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Comparison of representative topical corticosteroid preparations (classified according to the United States system)

Comparison of representative topical corticosteroid preparations (classified according to the United States system)
Potency group* Corticosteroid Vehicle type/form Brand names
(United States)
Available strength(s), percent
(except as noted)
Super-high potency
(group 1)
Betamethasone dipropionate, augmented Ointment (optimized) Diprolene 0.05
Gel, lotion [Generic only] 0.05
Clobetasol propionate Cream, ointment Temovate 0.05
Gel, solution (scalp) [Generic only] 0.05
Cream Tasoprol 0.05
Cream (emollient base) Temovate E 0.05
Lotion, shampoo, spray aerosol Clobex 0.05
Foam aerosol Olux, Olux-E, Tovet 0.05
Lotion Impeklo 0.05
Ointment Clobetavix 0.05
Shampoo Clodan 0.05
Solution (scalp) Cormax 0.05
Diflucortolone valerate (not available in United States) Ointment, oily cream Nerisone Forte (United Kingdom, others) 0.3
Fluocinonide Cream Vanos 0.1
Flurandrenolide Tape (roll) Cordran 4 mcg/cm2
Halobetasol propionate Lotion Ultravate 0.05
Cream, ointment [Generic only] 0.05
Foam Lexette 0.05
High potency
(group 2)
Amcinonide Ointment Cyclocort, Amcort 0.1
Betamethasone dipropionate Ointment Diprosone 0.05
Cream, augmented formulation (AF) Diprolene AF 0.05
Clobetasol propionate Cream Impoyz 0.025
Desoximetasone Cream, ointment, spray Topicort 0.25
Gel Topicort 0.05
Diflorasone diacetate Ointment ApexiCon, Florone 0.05
Cream (emollient) ApexiCon E 0.05
Fluocinonide Cream, gel, ointment, solution Lidex 0.05
Halcinonide Cream, ointment, solution Halog 0.1
Halobetasol propionate Lotion Bryhali 0.01
High potency
(group 3)
Amcinonide Cream Cyclocort, Amcort 0.1
Lotion Amcort 0.1
Betamethasone dipropionate Cream (hydrophilic emollient) Diprosone 0.05
Betamethasone valerate Ointment Valisone 0.1
Foam Luxiq 0.12
Desoximetasone Cream, ointment Topicort, Topicort LP 0.05
Diflorasone diacetate Cream Florone, Psorcon 0.05
Diflucortolone valerate (not available in United States) Cream, oily cream, ointment Nerisone (United Kingdom, others) 0.1
Fluocinonide Cream (aqueous emollient) Lidex-E 0.05
Fluticasone propionate Ointment Cutivate 0.005
Mometasone furoate Ointment Elocon 0.1
Triamcinolone acetonide Cream, ointment Aristocort HP, Kenalog, Triderm 0.5
Medium potency
(group 4)
Betamethasone dipropionate Spray Sernivo 0.05
Clocortolone pivalate Cream Cloderm 0.1
Fluocinolone acetonide Ointment Synalar 0.025
Flurandrenolide Ointment Cordran 0.05
Fluticasone propionate Cream Cutivate 0.05
Hydrocortisone valerate Ointment Westcort 0.2
Mometasone furoate Cream, lotion, solution Elocon 0.1
Triamcinolone acetonide Cream Kenalog, Triderm 0.1
Ointment Kenalog 0.1
Ointment Trianex, Tritocin 0.05
Aerosol spray Kenalog 0.2 mg per 2 second spray
Dental paste Oralone 0.1
Lower-mid potency
(group 5)
Betamethasone dipropionate Lotion Diprosone 0.05
Betamethasone valerate Cream Beta-Val, Valisone 0.1
Desonide Ointment DesOwen, Tridesilon 0.05
Gel Desonate, DesRx 0.05
Fluocinolone acetonide Cream Synalar 0.025
Flurandrenolide Cream, lotion Cordran, Nolix 0.05
Fluticasone propionate Lotion Beser, Cutivate 0.05
Hydrocortisone butyrate Cream, lotion Locoid, Locoid Lipocream 0.1
Ointment, solution [Generic only] 0.1
Hydrocortisone probutate Cream Pandel 0.1
Hydrocortisone valerate Cream Westcort 0.2
Prednicarbate Cream (emollient), ointment Dermatop 0.1
Triamcinolone acetonide Lotion Kenalog 0.1
Ointment Kenalog 0.025
Low potency
(group 6)
Alclometasone dipropionate Cream, ointment Aclovate 0.05
Betamethasone valerate Lotion Beta-Val, Valisone 0.1
Desonide Cream DesOwen, Tridesilon 0.05
Lotion DesOwen, LoKara 0.05
Foam Verdeso 0.05
Fluocinolone acetonide Cream, solution Synalar 0.01
Shampoo Capex 0.01
OilΔ Derma-Smoothe/FS Body, Derma-Smoothe/FS Scalp 0.01
Triamcinolone acetonide Cream, lotion Kenalog, Aristocort 0.025
Least potent
(group 7)
Hydrocortisone (base, ≥2%) Cream Ala-Cort, Hytone, Nutracort 2.5
Ointment Hytone 2.5
Lotion Hytone, Ala Scalp, Scalacort DK 2
Solution Texacort 2.5
Hydrocortisone (base, <2%) Ointment Cortaid, Cortizone 10, Hytone, Nutracort 1
Cream Ala-Cort, Cortaid, Cortizone 10, Hytone, KeriCort, Synacort 1
Gel Cortizone 10 1
Lotion Aquanil HC, Cortizone 10, Sarnol-HC 1
Spray Cortaid 1
Solution Cortaid, Noble, Scalp Relief, Scalpicin 1
Cream, ointment Cortaid 0.5
Cream Instacort 0.5
Hydrocortisone acetate Cream MiCort-HC 2.5
Cream Vanicream HC 1
Lotion Nucort 2
* Listed by potency according to the United States classification system: group 1 is the most potent, group 7 is the least potent. Other countries use a different classification system with only 4 or 5 groups.
¶ Inactive United States brand name for specific product; brand may be available outside United States. This product may be available generically in the United States.
Δ 48% refined peanut oil.
Data from:
  1. Lexicomp Online. Copyright © 1978-2022 Lexicomp, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  2. Tadicherla S, Ross K, Shenefelt D. Topical corticosteroids in dermatology. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology 2009; 12:1093.
  3. U.S. Food & Drug Administration Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence (Orange Book). Available at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cder/ob/default.cfm (Accessed on June 18, 2017).
  4. The British Association of Dermatologists' information on topical corticosteroids – established and alternative proprietary names, potency, and discontinuation. British Association of Dermatologists. Available at: https://www.bad.org.uk/shared/get-file.ashx?id=3427&itemtype=document (Accessed on April 26, 2021).
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