Cutivate is a brand-name prescription medication. It’s FDA-approved to relieve eczema symptoms, such as itchy skin and inflammation (swelling) in adults and in children ages 3 months and older.

Eczema, also called atopic dermatitis, is a common skin condition. With eczema, some areas of your skin can become itchy, rough, dry, discolored, or cracked. These symptoms may come and go over time. When eczema flare-ups occur, your symptoms suddenly get worse.

Cutivate is a medicated lotion that may help ease some symptoms of eczema.

Drug details

Cutivate contains the active drug fluticasone propionate. It belongs to a drug class called corticosteroids. (A drug class is a group of medications that work in a similar way.)

Cutivate is a topical medication, which means it’s applied directly to your skin. Cutivate is currently available as a lotion that comes in one strength: 0.05%. You’ll likely apply a thin layer of Cutivate to the affected area of your skin once per day.

Effectiveness

For information about the effectiveness of Cutivate, see the “Cutivate uses” section below.

Cutivate lotion is a brand-name medication that contains the active drug fluticasone propionate. This drug is also available in a generic form as fluticasone propionate lotion 0.05%.

A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. Generics usually cost less than brand-name drugs.

Cutivate is a brand-name drug that’s only available with a doctor’s prescription. Cutivate isn’t available over the counter.

In the past, Cutivate came in three topical forms: cream, ointment, and lotion. But the Cutivate cream and ointment forms have been discontinued. Cutivate cream for eczema is only available in a generic version: fluticasone propionate cream 0.05%. Cutivate ointment is also only available as a generic: fluticasone propionate ointment 0.005%.

If you’re looking for what Cutivate cream is used for and if it can be used for babies or on the face, it’s best to ask your doctor or pharmacist. You may also want to read the prescribing information for fluticasone propionate cream. For information about Cutivate cream’s price, try looking up “fluticasone propionate cream” on GoodRx.com.

This article is an overview of information about Cutivate lotion, as it’s the only form of brand-name Cutivate that’s currently available. If you have questions about other forms of fluticasone propionate, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

The following information describes the dosage that is commonly used or recommended. But be sure to follow the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Drug form and strength

Cutivate comes as lotion in a bottle. It’s available in one strength: 0.05%.

Dosage for eczema

When using Cutivate for eczema, you’ll apply a thin layer of lotion to your affected areas of skin once daily.

Children’s dosage

Cutivate’s dosage for children is the same as it is for adults. Apply a thin layer of Cutivate lotion to the child’s affected areas of skin once daily.

What if I miss a dose?

You should apply Cutivate to your skin in a thin layer once daily. But if you miss a dose, you shouldn’t apply extra medication. It’s only meant to be applied to the affected areas of your skin once per day.

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or timer or downloading a reminder app.

Will I need to use this drug long term?

Cutivate is meant to be used as a short-term treatment for up to 4 weeks. If you and your doctor determine that Cutivate is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely continue using it as needed to treat short-term eczema flare-ups.

Cutivate can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking Cutivate. These lists do not include all possible side effects.

For more information about the possible side effects of Cutivate, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to manage any side effects that may be concerning or bothersome.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Cutivate, you can do so through MedWatch.

Mild side effects

The most common but mild side effect* of Cutivate is temporary skin irritation.† This includes stinging or burning of the skin at the application areas.

Other mild side effects related to skin irritation can happen when using Cutivate, but they’re less common. For more information about these side effects, see “Side effect details” below.

Most of these side effects may go away within a few hours or a couple of days. But if they become more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* Cutivate may cause other mild side effects. To learn more, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or view Cutivate’s prescribing information.
† For more information about this side effect, see “Side effect details” below.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Cutivate are rare, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Serious side effects and their symptoms can include:

* For more information about this side effect, see “Side effect details” below.

Side effects in children

Cutivate lotion is approved for use in children ages 3 months and older. Cutivate’s side effects in children are usually the same as those seen in adults.

Cutivate is a medicated lotion that mainly works in the skin. But because children are smaller in size, they have an increased risk of absorbing more of Cutivate’s active drug (fluticasone propionate, a corticosteroid) into their bloodstream. So, it’s possible, but rare, for children who use Cutivate to develop systemic side effects of corticosteroids. Systemic side effects occur throughout the body.

Some examples of systemic side effects that have been reported in children include:

  • Lowered hormone levels. (For more information, see the “Side effect details” section below.)
  • Slowed growth.
  • Delayed weight gain.
  • Intracranial hypertension (increased pressure inside the skull).

These side effects are more likely to happen when using more than one topical corticosteroid product in high doses, especially for long periods of time. It’s also important not to bandage, wrap, or tightly cover the skin after applying Cutivate. Wearing loose-fitting clothing is okay unless your doctor recommends you not to. You should also avoid using Cutivate in a child’s diaper area. Covering the treated skin may cause more of the drug to be absorbed in the bloodstream. This can increase the risk of systemic side effects.

To reduce your child’s risk for systemic side effects, do not apply Cutivate more than once daily or for longer than 4 weeks, unless recommended by your child’s doctor. You should talk with your child’s doctor or pharmacist before using any additional topical medications with Cutivate.

Side effect details

Here’s some detail on certain side effects this drug may cause.

Skin irritation

Skin irritation can occur with Cutivate. This was the most commonly reported side effect of Cutivate in clinical studies. It included temporary stinging or burning of the skin. These side effects may occur at the areas where you’ve applied the lotion to your skin.

Other types of skin irritation are possible with Cutivate use. In clinical studies of the drug, the following side effects were reported, but were less common:

To help prevent or reduce skin irritation with Cutivate, be sure to only apply a thin layer of the lotion. You should only apply it to the areas of your skin where you have eczema flare-ups.

If these side effects become bothersome or severe, talk with your doctor. They may recommend other ways to reduce these side effects.

Lowered hormone levels

Cutivate’s active drug, fluticasone propionate (a corticosteroid), can lower the level of certain hormones. This side effect was very rare and reported once across all clinical studies of Cutivate. It occurred in a child who had been given more medication than the recommended dosage.

Cutivate is a medicated lotion that mainly works within the layers of your skin. But a small amount of the active drug can be absorbed into your bloodstream. In rare cases, this can lead to side effects throughout your body.

Using a corticosteroid, such as Cutivate, may cause your adrenal glands to produce less cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that is important in the body’s response to stress. Without enough cortisol, your body isn’t able to handle stress as well. This can lead to symptoms, such as:

Because Cutivate is prescribed for short-term use, you probably won’t develop lowered hormone levels. However, certain factors can increase the risk of developing this side effect. So, it’s important to keep the following tips in mind when using Cutivate:

  • Long-term use of a corticosteroid, such as Cutivate, can increase your risk for lowered hormone levels. It’s not known whether Cutivate is safe or effective to use for more than 4 weeks in a row.
  • You should not bandage, wrap, or tightly cover skin that has been applied with Cutivate. Wearing loose-fitting clothing is okay unless your doctor recommends you not to.
  • Avoid using other topical corticosteroids with Cutivate.
  • Do not get Cutivate in your eyes, mouth, or genital area.
  • If your eczema symptoms affect large areas or the majority of your skin, talk with your doctor about other treatment options.

Lowered hormone levels can occur during or after corticosteroid treatment. Hormone levels typically return to normal within a week after stopping a corticosteroid.

If you have questions about lowered hormone levels with Cutivate, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking Cutivate. It isn’t clear how often allergic reactions occurred in clinical studies of the drug.

Cutivate is a lotion that contains the active drug fluticasone propionate. It also contains an ingredient that breaks down into formaldehyde (a chemical), which causes allergic reactions or skin irritation in some people. If your eczema seems to get worse instead of better with Cutivate use, tell your doctor. They’ll likely have you stop using Cutivate and may recommend other options.

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

  • skin rash
  • itchiness
  • flushing (temporary warmth, redness, or deepening of skin color)
  • tender or painful skin

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
  • trouble breathing

Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Cutivate, as the reaction could become severe. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Cutivate to treat certain conditions. Cutivate may also be used off-label for other conditions. Off-label drug use means using a drug for a purpose other than what it’s been approved for by the FDA.

Cutivate for eczema

Cutivate is a medicated lotion that’s prescribed to relieve eczema symptoms such as itchy skin and inflammation (swelling). It’s FDA-approved for use in adults and in children ages 3 months and older.

Eczema, also called atopic dermatitis, is a common skin condition. With eczema, some areas of your skin can become itchy, rough, dry, discolored, or cracked. These symptoms may come and go over time. When eczema flare-ups occur, your symptoms suddenly get worse.

Some people can usually manage their eczema with good skin care routines. These include keeping showers or baths short, using mild cleansers, and applying moisturizer regularly. For some people, eczema flare-ups are triggered by certain factors, such as stress. Medications such as Cutivate are available when eczema symptoms flare up despite good skin care habits.

There’s no cure for eczema. But medications such as Cutivate may help relieve some symptoms of eczema flare-ups.

Effectiveness for eczema

Cutivate is an effective treatment for relieving eczema symptoms such as itching and inflammation. For information on how the drug performed in clinical studies, see Cutivate’s prescribing information.

Cutivate and children

Cutivate is FDA-approved to treat eczema in children ages 3 months and older. If you’re interested in using Cutivate for your child, talk with their doctor about whether this drug is right for them.

As with all medications, the cost of Cutivate can vary. To find current prices for Cutivate lotion in your area, check out GoodRx.com.

The cost you find on GoodRx.com is what you may pay without insurance. The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Keep in mind that you may be able to get a 90-day supply of Cutivate. If approved by your insurance company, getting a 90-day supply of the drug could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and help lower the cost. If you’re interested in this option, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or your insurance company.

Before approving coverage for Cutivate, your insurance company may require you to get prior authorization. This means that your doctor and insurance company will need to communicate about your prescription before the insurance company will cover the drug. The insurance company will review the prior authorization request and decide if the drug will be covered.

If you’re not sure if you’ll need to get prior authorization for Cutivate, contact your insurance company.

Financial and insurance assistance

If you need financial support to pay for Cutivate, help may available.

Medicine Assistance Tool and NeedyMeds are two websites offering resources that may help decrease the price you pay for Cutivate. They also offer tools to help you find low-cost healthcare, as well as educational resources. To learn more, visit their sites.

For more information about saving money on prescriptions, check out this article.

Mail-order pharmacies

Cutivate may be available through a mail-order pharmacy. Using this service may help lower the drug’s cost and allow you to get your medication without leaving home.

If recommended by your doctor, you may be able to receive a 90-day supply of Cutivate, so there’s less concern about running out of the medication. If you’re interested in this option, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or your insurance company. Some Medicare plans may help cover the cost of mail-order medications.

If you don’t have insurance, you can ask your doctor or pharmacist about online pharmacy options.

Generic version

Cutivate is available in a generic form as fluticasone propionate 0.05% lotion. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. Generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.

Cutivate is a medicated lotion that you’ll apply to your skin. It doesn’t interact with alcohol.

If you have any questions about alcohol use with Cutivate, talk with your doctor.

Cutivate may interact with other medications.

Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some interactions can interfere with how well a drug works. Other interactions can increase side effects or make them more severe.

Cutivate and other medications

Before taking Cutivate, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

Other topical corticosteroids

Cutivate is a medicated lotion that’s applied topically (on the skin). It contains the active drug fluticasone propionate, which is a corticosteroid. Using more than one topical corticosteroid can increase your risk for developing serious side effects. These include infections, high blood sugar, and hormonal changes.

Some examples of other topical corticosteroids include:

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Cutivate and herbs and supplements

There aren’t any herbs or supplements that have been specifically reported to interact with Cutivate. But you should still check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any of these products while taking Cutivate.

Cutivate and foods

There aren’t any foods that have been specifically reported to interact with Cutivate. If you have any questions about eating certain foods with your condition, talk with your doctor.

You should use Cutivate according to the instructions your doctor or other healthcare professional gives you.

Cutivate is a medicated lotion. You’ll use Cutivate by applying a thin layer to the affected areas of your skin once daily.

It’s important to use Cutivate as prescribed. Follow these tips to use Cutivate properly and to reduce your risk for side effects:

  • Gently rub Cutivate lotion into the areas of your skin affected by eczema.
  • Don’t bandage, wrap, or tightly cover the areas where you’ve applied Cutivate. Wearing loose-fitting clothing is okay unless your doctor recommends you not to.
  • When using Cutivate in young children, avoid applying the lotion in the diaper area.
  • Using a corticosteroid like Cutivate long-term can increase your risk for lowered hormone levels. It’s not known whether Cutivate is safe or effective to use for more than 4 weeks in a row.
  • You shouldn’t use other topical corticosteroids with Cutivate.
  • Avoid getting Cutivate in your eyes, mouth, or genital area.
  • If your eczema symptoms affect large areas or the majority of your skin, talk with your doctor about other treatment options.

When to use

You can apply your dose of Cutivate at any time of day. If possible, try and apply your dose at the same time each day. You’ll gently rub a thin layer of this medicated lotion into your affected areas of skin once per day.

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or timer or downloading a reminder app.

Cutivate is a medicated lotion that contains the active drug fluticasone propionate. This drug belongs to a group of medications called topical corticosteroids. Topical corticosteroids work by suppressing the immune system activity in the layers of your skin. This reduces inflammation (swelling), easing the itching symptoms associated with eczema flare-ups.

How long does it take to work?

Cutivate lotion starts working soon after you rub it into your skin. You should notice an improvement in your eczema symptoms, such as itching, within 2 weeks.

If you don’t notice your eczema symptoms going away, or if they get worse, tell your doctor. They’ll likely recommend other treatment options for you.

It isn’t known if Cutivate is safe to use during pregnancy. Cutivate is a lotion that’s applied to the skin, but a small amount of the drug may be absorbed into your bloodstream. The active drug in Cutivate is fluticasone propionate, a corticosteroid. If used in large amounts during pregnancy, corticosteroids may cause harmful effects, such as cleft palette, or increase the risk of low birth weight in a newborn. But this isn’t expected when Cutivate is used correctly as prescribed by your doctor.

If you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant, tell your doctor before starting Cutivate.

It’s unknown if Cutivate is safe to use during pregnancy. If you’re sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while you’re using Cutivate.

For more information about taking Cutivate during pregnancy, see the “Cutivate and pregnancy” section above.

It isn’t known if Cutivate is safe to use while breastfeeding.

If you’re breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed, tell your doctor before using Cutivate. They may suggest that you use other treatments.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Cutivate.

Does Cutivate cure eczema?

No, Cutivate won’t cure eczema. There’s currently no cure for this condition. But some people who develop eczema as an infant or child may eventually outgrow the condition.

In many cases, eczema symptoms can be managed with good skin care routines. Effective treatment options such as Cutivate are available for eczema flare-ups.

Talk with your doctor to learn more about managing eczema and available treatment options.

Can I apply other lotions or skincare products while I’m using Cutivate?

It depends on which type of skincare products or lotions you’re interested in using.

You shouldn’t use other skincare products that contain corticosteroids while using Cutivate. This includes prescription and over-the-counter topical steroids such as hydrocortisone. Using these drugs with Cutivate may increase your risk of developing side effects.

Moisturizing lotions, creams, or ointments can be used while you’re using Cutivate. In fact, using moisturizer regularly is recommended if you have with eczema. This helps manage symptoms such as dry skin.

Experts recommend waiting 15 minutes before applying a moisturizer over a topical corticosteroid, such as Cutivate. This allows time for the drug to absorb into your skin.

If you have questions about whether you can safely use specific skincare products with Cutivate, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

How long can I use Cutivate?

Cutivate is a medicated lotion that’s used once daily. It’s not known if using Cutivate daily for more than 4 weeks in a row is safe or effective. Your doctor can give you more information on how long you’ll use Cutivate.

If you don’t notice your eczema symptoms improving within 2 weeks of use, tell your doctor. They may recommend a different treatment option.

Before taking Cutivate, talk with your doctor about your health history. Cutivate may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. These include:

  • Current skin infection. Cutivate may weaken the immune system functions in your skin. If you think you have a skin infection, talk with your doctor before using Cutivate. They’ll likely treat your infection before prescribing Cutivate.
  • Problems with your adrenal glands or liver. In rare cases, Cutivate may decrease cortisol levels. If you have liver or adrenal gland problems, Cutivate may worsen your condition. Talk with your doctor to discuss the risks and benefits.
  • Diabetes. Cutivate may cause high blood sugar, but this isn’t common. If you have diabetes, Cutivate could possibly worsen your condition. If you have diabetes, talk with your doctor before starting Cutivate treatment.
  • Thinning skin. Cutivate may temporarily cause thinning skin in the areas where it’s applied. If you already have a problem with thinning skin, talk with your doctor. They may recommend a different treatment option for you.
  • Allergic reaction or allergy to formaldehyde. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Cutivate or any of its ingredients, you shouldn’t use the medication. For example, Cutivate lotion contains an ingredient that breaks down into formaldehyde (a chemical), which causes allergic reactions or skin irritation in some people. If your eczema seems to get worse with Cutivate use, tell your doctor. They’ll likely have you stop using Cutivate and will suggest other treatment options. Ask your doctor what other medications are better options for you.
  • Pregnancy. It’s not known if Cutivate is safe to use during pregnancy. For more information, see the “Cutivate and pregnancy” section above.
  • Breastfeeding. It’s unknown whether Cutivate is safe to use while breastfeeding. For more information, see the “Cutivate and breastfeeding” section above.

Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of Cutivate, see the “Cutivate side effects” section above.

Do not use more Cutivate than your doctor recommends. For some drugs, doing so may lead to unwanted side effects or overdose.

What to do in case you use too much Cutivate

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor. You can also call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use their online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

When you get Cutivate from the pharmacy, the pharmacist will add an expiration date to the label on the packaging. This date is typically 1 year from the date they dispensed the medication.

The expiration date helps guarantee that the medication is effective during this time. The current stance of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to avoid using expired medications. If you have unused medication that has gone past the expiration date, talk with your pharmacist about whether you might still be able to use it.

Storage

How long a medication remains good to use can depend on many factors, including how and where you store the medication.

Cutivate lotion should be stored at room temperature from 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C), in a tightly sealed container away from light. You should avoid storing this medication in the refrigerator or areas where it could get damp or wet, such as bathrooms.

Disposal

If you no longer need to take Cutivate and have leftover medication, it’s important to dispose of it safely. This helps prevent others, including children and pets, from taking the drug by accident. It also helps keep the drug from harming the environment.

This article provides several useful tips on medication disposal. You can also ask your pharmacist for information about how to dispose of your medication.

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.