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Dermatology Online Journal

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The continued inappropriate use and overuse of combination topical clotrimazole-betamethasone


Objective: Combination topical clotrimazole/ betamethasone dipropionate (C-BM) contains a high-potency topical corticosteroid and is not infrequently prescribed for inappropriate patient groups and body sites. Use of C-BM can lead to inadequate clearance or exacerbation of fungal infections as well as cutaneous atrophy, striae, and other skin maladies. Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review of 1,978 clinical visits where C-BM was prescribed within the University of Utah Health system between 2014 and 2018 to better understand current prescribing patterns. Results: 1,974 prescriptions were written for C-BM. 91.6% of patients were at least the recommended age of 17 years. C-BM was most commonly prescribed for rashes of an inflammatory (42.2%) or fungal nature (38.1%). Clotrimazole/betamethasone dipropionate was prescribed for sensitive areas (face, axillae, groin or diaper region) in 48.9% of patients. Family medicine clinicians prescribed 58.3% of C-BM prescriptions, whereas dermatology clinicians accounted for 3.4%. Conclusion: We strongly recommend clinicians use alternative treatments for rashes or refer to dermatologists.

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