. Rashes on the skin around the mouth
  10. Stretch marks
  11. Sweat rashes
  12. Inflammation and infection of hair follicles
  13. Softening and breaking down of the skin
  14. Sudden weight gain
  15. Unusual tiredness
  16. Muscle weakness
  17. Depression and irritability

Allergy reactions

Most people have no negative side effects after taking fluocinonide cream. However, some people may be sensitive to fluocinonide's active or inactive components, resulting in an allergic response and symptoms, such as:

Doctors are wary of prescribing this cream to infants and young children due to the risk of serious health complications. These steroids may cause:

  • Hormonal imbalances in young adults (mood swings, bruised skin, or breast tenderness)
  • Stunted growth
  • Weight changes

Cushing’s syndrome

After being exposed to the corticosteroids in fluocinonide cream, some children can develop Cushing's syndrome.

Fluocinonide is designed to be absorbed through the skin. It may, however, be absorbed into your bloodstream. This can result in Cushing syndrome, a condition in which your body produces an excessive amount of the stress hormone cortisol. 

Symptoms include:

  • Moon-shaped face and a lump of fat between the shoulders
  • Cushing syndrome can lead to symptoms of high blood sugar and pressure

While using this medication, avoid covering your skin with airtight bandages to help prevent this condition. Do not use this drug for an extended period (typically more than two weeks) and on large areas of the skin unless directed by your doctor.

Adrenal insufficiency

If you use this medication for an extended period (typically more than two weeks in a row) or over a large area of your body, you are more likely to develop adrenal insufficiency. The adrenal glands do not produce enough steroid hormones. This condition has the potential to be fatal.

Symptoms include:

If you have symptoms of adrenal insufficiency, your doctor may advise you to discontinue this medication. This condition can occur after stopping treatment with this drug.

Fluocinonide is contraindicated in untreated bacterial, tubercular, fungal, and most viral skin lesions (including herpes simplex, vaccinia, and varicella). They are not recommended for people who have a history of hypersensitivity to its components.


Eczema Browse our medical image collection of allergic skin disorders such as psoriasis and dermatitis and more caused by allergies See Images

How should I use fluocinonide?

This fluocinonide is a white, nongreasy cream that is applied to the skin and is usually prescribed in 0.05 percent strength solutions. The use varies greatly depending on the patient and the extent of the condition.

Doctors usually recommend applying the cream two to four times per day for a couple of weeks until the condition has cleared.

Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)

  • Fluocinonide 0.05 percent cream: Apply a thin film to the affected areas two to four times per day as directed by your doctor.

Child dosage (ages 12 to 17 years)

  • Fluocinonide 0.05 percent cream: Apply a thin film to the affected areas two to four times per day as directed by your child’s doctor.

Child dosage (ages 0 to 11 years)

  • Fluocinonide 0.01 percent cream: Apply a thin film to the affected areas two to four times per day as directed by your child’s doctor.

Doctors will usually advise immediately washing hands after using this cream and avoiding getting it in their eyes, nose, or mouth for safety reasons.

Before using fluocinonide, inform your doctor about any medical conditions or allergies you have, medications you are on, and if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Fluocinonide should not be applied to your eyes and should be used with caution in areas near the eyes.

Make sure to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember (unless it is almost time for the next dose), and then, resume your regular schedule. Applying two or double doses at the same time is not recommended.

If any of the side effects become bothersome, contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately.

Medically Reviewed on 10/5/2022
Image Source: iStock image

Fluocinonide Cream Topical Corticosteroids - Uses, Side. https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-96/fluocinonide-topical/details

Fluocinonide. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Fluocinonide#section=3D-Conformer

Fluocinonide 0.05 % topical ointment. https://healthy.kaiserpermanente.org/health-wellness/drug-encyclopedia/drug.fluocinonide-0-05-topical-ointment.200544