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Aclovate (Alclometasone Dipropionate) - Description and Clinical Pharmacology


Rx only

For Dermatologic Use Only–
Not for Ophthalmic Use.


ACLOVATE® (alclometasone dipropionate cream) Cream, 0.05% and ACLOVATE® (alclometasone dipropionate ointment) Ointment, 0.05% contain alclometasone dipropionate (7α-chloro-11β,17,21 -trihydroxy-16α-methylpregna-1,4-diene-3,20-dione 17,21 -dipropionate), a synthetic corticosteroid for topical dermatologic use. The corticosteroids constitute a class of primarily synthetic steroids used topically as anti-inflammatory and antipruritic agents.

Chemically, alclometasone dipropionate is C28H37CIO7. It has the following structural formula:

Alclometasone dipropionate has the molecular weight of 521. It is a white powder insoluble in water, slightly soluble in propylene glycol, and moderately soluble in hexylene glycol.

Each gram of ACLOVATE® Cream contains 0.5 mg of alclometasone dipropionate in a hydrophilic, emollient cream base of propylene glycol, white petrolatum, cetearyl alcohol, glyceryl stearate, PEG 100 stearate, Ceteth-20, monobasic sodium phosphate, chlorocresol, phosphoric acid, and purified water.

Each gram of ACLOVATE® Ointment contains 0.5 mg of alclometasone dipropionate in an ointment base of hexylene glycol, white wax, propylene glycol stearate, and white petrolatum.


Like other topical corticosteroids, alclometasone dipropionate has anti-inflammatory, antipruritic, and vasoconstrictive properties. The mechanism of the anti-inflammatory activity of the topical steroids, in general, is unclear. However, corticosteroids are thought to act by the induction of phospholipase A2 inhibitory proteins, collectively called lipocortins. It is postulated that these proteins control the biosynthesis of potent mediators of inflammation such as prostaglandins and leukotrienes by inhibiting the release of their common precursor, arachidonic acid. Arachidonic acid is released from membrane phospholipids by phospholipase A2.

Pharmacokinetics: The extent of percutaneous absorption of topical corticosteroids is determined by many factors, including the vehicle and the integrity of the epidermal barrier. Occlusive dressings with hydrocortisone for up to 24 hours have not been demonstrated to increase penetration; however, occlusion of hydrocortisone for 96 hours markedly enhances penetration. Topical corticosteroids can be absorbed from normal intact skin. Inflammation and/or other disease processes in the skin may increase percutaneous absorption. A study utilizing a radiolabeled alclometasone dipropionate ointment formulation was performed to measure systemic absorption and excretion. Results indicated that approximately 3% of the steroid was absorbed during 8 hours of contact with intact skin of normal volunteers.

Studies performed with ACLOVATE® Cream and Ointment indicate that these products are in the low to medium range of potency as compared with other topical corticosteroids.

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