Enstilar (Calcipotriene & Betamethasone)
What Is A Generic?×
A generic drug is essentially a copycat version of a brand-name medication, offering the same safety, quality, and effectiveness, but often at a lower cost. When a brand-name drug's patent expires, other companies can produce the generic version. These generics contain the same active ingredients and work in the same way in the body as the original brand-name drug. However, they might differ in color, shape, or inactive ingredients. The appeal of generic drugs lies in their affordability; they provide a more cost-effective option for consumers without sacrificing the benefits of the original medication. This makes healthcare more accessible to a larger portion of the population, ensuring that more people can receive the treatment they need without the burden of high costs associated with brand-name drugs.
Enstilar is a topical medication used in the treatment of plaque psoriasis. It combines two active ingredients, calcipotriol and betamethasone dipropionate, which work together to reduce inflammation, itching, and scaling associated with this chronic skin condition. Enstilar offers a convenient and effective solution to manage psoriasis symptoms and improve the quality of life for individuals living with this condition.
Table of ContentsToggle
- Plaque Psoriasis
- Warnings and Precautions
- Side Effects
- Drug Interactions
- How To Use
Plaque psoriasis is a common skin disorder characterized by raised, red patches covered with silvery-white scales, known as plaques. It is a chronic condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy skin cells, causing the skin to regenerate at an abnormally fast rate. The excessive buildup of skin cells leads to the formation of plaques, which can appear anywhere on the body, but most commonly affect the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back. The exact cause of plaque psoriasis is still unknown, but it is believed to be a result of a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Immune system dysfunction as well as lifestyle factors may also contribute to the disorder.
Warnings and Precautions
While Enstilar can be effective in managing psoriasis symptoms, it is important to be aware of the warnings and precautions associated with its use. To ensure the safe and effective use of Enstilar, it is essential to follow certain precautions.
Use as directed by your healthcare provider: It is crucial to use Enstilar exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Follow the instructions regarding the frequency of application, duration of treatment, and the amount of medication to be used. Do not exceed the recommended dosage, as it may increase the risk of side effects.
Avoid contact with eyes, mouth, and other sensitive areas: Enstilar is meant for external use only. Avoid contact with your eyes, mouth, and other sensitive areas of the body. In case of accidental contact, rinse thoroughly with water. If any irritation or adverse effects occur, seek medical assistance.
Inform your healthcare provider about other medications: Before starting Enstilar, inform your healthcare provider about any other medications, supplements, or herbal products you are currently taking. Certain medications may interact with Enstilar, leading to potential adverse effects or reduced effectiveness.
Avoid prolonged use and sudden discontinuation: Long-term or excessive use of Enstilar may increase the risk of certain side effects, such as skin thinning. It is important to use Enstilar only for the prescribed duration. Similarly, do not abruptly stop using Enstilar without consulting your healthcare provider, as it may result in a flare-up of psoriasis symptoms.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding: If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, it is important to discuss the use of Enstilar with your healthcare provider. The safety of Enstilar during pregnancy and breastfeeding has not been established, and it should only be used if the potential benefits outweigh the risks.
While Enstilar has proven to be effective in managing psoriasis symptoms for many patients, it’s important to be aware of the potential side effects that may occur.
Common Side Effects
- Itching and skin irritation: Some individuals may experience mild itching and irritation at the application site. This is a common reaction and usually resolves on its own.
- Burning or stinging sensation: Enstilar may cause a temporary burning or stinging sensation upon application. This discomfort is usually short-lived and diminishes over time.
- Dryness and peeling: The use of Enstilar can lead to dryness and peeling of the skin. This is a normal reaction and can be managed with moisturizers or emollients recommended by a healthcare professional.
- Redness and inflammation: In certain cases, redness and inflammation may occur at the application site. This reaction is generally mild and resolves without intervention.
- Headache: Some individuals may experience headaches while using Enstilar. If the headaches persist or become severe, it is advisable to consult a healthcare provider.
- Changes in skin pigmentation: Enstilar can cause temporary changes in skin pigmentation, resulting in lightening or darkening of the treated areas. These changes are usually reversible and fade over time.
- Dry or irritated eyes: In rare cases, individuals using Enstilar may experience dry or irritated eyes. If this occurs, it is recommended to consult a healthcare professional for appropriate guidance.
- Swelling: Although uncommon, some individuals may experience localized swelling at the application site. If swelling becomes severe or spreads beyond the treated area, medical attention should be sought immediately.
Rare Side Effects
- Allergic reactions: In rare cases, individuals may develop an allergic reaction to Enstilar. Symptoms may include rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, and difficulty breathing. If any of these symptoms occur, immediate medical assistance should be sought.
- Worsening of psoriasis: In a small percentage of individuals, Enstilar may lead to the worsening of psoriasis symptoms. If there is a significant deterioration or a sudden flare-up of psoriasis lesions, a healthcare provider should be consulted.
- Skin infections: Although uncommon, Enstilar may increase the risk of developing skin infections. If signs of infection, such as increased redness, warmth, swelling, or pus, appear at the application site, medical attention should be sought promptly.
- Adrenal suppression: Prolonged use of Enstilar on large areas of the body or under occlusive dressings may result in adrenal suppression. This condition affects the function of the adrenal glands and can lead to hormonal imbalances. Regular follow-up with a healthcare professional is crucial when using Enstilar for extended periods.
- Vision changes: While rare, Enstilar may cause changes in vision, such as blurred vision or visual disturbances. If any visual changes occur, it is advisable to consult an eye care specialist for evaluation.
- Systemic effects: In extremely rare cases, Enstilar may be absorbed into the bloodstream and lead to systemic effects. This can cause various adverse reactions throughout the body. If systemic symptoms, such as fatigue, weakness, weight loss, or gastrointestinal disturbances, are experienced, immediate medical attention should be sought.
Severe Side Effects
- Severe allergic reactions: Anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction, can occur after using Enstilar. Symptoms may include difficulty breathing, chest tightness, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat, and a rapid heartbeat. If anaphylaxis is suspected, emergency medical assistance should be sought immediately.
- Severe skin reactions: In rare instances, Enstilar may cause severe skin reactions, such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome or toxic epidermal necrolysis. These conditions are characterized by the development of painful blisters, skin peeling, and fever. If these symptoms manifest, urgent medical care is essential.
- Excessive calcium levels: Prolonged use of Enstilar on extensive areas of the body can lead to elevated calcium levels in the blood, known as hypercalcemia. Symptoms may include excessive thirst, frequent urination, abdominal pain, and confusion. If these symptoms occur, immediate medical attention is necessary.
Enstilar has the potential to interact with other medications, supplements, or substances, which may affect its efficacy or cause unwanted side effects. It is essential to inform your healthcare provider about all the medications you are currently taking, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements, and vitamins.
Enstilar contains betamethasone dipropionate, which is a corticosteroid. Using other corticosteroid medications simultaneously with Enstilar may increase the risk of systemic side effects. These side effects can include adrenal suppression, Cushing’s syndrome, and hyperglycemia. It is important to discuss the use of other corticosteroids with your healthcare provider before starting Enstilar.
Using other products containing calcipotriene, such as certain shampoos or ointments, alongside Enstilar may lead to an increased risk of elevated calcium levels in the body. This condition, known as hypercalcemia, can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, excessive thirst, and confusion. It is essential to inform your doctor if you are using any other calcipotriene-containing products to avoid complications.
Medications That Affect Skin Absorption
Some medications or substances can affect the absorption of Enstilar through the skin. These include occlusive dressings, which may enhance the penetration of the medication, increasing the risk of systemic side effects. It is advisable to avoid using occlusive dressings or discuss their use with your healthcare provider.
Using other topical steroids simultaneously with Enstilar may increase the risk of skin thinning or atrophy. It is important to inform your healthcare provider if you are using any other topical steroids to ensure the appropriate management of your psoriasis.
How To Use
Proper application of Enstilar is essential to ensure its effectiveness and minimize potential side effects.
- Shake the can: Before each use, shake the can of Enstilar well to ensure proper mixing of the medication.
- Clean and dry the affected area: Wash the affected area with mild soap and water. Pat dry gently with a towel.
- Apply a thin layer: Hold the can about 3 to 5 centimeters away from the skin and apply a thin layer of Enstilar onto the affected area. Do not overspray or use excessive amounts.
- Gently massage into the skin: After applying Enstilar, gently massage it into the skin until it is absorbed. Wash your hands immediately after application, unless your hands are the treated area.
- Avoid bandages or dressings: Unless instructed by your healthcare provider, do not cover the treated area with bandages or dressings. This can increase the absorption of the medication and may lead to adverse effects.
- Do not wash off immediately: Leave Enstilar on the skin for at least 30 minutes before washing it off. This allows sufficient time for the medication to be absorbed and work effectively.
- Use as directed: Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions on the frequency and duration of Enstilar application. Do not exceed the recommended dosage or use it for longer than prescribed.
It is important to follow the dosing instructions provided by your healthcare professional, as they will tailor the treatment plan based on your specific condition and needs.
The initial dose of Enstilar typically involves applying a thin layer of the foam to the affected areas of the skin once daily. Gently massage the foam into the skin until it disappears. It is important to avoid applying Enstilar to unaffected areas. The duration of the initial treatment may vary, and your healthcare provider will advise you on the appropriate length of therapy.
After the initial treatment period, your healthcare provider may recommend a maintenance dose of Enstilar. The maintenance dose generally involves applying a thin layer of the foam to the affected areas once daily. Your healthcare provider may adjust the frequency of application based on your individual response to the medication.
It is crucial not to exceed the maximum recommended dose of Enstilar. Applying more than the prescribed amount will not improve the effectiveness of the medication and may increase the risk of side effects. Always follow the dosing instructions provided by your healthcare provider and do not apply Enstilar more frequently or in larger quantities than recommended.
In the event of an overdose of Enstilar, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Overdosing on Enstilar may lead to an increased risk of side effects, such as skin thinning, increased blood calcium levels, and adrenal gland suppression. If you accidentally apply more than the recommended amount of Enstilar, rinse the affected area with water and consult your healthcare provider or local poison control center for further guidance.
If you miss a dose of Enstilar, apply it as soon as you remember. However, if it is close to the time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not apply a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you have any concerns or questions about missed doses, consult your healthcare provider for guidance.
Proper storage of Enstilar is essential to maintain its effectiveness and ensure its safety for use.
Keep it at Room Temperature: Enstilar should be stored at room temperature, typically between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C). Avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures, such as direct sunlight, heat sources, or freezing conditions, as they can impact the stability and effectiveness of the medication.
Store in the Original Packaging: It is important to store Enstilar in its original packaging. The packaging is designed to protect the medication from external factors that could compromise its quality, such as light and moisture. Leaving the medication exposed or transferring it to another container may lead to degradation and decreased effectiveness.
Protect from Moisture: Moisture can degrade the quality of Enstilar and reduce its shelf life. Store the medication in a dry place and keep the cap tightly closed when not in use. Avoid storing Enstilar in the bathroom or other areas with high humidity levels.
Keep Away from Children and Pets: To prevent accidental ingestion or misuse, store Enstilar in a secure location that is out of reach of children and pets. Consider using child-resistant containers for an added layer of safety.
Check Expiry Date: Before using Enstilar, always check the expiry date on the packaging. Expired medications may not be as effective and could potentially pose risks to your health. If the medication has expired, properly dispose of it following the recommended guidelines.
Avoid Repackaging or Dividing: Enstilar should be used as directed by your healthcare provider. Do not repackage or divide the medication unless specifically instructed to do so. Changing the packaging or altering the formulation can affect its stability and may lead to inconsistent dosing.
Properly disposing of medication is crucial to prevent accidental ingestion, misuse, or harm to the environment.
- Check the Expiration Date: Before disposing of Enstilar, check the expiration date on the packaging. Expired medication may not be as effective and should be disposed of properly.
- Read the Instructions: Refer to the medication’s package insert or consult your healthcare provider for specific disposal instructions. Some medications may have unique disposal requirements.
- Keep It in Its Original Packaging: To ensure the safe disposal of Enstilar, it is recommended to keep it in its original packaging. This helps identify the medication and its proper disposal method.
- Do Not Flush or Pour Down the Drain: Avoid flushing Enstilar down the toilet or pouring it down the drain. Medications can contaminate water sources and harm aquatic life.
- Remove Personal Information: Before disposing of the packaging, make sure to remove any personal information that may be present on the label to protect your privacy.
- Medication Take-Back Programs: Check if there are any local medication take-back programs in your area. These programs provide a safe and convenient way to dispose of medications properly. Contact your local pharmacy or healthcare provider to inquire about such programs.
- Community Disposal Programs: Some communities organize periodic medication disposal events. These events allow individuals to drop off their unused or expired medications for proper disposal. Stay informed about these programs and take advantage of them when available.
- Mix with Unappealing Substances: If you don’t have access to a medication take-back program or a community disposal event, you can mix the Enstilar medication with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or cat litter. This helps make the medication less appealing and discourages accidental ingestion.
- Secure Packaging and Dispose: Once the medication is mixed with an undesirable substance, seal it in a plastic bag or container and place it in the regular trash. Be sure to check your local regulations regarding medication disposal to ensure compliance.
- Remove Personal Information: Again, before disposing of the original packaging, double-check to ensure that all personal information has been removed or obscured to protect your privacy.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.