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Desonide Ointment Side Effects

Reported Side Effects

For many medications (particularly newly approved medications), the prescribing information carefully explains the exact percentage of side effects that were seen in clinical trials. However, the prescribing information for almost all older medications, including desonide ointment, includes only vague information on potential side effects. Therefore, it can be difficult to know exactly how often the side effects occur.
Based on this limited information, the most common side effects of desonide ointment are stinging and burning, occurring in approximately 3 percent of people. Other reported side effects, occurring in less than 3 percent of people, include:
  • Irritation
  • Contact dermatitis (an itchy red rash caused by direct contact with an irritating substance)
  • Worsening of the skin condition
  • Peeling of the skin
  • Itching
  • Intense, temporary redness
  • Dryness
  • Scaliness.
In general, side effects are more common when a dressing, such as a bandage, is used to cover the medication. Do not use a dressing unless your healthcare provider specifically recommends that you do so. In most cases, dressings are not usually recommended.

Long-Term Side Effects of Desonide Ointment

Using steroids like desonide ointment over long periods of time can cause a different set of side effects. These reactions are most likely to be seen in people who use this medicine over a large area of the body for a long period of time. Some of the problems seen with long-term use might include:
  • Weight gain
  • Bulging eyes
  • Fluid retention
  • Osteoporosis
  • Loss of muscle
  • Fat deposits on the face and back (causing a round face and a fatty hump on back of the neck)
  • Diabetes
  • Cataracts
  • Stunted growth (in children).
Keep in mind that these problems are more common with systemic steroids, which are taken by mouth or injection, and are probably quite rare with desonide ointment.
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Desonide Ointment Information

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