Halog (Halcinonide) - Topical

What Is Halog?

Halog (halocinonide) is a prescription medication that belongs to a class 2 (high potency) topical corticosteroid class. It relieves certain skin conditions that can cause swelling or itchiness.

Halocinonide reduces swelling and itching by shrinking your blood vessels around the affected skin to reduce symptoms. It is available as a topical ointment, cream, or solution applied to the skin.

Drug Facts

Generic Name: Halcinonide

Brand Name(s): Halog

Drug Availability: Prescription

Administration Route: Topical

Therapeutic Classification: Topical corticosteroid

Available Generically: Yes

Controlled Substance: N/A

Active Ingredient: Halcinonide

Dosage Form(s): Ointment, cream, solution

What Is Halog Used For?

Halog is used for treating skin conditions that cause itching, redness, dryness, crusting, scaling, or inflammation. Depending on its formulation, it can be used for:

How to Use Halog

This medication is for your skin only. Keep it out of your mouth, nose, and eyes (it may burn).

For hygiene, clean the affected area before use. Wash your hands before and after use; however, if you are treating your hands, do not wash them after applying the medication.

Unless instructed by your healthcare provider, do not use coverings (e.g., bandages, dressings) or tight-fitting diapers or plastic pants over the treated area, as it may cause more of the medication to get absorbed into the body.

Apply halcinonide in the following ways:

  • Cream: Apply to the affected area two to three times daily while rubbing the skin gently each time.
  • Solution: Apply to the affected area two to three times daily.
  • Ointment: Apply a thin film to the affected area two to three times daily. 

Storage

This medication should not be left in the car or the refrigerator. Keep it in a dry and safe area away from children and pets. Keep all formulations of Halog at room temperature, avoiding freezing or temperatures above 104 F.

Off-Label Uses

Halcinonide can be used for plaque psoriasis as it is part of the class of topical corticosteroids.

How Long Does Halog Take to Work?

Time to symptom relief while using Halog can vary depending on your skin condition. Make sure to follow your healthcare provider's instructions.

What Are the Side Effects of Halog?

This is not a complete list of side effects, and others may occur. A healthcare provider can advise you on side effects. If you experience other effects, contact your pharmacist or a healthcare provider. You may report side effects to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at fda.gov/medwatch or 800-FDA-1088.

Common Side Effects

Common side effects associated with Halog include:

  • Burning  
  • Itching 
  • Irritation 
  • Dryness
  • Acneiform eruptions (red, pimple-like flare-ups on the skin) 
  • Stretch marks
  • Heat rash

Severe Side Effects

Call your healthcare provider immediately if you have serious side effects. Dial 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Severe side effects associated with Halog may include:

Long Term Side Effects

Long-term use of Halog can cause:

  • Hypothalmic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis suppression can weaken your body’s ability to fight infection and reduce your stress response. Symptoms may include dizziness or passing out, muscle weakness, vomiting or nausea, extreme fatigue, mood changes, not being hungry, or weight loss.
  • Manifestations of Cushing’s Syndrome include weight gain in the upper back or belly, moon face, bad headache, or slow healing.
  • Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), with symptoms such as confusion, drowsiness, increased thirst and hunger, passing urine more often, flushing, fast breathing, or fruity-smelling breath.
  • Glucosuria (blood sugar found in the urine)

Report Side Effects

Halog may cause other side effects. Call your healthcare provider if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your healthcare provider may send a report to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program or by phone (800-332-1088).

Dosage: How Much Halog Should I Use?

Drug Content Provided and Reviewed by IBM Micromedex®

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For topical dosage forms (cream and ointment):
    • For redness, itching, and swelling of the skin:
      • Adults—Apply to the affected area of the skin two to three times per day.
      • Children—Apply to the affected area of the skin two to three times per day.

Modifications

Children are more susceptible to adrenal gland problems, Cushing’s Syndrome, and intracranial hypertension (high pressure around the brain). Due to their smaller size, the medication can cause increased side effects. The use of Halog should be limited to the least amount needed to relieve symptoms.

If you are over 65, your healthcare provider may also start Halog at the smallest effective dose needed for relief.

Missed Dose

If you forget to apply Halog, make sure to apply when you remember. Do not use it more than three times in one day.

Overdose: What Happens If I Take Too Much Halog?

Applying Halog to the skin in higher amounts than prescribed can cause it to enter the systemic system (leave the skin and enter the body) and produce unwanted effects. If you plan on using Halog long-term, visit your primary healthcare provider and get evaluated for adrenal gland problems.

What Happens If I Overdose on Halog?

If you think you or someone else may have overdosed on Halog, call a healthcare provider or the Poison Control Center (800-222-1222).

If someone collapses or isn't breathing after taking Halog, call 911 immediately.

Precautions

Drug Content Provided and Reviewed by IBM Micromedex®

It is very important that your doctor check the progress of you or your child at regular visits for any unwanted effects that may be caused by this medicine.

If your or your child's symptoms do not improve within a few days, or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

Using too much of this medicine or using it for a long time may increase your risk of having adrenal gland problems. The risk is greater for children and patients who use large amounts for a long time. Talk to your doctor right away if you or your child have more than one of these symptoms while you are using this medicine: blurred vision; dizziness or fainting; a fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeat; increased thirst or urination; irritability; or unusual tiredness or weakness.

Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you or your child have a skin rash, burning, stinging, swelling, or irritation on the skin.

Do not use cosmetics or other skin care products on the treated areas.

What Are Reasons I Shouldn’t Take Halog?

Talk to your primary healthcare provider if you are pregnant, thinking of becoming pregnant, or breastfeeding. If using potent or very potent topical products, especially in high doses, you may have an increased risk of low-birth-weight infants. Your healthcare provider will help determine whether the benefits of using Halog outweigh the risks.

Topical corticosteroids are generally considered acceptable while breastfeeding, but it is best to avoid applying them to the nipple and areola area until you are no longer breastfeeding. Your healthcare provider may prescribe the lowest dose for the shortest duration possible.

Do not use Halog if you have had an allergic reaction to Halog or any other topical corticosteroid.

What Other Medications Interact With Halog?

Halog is generally safe to take. However, there is limited information on reported interactions with other medications or substances. Tell your healthcare provider about any other medicines you take or plan to take, including over-the-counter (OTC) nonprescription products, vitamins, herbs, supplements, and plant-based medicines.

What Medications Are Similar?

Drugs that are similar to Halog include:

  • Amcinonide: Similar to Halog, it can be used for eczema. In one trial, after one week, people had seen better improvement using Halog versus amcinonide.
  • Lidex, Vanos (fluocinonide): A topical corticosteroid that can be used for the treatment of atopic dermatitis, which is the most common form of eczema.
  • Topicort (desoximetasone): Desoximetasone is available as a topical spray, cream, gel, and ointment. Like Halog, it can be used as a treatment for plaque psoriasis.

This is a list of drugs that are similar to Halog. It is not necessarily a list of alternative drugs. It is not recommended to take these medications. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I apply more than three times a day if my skin hasn’t improved after a week?

    Unless instructed by your primary healthcare provider, use Halog only three times daily. Using it more often than prescribed can increase your risk of developing more serious side effects. Please contact your healthcare provider if your condition worsens.

  • My skin is looking better, can I stop using Halog?

    Keep using Halog as prescribed by your primary healthcare provider. If you stop using a topical steroid like Halog suddenly, you can develop unwanted side effects, such as a rash, as your skin can begin to suffer withdrawals.

  • Can I buy an OTC topical cream instead of Halog?

    OTC creams aren’t as potent as Halog in treating skin conditions. Therefore, you may not see as much relief. Talk to your healthcare provider about potential treatment options for your particular condition.

  • Is there an alcohol-free version of Halog?

    Yes, Halog Solution has an alcohol-free formulation that can reduce the initial stinging feeling felt when first applying it to a rash.

How Can I Stay Healthy While Taking Halog?

Follow up with your healthcare provider for all recommended screenings while taking Halog. Continue routine medical appointments, especially if you need to use Halog long-term, so your healthcare provider can monitor your response. 

While using Halog, follow proper hygiene procedures before and after applying the medication. In addition, talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist about potential strategies to prevent skin irritation, such as using certain skin cleansers or avoiding flare-up triggers.

Call your healthcare provider if your condition worsens after using the medication.

Medical Disclaimer

Verywell Health's drug information is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a healthcare provider. Consult your healthcare provider before taking any new medication(s). IBM Watson Micromedex provides some of the drug content, as indicated on the page.

The author would like to recognize and thank Jon Candelaria for contributing to this article.

9 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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