Lower Concentration Halobetasol Lotion as Effective as Cream for Psoriasis

Halobetasol propionate 0.01% was associated with a 22.3% improvement in body surface area, compared with 20.9% in the 0.05% concentration.

The following article is part of conference coverage from the 2018 Fall Clinical Dermatology Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Dermatology Advisor’s staff will be reporting breaking news associated with research conducted by leading experts in dermatology. Check back for the latest news from Fall Clinical Derm 2018.

Halobetasol propionate 0.01% lotion has demonstrated comparable success relative to the higher 0.05% concentration in decreasing psoriatic symptoms such as plaque elevation, scaling, and erythema in patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. This research was presented at the 2018 Fall Clinical Dermatology Conference, held October 18-21, 2018, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

This phase 2, double-blind, randomized, multicenter study included 150 participants with psoriasis. Participants were randomly assigned 2:2:1 to receive daily halobetasol propionate 0.01% lotion, 0.05% cream, or its vehicle for a 2-week period. The study’s efficacy assessments evaluated erythema, scaling, and plaque elevation in the lesion of interest; success of treatment, defined as a score of clear/almost clear and a reduction of at least 2 grades in Investigator Global Assessment; and body surface area improvement. There were frequent evaluations of treatment-emergent adverse events.

Both halobetasol propionate 0.01% and 0.05% demonstrated similar results in treatment success (30.0% and 31.6%, respectively; P =.854). Among the halobetasol propionate 0.01% group, the rates of 2-grade improvement in plaque elevation, erythema, and scaling at the 2-week mark were 40%, 38.3%, and 43.3%, respectively. In the halobetasol propionate 0.05% group, the same symptoms showed 36.8% (P =.727), 31.6% (P =.446), and 47.4% (P =.663) improvements.

Halobetasol propionate 0.01% was associated with a 22.3% improvement in body surface area, compared with 20.9% in the 0.05% concentration (P =.787). Two reports of mild to moderate adverse events occurred in the halobetasol propionate 0.01% and vehicle groups. Skin telangiectasia, folliculitis, striae, or atrophy did not occur in any participants.

The study researchers concluded that “[halobetasol] propionate 0.01% lotion was comparable to the higher concentration halobetasol propionate 0.05% cream in achieving treatment success, reducing psoriasis signs of erythema, plaque elevation, and scaling at the target lesion, and improving BSA following two weeks daily-treatment. Both treatments were well-tolerated over the short duration of the study.”

Related Articles

Disclosures: T. Lin is an employee of Ortho Dermatologics; R. Pillai is an employee of Dow Pharmaceutical Sciences Inc. The study was supported by Ortho Dermatologics.

Follow @DermAdvisor

For more coverage of Fall Clinical Derm 2018, click here.


Kerdel FA, Draelos ZD, Tyring SK, Lin T, Pillai R. A phase 2, multicenter, double-blind, randomized, vehicle-controlled clinical study to compare the safety and efficacy of a halobetasol propionate 0.01% lotion and halobetasol propionate 0.05% cream in the treatment of plaque psoriasis. Presented at: 2018 Fall Clinical Dermatology Conference. October 18-21, 2018; Las Vegas, NV.