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Year : 1992  |  Volume : 58  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 23-24

Comparative evaluation of topical corticosteroid creams

BSN Reddy, R Shantharaman 

Correspondence Address:
BSN Reddy


It is important to have reliable bioassay models for topical steroids and assess their comparative efficacy. In the present study, seven commonly prescribed commercial corticosteroid creams have been evaluated for their efficacy using histamine bioassay method. The results indicated that clobetasol propionate (Excel®) and betamethasone valerate (Betnovate®), fluocinolone acetonide (Supricort®), beclomethasone dipropionate (Beclate®), betamethasone benzoate (Topicasone ®), and dexamethasone trimethyl acetate (Millicortenol ®) in that order of priority.

How to cite this article:
Reddy B, Shantharaman R. Comparative evaluation of topical corticosteroid creams.Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 1992;58:23-24

How to cite this URL:
Reddy B, Shantharaman R. Comparative evaluation of topical corticosteroid creams. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol [serial online] 1992 [cited 2019 Apr 23 ];58:23-24
Available from: http://www.ijdvl.com/text.asp?1992/58/1/23/3734

Full Text


Today, the topical corticosteroids are one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the management of dermatological problems. With rapid technological advances in recent years, more and more newer topical steroids are being manufactured in a wide range of sophisticated vehicles and marketed under a variety of brand names. [1]

It is needless to say that the practicing dermatologist will be at times in a great dilemma in choosing the correct steroid to achieve the desired benefit without producing undue side effects from these long list of commercially available topical corticosteroid preparations. Hence, we decided to assess the relative efficacy of some of the commonly prescribed topical corticoids in our locality using the histamine bioassay procedure described by Reddy and Singh. [2]

 Materials and Methods

Fourteen healthy volunteers of both sexes, aged between 15-30 years with no history of either corticosteroid or antihistamine therapy atleast for preceding 6 weeks constituted the subjects for this study. Seven commonly prescribed commercial corticosteroid creams as listed in [Table 1] were chosen for comparative evaluation according to the histamine bioassay method for topical corticosteroids described by Reddy and Singh. [2]


The details of the histamine response of the skin over the control and steroid treated sites were summarized in [Table 1]. There is statistically significant difference in the mean histamine response of the skin over the control site and steroid treated sites on one hand and also among the different steroids treated sites on the other hand (P [RI)) was found to be the most and dexamethasone trimethyl acetate (Millicortinol (R)) was the least effective, while the rest of the creams occupying an intermediate position in terms of histamine suppressor activity.

In a comparative evaluation of topical corticosteroids using histamine bioassay method, Singh and Singh [3] also noted similar observations. The grading of topical corticoids obtained in our study is in agreement with the findings obtained in many other studies using various procedures such as vasoconstrictor assays, animal model studies and clinical evaluation. [4],[5],[6]


1Reddy BSN and Singh G. Topical corticosteroids. Ind Med Gaz 1976; 16 : 42 - 7.
2Reddy BSN and Singh G. A new model for human bioassay of topical corticosteroids. Br J Dermatol 1976; 94 : 191 - 3.
3Singh PK and Singh G. Relative potency of topical corticosteroid preparations. Ind J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 1985; 51 : 309-12.
4McKenzie AW and Stoughton RB. Method for comparing percutaneous absorption of steroids. Arch Dermatol 1962; 86: 608-10.
5Schlagel CA and Northam JI. Comparative antiinflammatory efficacy of topically applied steroids on human skin. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 1959; 109: 629.
6Nordwall C. Local treatment of psoriasis and eczema with betamethasone dipropionate. Curr Therap Resp 1974; 16 : 798.


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