This information is not for clinical use. These highlights do not include all the information needed to use Diprolene safely and effectively. Before taking Diprolene please consult with your doctor. See full prescribing information for Diprolene.

Recent Changes

Warnings and Precautions
Ophthalmic Adverse Reactions (5.2) 05/2019

Indications And Usage

DIPROLENE® Ointment is a corticosteroid indicated for the relief of the inflammatory and pruritic manifestations of corticosteroid-responsive dermatoses in patients 13 years of age or older. DIPROLENE Ointment is a corticosteroid indicated for the relief of the inflammatory and pruritic manifestations of corticosteroid-responsive dermatoses in patients 13 years of age and older. (1)

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Dosage Forms And Strengths

Ointment, 0.05%. Each gram of DIPROLENE Ointment, 0.05% contains 0.643 mg betamethasone dipropionate (equivalent to 0.5 mg betamethasone) in a white to off-white ointment base. Ointment, 0.05% (3)

Contraindications

DIPROLENE Ointment is contraindicated in patients who are hypersensitive to betamethasone dipropionate, to other corticosteroids, or to any ingredient in this preparation. Hypersensitivity to any component of this medicine. (4)

Warning and Cautions

Effects on endocrine system: DIPROLENE Ointment can cause reversible HPA axis suppression with the potential for glucocorticosteroid insufficiency during and after withdrawal of treatment. Risk factor(s) include the use of high-potency topical corticosteroids, use over a large surface area or to areas under occlusion, prolonged use, altered skin barrier, liver failure, and use in pediatric patients. Modify use should HPA axis suppression develop. (5.1, 8.4) Ophthalmic Adverse Reactions: DIPROLENE Ointment may increase the risk of cataracts and glaucoma. If visual symptoms occur, consider referral to an ophthalmologist for evaluation. (5.2) 5.1 Effects on Endocrine System DIPROLENE Ointment can produce reversible hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis suppression with the potential for glucocorticosteroid insufficiency. This may occur during treatment or after withdrawal of treatment. Factors that predispose to HPA axis suppression include the use of high-potency steroids, large treatment surface areas, prolonged use, use of occlusive dressings, altered skin barrier, liver failure, and young age. Evaluation for HPA axis suppression may be done by using the adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) stimulation test. In a trial evaluating the effects of DIPROLENE Ointment on the HPA axis, at 14 g per day, DIPROLENE Ointment was shown to suppress the plasma levels of adrenal cortical hormones following repeated application to diseased skin in subjects with psoriasis. These effects were reversible upon discontinuation of treatment. At 7 g per day, DIPROLENE Ointment was shown to cause minimal inhibition of the HPA axis when applied 2 times daily for 2 to 3 weeks in healthy subjects and in subjects with psoriasis and eczematous disorders. With 6 g to 7 g of DIPROLENE Ointment applied once daily for 3 weeks, no significant inhibition of the HPA axis was observed in subjects with psoriasis and atopic dermatitis, as measured by plasma cortisol and 24-hour urinary 17-hydroxy-corticosteroid levels. If HPA axis suppression is documented, gradually withdraw the drug, reduce the frequency of application, or substitute with a less potent corticosteroid. Infrequently, signs and symptoms of steroid withdrawal may occur, requiring supplemental systemic corticosteroids. Cushing's syndrome and hyperglycemia may also occur with topical corticosteroids. These events are rare and generally occur after prolonged exposure to excessively large doses, especially of high-potency topical corticosteroids. Pediatric patients may be more susceptible to systemic toxicity due to their larger skin surface to body mass ratios [see Use in Specific Populations (8.4)]. 5.2 Ophthalmic Adverse Reactions Use of topical corticosteroids, including DIPROLENE Ointment, may increase the risk of posterior subcapsular cataracts and glaucoma. Cataracts and glaucoma have been reported postmarketing with the use of topical corticosteroid products, including DIPROLENE Ointment [see Adverse Reactions (6.2)]. Avoid contact of DIPROLENE Ointment with eyes. Advise patients to report any visual symptoms and consider referral to an ophthalmologist for evaluation. 5.3 Allergic Contact Dermatitis Allergic contact dermatitis with corticosteroids is usually diagnosed by observing failure to heal rather than noting a clinical exacerbation. Such an observation should be corroborated with appropriate diagnostic patch testing. If irritation develops, topical corticosteroids should be discontinued and appropriate therapy instituted.

Adverse Reactions

Most common adverse reactions (<1%) are: erythema, folliculitis, pruritus, and vesiculation. (6.1) To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., at 1-877-888-4231 or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch. 6.1 Clinical Trials Experience Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in clinical practice. In controlled clinical trials, adverse reactions associated with the use of DIPROLENE Ointment reported at a frequency of less than 1% included erythema, folliculitis, pruritus, and vesiculation. 6.2 Postmarketing Experience Because adverse reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure. Postmarketing reports for local adverse reactions to topical corticosteroids may also include: skin atrophy, telangiectasias, burning, irritation, dryness, acneiform eruptions, hypopigmentation, perioral dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, secondary infection, hypertrichosis, striae, and miliaria. Hypersensitivity reactions, consisting of predominantly skin signs and symptoms, e.g., contact dermatitis, pruritus, bullous dermatitis, and erythematous rash have been reported. Ophthalmic adverse reactions of cataracts, glaucoma, increased intraocular pressure, and central serous chorioretinopathy have been reported with the use of topical corticosteroids, including topical betamethasone products.

Use In Specific Populations

8.1 Pregnancy Risk Summary There are no available data on DIPROLENE Ointment use in pregnant women to identify a drug-associated risk of major birth defects, miscarriage, or adverse maternal or fetal outcomes. Observational studies suggest an increased risk of low birthweight infants with the use of greater than 300 grams of potent or very potent topical corticosteroid during a pregnancy. Advise pregnant women that DIPROLENE Ointment may increase the risk of having a low birthweight infant and to use DIPROLENE Ointment on the smallest area of skin and for the shortest duration possible. In animal reproduction studies, increased malformations, including umbilical hernias, cephalocele, and cleft palate, were observed after intramuscular administration of betamethasone dipropionate to pregnant rabbits. The available data do not allow the calculation of relevant comparisons between the systemic exposure of betamethasone dipropionate in animal studies to the systemic exposure that would be expected in humans after topical use of DIPROLENE Ointment (see Data). The background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown. All pregnancies have a background risk of birth defect, loss, or other adverse outcomes. In the U.S. general population, the estimated risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2 to 4% and 15 to 20%, respectively. Data Animal Data Betamethasone dipropionate has been shown to cause malformations in rabbits when given by the intramuscular route at doses of 0.05 mg/kg. The abnormalities observed included umbilical hernias, cephalocele, and cleft palate. 8.2 Lactation Risk Summary There are no data regarding the presence of betamethasone dipropionate in human milk, the effects on the breastfed infant, or the effects on milk production after topical application of DIPROLENE Ointment to women who are breastfeeding. It is possible that topical administration of betamethasone dipropionate 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 DIPROLENE Ointment and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from DIPROLENE Ointment or from the underlying maternal condition. Clinical Considerations To minimize potential exposure to the breastfed infant via breast milk, use DIPROLENE Ointment on the smallest area of skin and for the shortest duration possible while breastfeeding. Advise breastfeeding women not to apply DIPROLENE Ointment directly to the nipple and areola to avoid direct infant exposure [see Use in Specific Populations (8.4)]. 8.4 Pediatric Use Use of DIPROLENE Ointment in pediatric patients younger than 13 years of age is not recommended due to the potential for HPA axis suppression [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]. In an open-label HPA axis safety trial in subjects 3 months to 12 years of age with atopic dermatitis, DIPROLENE AF Cream 0.05% was applied twice daily for 2 to 3 weeks over a mean body surface area of 58% (range 35% to 95%). In 19 of 60 (32%) evaluable subjects, adrenal suppression was indicated by either a ≤5 mcg/dL pre-stimulation cortisol, or a cosyntropin post-stimulation cortisol ≤18 mcg/dL and/or an increase of <7 mcg/dL from the baseline cortisol. Out of the 19 subjects with HPA axis suppression, 4 subjects were tested 2 weeks after discontinuation of DIPROLENE AF Cream, and 3 of the 4 (75%) had complete recovery of HPA axis function. The proportion of subjects with adrenal suppression in this trial was progressively greater, the younger the age group. Because of a higher ratio of skin surface area to body mass, pediatric patients are at a greater risk than adults of systemic toxicity when treated with topical drugs. They are, therefore, also at greater risk of HPA axis suppression and adrenal insufficiency upon the use of topical corticosteroids. Rare systemic effects such as Cushing's syndrome, linear growth retardation, delayed weight gain, and intracranial hypertension have been reported in pediatric patients, especially those with prolonged exposure to large doses of high potency topical corticosteroids. Local adverse reactions including skin atrophy have also been reported with use of topical corticosteroids in pediatric patients. Avoid use of DIPROLENE Ointment in the treatment of diaper dermatitis. 8.5 Geriatric Use Clinical trials of DIPROLENE Ointment included 225 subjects who were 65 years of age and over and 46 subjects who were 75 years of age and over. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these subjects and younger subjects, and other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. However, greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.