Etrivex shampoo (Clobetasol)

How does it work?

Etrivex shampoo contains the active ingredient clobetasol propionate, which is a type of medicine called a topical corticosteroid.

Corticosteroids are medicines used for reducing inflammation. Inflammation of the skin happens due to irritation of the skin, and is caused by the release of various substances that are important in the immune system. These substances cause blood vessels to widen, resulting in the irritated area becoming red, swollen, itchy and painful.

When clobetasol is applied to the skin it works by acting inside the skin cells to decrease the release of these inflammatory substances. This reduces swelling, redness and itching.

There is a range of potencies of corticosteroids applied to the skin. Clobetasol is a very potent corticosteroid that is applied to the skin to treat severe inflammatory skin disorders, such as psoriasis, that have not responded to milder steroids.

Etrivex shampoo is used to treat psoriasis of the scalp. It should be applied thinly directly onto a dry scalp once daily, taking care to massage the shampoo into the affected areas of skin on the scalp. The shampoo should be left on for 15 minutes; the scalp must NOT be covered (eg with a shower cap) during this time. After 15 minutes the shampoo can be rinsed off with water, or the hair can be washed using your regular shampoo. Hair can then be dried as usual.

The shampoo should not be used for longer than four weeks at a time. As soon as the condition starts to improve, you should use the shampoo less frequently, as directed by your doctor. If there is no improvement in your psoriasis after four weeks treatment you should consult your doctor. Repeat courses maybe necessary to control flare-ups of psoriasis, but should only be started on the advice of your doctor. You will need to have regular check-ups.

What is it used for?

  • Treatment of moderate scalp psoriasis in adults.


  • This medicine is for external use on the scalp only. It must not be used on the face or any other part of the body apart from the scalp. Apply the shampoo thinly and do not leave on for longer than 15 minutes before rinsing it out. Do not use Etrivex shampoo as a regular shampoo, or as a shower gel, body wash or bath foam.
  • Avoid getting the shampoo in contact with broken skin, or on the face, eyes, armpits or genital areas. Rinse with cold water if accidental contact occurs.
  • Wash your hands after applying this shampoo to avoid accidentally transferring the medicine to other areas.
  • If corticosteroids are used long-term, in large amounts, on large areas of skin, raw or broken skin, skin folds, or under airtight dressings, they are absorbed into the body more. This increases the risk of local side effects such as skin thinning, and those on other parts of the body, such as a decrease in the production of natural hormones by the adrenal glands. For this reason, continuous, long-term use of this medicine should be avoided. It should not be used for longer than four weeks at a time. If there is no improvement in your psoriasis after four weeks treatment you should consult your doctor. Do not cover the scalp, for example with a shower cap, while the shampoo is on the scalp, as this can increase absorption of the medicine into the body.
  • You should have regular check-ups with your doctor while using this medicine. This is because although corticosteroids may be useful for psoriasis in the short-term, they can sometimes make psoriasis worse, and may cause the condition to relapse into generalised pustular psoriasis after the treatment is stopped.
  • If you think the area of skin you are treating has become infected you should stop using this medicine and consult your doctor.
  • This medicine is not recommended for children and adolescents under 18 years old. However, if your doctor feels it is necessary for a child between the ages of 2 to 18 years, then it is important to have a weekly check-up with the doctor, who will assess if this treatment should be continued.
  • Any remaining shampoo should be disposed of four weeks after first opening the bottle, preferably by returning to your pharmacist.

Not to be used in

  • Skin infected with viruses (eg cold sores, chickenpox, shingles), fungi (eg ringworm), bacteria (eg impetigo) or parasites.
  • Ulcerated skin, such as weeping wounds on the scalp.
  • This medicine should not be used on the eyelids.
  • This medicine must not be used on children under two years of age.

This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.

If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.

  • When used as directed only tiny amounts of this medicine are absorbed into the bloodstream. However, this medicine should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding unless considered essential by your doctor. If it is prescribed by your doctor it should not be used on large areas of skin, underneath airtight dressings, or for prolonged periods of time. Consult your doctor for further information.

Label warnings

  • This medication is to be spread thinly and sparingly on the skin.

Side effects

Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.

  • Skin discomfort.
  • Acne.
  • Inflammation of the hair follicles (folliculitis).
  • Itching (pruritis).
  • Thinning of the skin.
  • Groupings of fine blood vessels becoming prominent under the skin (telangiectasia).
  • Eye irritation such as stinging or burning.

The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.

For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.

How can this medicine affect other medicines?

This medicine is not known to affect other medicines. However, as with all medicines, it is important to tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already using, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any new medicines while using this one, to ensure that the combination is safe.

Other medicines containing the same active ingredient

Clarelux foamDermovate cream/ointment Dermovate scalp application