LEXETTE: Package Insert and Label Information

LEXETTE- halobetasol propionate aerosol, foam
Mayne Pharma


LEXETTE® is indicated for the topical treatment of plaque psoriasis in patients 12 years of age and older.


Shake can prior to use. Apply LEXETTE as a thin uniform film to the affected skin twice daily for up to two weeks. Rub in gently. Wash hands after applying the product.

Discontinue therapy when control is achieved. If no improvement is seen within two weeks, reassessment of the diagnosis may be necessary.

Treatment beyond two weeks is not recommended and the total dosage should not exceed 50 grams per week because of the potential for the drug to suppress the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]. Do not use with occlusive dressings unless directed by a physician.

Avoid use on the face, groin, or axillae.

Avoid contact with eyes.

LEXETTE is for topical use only.

LEXETTE is not for ophthalmic, oral, or intravaginal use.


LEXETTE® (halobetasol propionate) topical foam is a white to off-white topical foam. Each gram of LEXETTE, 0.05% contains 0.5 mg of halobetasol propionate.




5.1 Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis Suppression and Other Adverse Endocrine Effects

LEXETTE is a topical corticosteroid that has been shown to suppress the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.

Systemic effects of topical corticosteroids may include reversible HPA axis suppression, with the potential for glucocorticosteroid insufficiency. This may occur during treatment or upon withdrawal of treatment of the topical corticosteroid. The potential for hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) suppression with LEXETTE was evaluated in the following studies:

  • In a study of 25 adult subjects with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis involving ≥15% of their body surface area. LEXETTE produced laboratory evidence of HPA axis suppression when used twice daily for two weeks in 6 out of 25 (24%) adult subjects with plaque psoriasis. All subjects returned to normal HPA axis function at follow-up at least 4 weeks after stopping the treatment [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.2)].
  • In another clinical study, 24 subjects 12 to less than 18 years old with stable plaque psoriasis involving 10% or more of their body surface area applied LEXETTE to affected areas twice daily for two weeks. Of the 23 subjects evaluated for HPA axis suppression, laboratory evidence of adrenal suppression occurred in 6 subjects (26.1%), whom recovered upon retesting after at least 4 weeks of stopping the treatment [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.2)].

Because of the potential for systemic absorption, use of topical corticosteroids, including LEXETTE, may require that patients be evaluated periodically for evidence of HPA axis suppression. Factors that predispose a patient using a topical corticosteroid to HPA axis suppression include the use of more potent corticosteroids, use over large surface areas, prolonged use, occlusive use, use on an altered skin barrier, concomitant use of multiple corticosteroid-containing products, liver failure, and young age. An ACTH stimulation test may be helpful in evaluating patients for HPA axis suppression.

If HPA axis suppression is documented, attempt to gradually withdraw the drug, reduce the frequency of application, or substitute a less potent steroid. Manifestations of adrenal insufficiency may require supplemental systemic corticosteroids. Recovery of HPA axis function is generally prompt and complete upon discontinuation of topical corticosteroids.

Systemic effects of topical corticosteroids may also include Cushing’s syndrome, hyperglycemia, and glucosuria. Use of more than one corticosteroid-containing product at the same time may increase the total systemic exposure to topical corticosteroids.

Pediatric patients may be more susceptible than adults to systemic toxicity from the use of topical corticosteroids due to their larger surface-to-body mass ratios [see Use in Specific Populations (8.4)].

5.2 Local Adverse Reactions

Local adverse reactions from topical corticosteroids may include atrophy, striae, telangiectasias, burning, itching, irritation, dryness, folliculitis, acneiform eruptions, hypopigmentation, perioral dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, secondary infection, and miliaria. These may be more likely to occur with occlusive use, prolonged use, or use of higher potency corticosteroids, including LEXETTE. Some local adverse reactions may be irreversible.

5.3 Ophthalmic Adverse Reactions

Use of topical corticosteroids may increase the risk of posterior subcapsular cataracts and glaucoma. Cataracts and glaucoma have been reported in postmarketing experience with the use of topical corticosteroid products.

Advise patients to report any visual symptoms and consider referral to an ophthalmologist for evaluation.

5.4 Concomitant Skin Infections

Use an appropriate antimicrobial agent if a skin infection is present or develops. If a favorable response does not occur promptly, discontinue use of LEXETTE until the infection has been adequately treated.

5.5 Allergic Contact Dermatitis

Allergic contact dermatitis with corticosteroids is usually diagnosed by observing failure to heal rather than noting a clinical exacerbation. Consider confirmation of a clinical diagnosis of allergic contact dermatitis by appropriate patch testing. Discontinue LEXETTE if allergic contact dermatitis is established.

5.6 Flammability

LEXETTE is flammable. Avoid fire, flame, or smoking during and immediately following application.


The following adverse reactions are discussed in greater detail in other sections of the label:

6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

In randomized, multicenter, vehicle-controlled clinical trials, 351 adults with plaque psoriasis were treated with LEXETTE twice daily for up to two weeks (up to approximately 50 grams per week). Table 1 presents selected adverse reactions that occurred in at least 1% of subjects.

Table 1: Adverse Reactions Occurring in ≥ 1% of Subjects through Week 2
HBP FoamN=351 Vehicle FoamN=353
Adverse Reaction % %
Application site burning/stinging 12% 15%
Application site pain 1% <1%
Headache 1% <1%

Skin atrophy (n=1) and telangiectasia (n=2) were reported with LEXETTE, but not with vehicle foam.

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

Because the reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

The following local adverse reactions have been reported with topical corticosteroids: folliculitis, acneiform eruptions, hypopigmentation, perioral dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, secondary infection, irritation, striae, and miliaria. They may occur more frequently with the use of occlusive dressings and higher potency corticosteroids, such as halobetasol propionate.


8.1 Pregnancy

Risk Summary

There are no available data on LEXETTE use in pregnant women to inform a drug-associated risk of major birth defects, miscarriage, or adverse maternal or fetal outcomes. Published data report an increased risk of low birthweight with the use of greater than 300 grams of potent or very potent topical corticosteroid during a pregnancy. In animal reproduction studies, increased malformations, including cleft palate and omphalocele, were observed after oral administration of halobetasol propionate during organogenesis to pregnant rats and rabbits. No comparisons of animal exposure with human exposure may be calculated due to minimal systemic exposure in humans after topical administration of LEXETTE [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

The background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population are unknown. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2-4% and 15-20%, respectively.


Human Data

Multiple observational studies found no significant associations between maternal use of topical corticosteroids of any potency and congenital malformations, preterm delivery, or fetal mortality. However, when the dispensed amount of potent or very potent topical corticosteroid exceeded 300 g during the entire pregnancy, use was associated with an increase in low birth weight infants.

Animal Data

Halobetasol propionate has been shown to cause malformations in rats and rabbits when given orally during organogenesis at doses of 0.04 to 0.1 mg/kg/day in rats and 0.01 mg/kg/day in rabbits. Halobetasol propionate was embryotoxic in rabbits, but not in rats. Cleft palate was observed in both rats and rabbits. Omphalocele was seen in rats, but not in rabbits.

8.2 Lactation

Risk Summary

There are no data on the presence of halobetasol propionate or its metabolites in human milk, the effects on the breastfed infant, or the effects on milk production after topical application to women who are breastfeeding.

Systemically administered corticosteroids appear in human milk and could suppress growth, interfere with endogenous corticosteroid production, or cause other untoward effects. It is not known whether topical administration of corticosteroids could result in sufficient systemic absorption to produce detectable quantities in human milk. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for LEXETTE and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from LEXETTE or from the underlying maternal condition.

Clinical Considerations

Advise breastfeeding women not to apply LEXETTE directly to the nipple and/or areola to avoid direct infant exposure.

8.4 Pediatric Use

The safety and effectiveness of LEXETTE in patients younger than 12 years of age have not been established; therefore, use in children younger than 12 years is not recommended.

The safety and effectiveness of LEXETTE for the treatment of stable plaque psoriasis in subjects 12 to less than 18 years of age is supported by evidence from adequate and well-controlled studies in adults and from one open-label safety study in 24 subjects aged 12 to less than 18 years. Subjects 12 to less than 18 years with stable plaque psoriasis covering a minimum of 10% of the total body surface area at baseline were treated twice daily for 2 weeks with LEXETTE. Hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis function (ACTH stimulation test) was evaluated in a subset of 23 subjects. After 2 weeks of treatment, 6 of 23 subjects (26.1%) experienced laboratory evidence of adrenal suppression (i.e., cortisol serum level of ≤18 µg/dL) that recovered upon retesting after at least 4 weeks of stopping the treatment [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.2)].

Because of higher skin surface area to body mass ratios, pediatric patients are at a greater risk than adults of HPA axis suppression and Cushing’s syndrome when they are treated with topical corticosteroids. They are therefore also at greater risk of adrenal insufficiency during or after withdrawal of treatment. Adverse reactions including striae have been reported with use of topical corticosteroids in infants and children [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

HPA axis suppression, Cushing’s syndrome, linear growth retardation, delayed weight gain, and intracranial hypertension have been reported in children receiving topical corticosteroids. Manifestations of adrenal suppression in children include low plasma cortisol levels and an absence of response to ACTH stimulation. Manifestations of intracranial hypertension include bulging fontanelles, headaches, and bilateral papilledema [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

8.5 Geriatric Use

Clinical studies with LEXETTE included 131 subjects aged 65 years and over. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these subjects and those younger than 65 years.


Topically applied LEXETTE can be absorbed in sufficient amounts to produce systemic effects [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].


LEXETTE is a hydroethanolic aerosol foam that contains a corticosteroid, halobetasol propionate intended for topical use. The chemical name of halobetasol propionate is 21-chloro-6α, 9-difluoro-11β, 17-dihydroxy-16β-methylpregna-1, 4-diene-3,20-dione 17-propionate. Halobetasol propionate is a white to off-white crystalline powder with a molecular weight of 484.96 and a molecular formula of C25 H31 ClF2 O5 . It has the following structural formula:

Chemical Structure
(click image for full-size original)

It is practically insoluble in water and freely soluble in dichloromethane and in acetone. Each gram of LEXETTE contains 0.5 mg of halobetasol propionate in a white to off-white foam base consisting of alcohol (specially denatured alcohol [SDA]), benzoic acid, cetostearyl alcohol, emulsifying wax, polyoxyl 20 cetostearyl ether, propylene glycol and purified water. LEXETTE is dispensed from an aluminum can pressurized with a hydrocarbon (isobutane and propane) propellant.


12.1 Mechanism of Action

Corticosteroids play a role in cellular signaling, immune function, inflammation, and protein regulation; however, the precise mechanism of action in plaque psoriasis is unknown.

12.2 Pharmacodynamics

Vasoconstrictor Assay

A vasoconstrictor assay in healthy patients with LEXETTE indicated that the formulation is in the super-high range of potency as compared to other topical corticosteroids; however, similar blanching scores do not necessarily imply therapeutic equivalence.

Hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis suppression

The potential for hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal axis (HPA-axis) suppression was evaluated in the following two studies. In both studies, the criteria for HPA-axis suppression was a serum cortisol level of less than or equal to 18 micrograms per deciliter 30 minutes after stimulation with cosyntropin (adrenocorticotropic hormone, ACTH).

In the first study, LEXETTE was applied to 25 adult subjects with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis involving a mean body surface area of 18.4%. A mean dose of 3.7 g of LEXETTE was applied twice daily for two weeks and produced laboratory evidence of HPA axis suppression in 6 of 25 (24%) subjects. All subjects returned to normal HPA axis function at follow-up at least 4 weeks after stopping the treatment. In the second study, LEXETTE was applied to 24 subjects 12 to less than 18 years of age with stable plaque psoriasis with a mean percent BSA of 15.1% (range of 11% to 23%). The mean dose of LEXETTE used was 3.1 grams, which was applied twice daily for two weeks. In the study, 24 subjects completed the study, and 23 subjects had evaluable ACTH stimulation tests. HPA axis suppression was observed in 6 of the 23 subjects (26.1%), and all subjects returned to normal HPA axis function at follow-up at least 4 weeks after stopping the treatment.

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