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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 53  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 371-376

Topical steroid containing combinations: Burden of adverse effects and why the recent regulatory action may not be enough

1 Department of Pharmacology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India
2 Department of Dermatology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India
3 Regional Training Center for Pharmacovigilance, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ratinder Jhaj
Department of Pharmacology and toxicology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhopal - 462 020, Madhya Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijp.IJP_728_19

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OBJECTIVES AND METHODS: In September 2018, the government of India banned 328 fixed dose combinations (FDCs), 24 of which are combinations containing topical steroids. To assess what impact can be expected from this regulatory action, we analyzed reports of adverse drug events due to topical corticosteroids at a hospital-based pharmacovigilance center between January 2017 and August 2018. RESULTS: Among 34 different steroid-containing FDCs responsible for 485 reports of ADEs with topical steroids, only three preparations, accounting for 50.10% of ADEs, come under the umbrella of the recent ban. Clobetasone propionate (68.87%) and betamethasone (28.45%) were the corticosteroids most frequently associated with adverse events. Most of the steroid preparations (87.84%) had been bought without a prescription for the treatment of dermatophytoses (76.70%). Males (77.73%) were predominantly affected, and nearly half (47.43%) of the patients were between 21 and 30 years of age. Skin atrophy (50.10%), striae (25.54%), and hypopigmentation (19.79%) were the major ADEs. CONCLUSION: Nearly half of the cutaneous adverse effects were due to topical steroid combinations which are still widely available over the counter.


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