Breaking the Frustrating Cycle of Topical Steroids in Psoriasis: A Review of a Novel Vehicle for Fixed-Dose Combination Halobetasol Propionate/Tazarotene

Leon Kircik, Neal Bhatia, Edward Lain, Abby Jacobson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Topical therapies are commonly used to treat psoriasis, either as monotherapy for milder disease or as adjuncts to systemic and biologic drugs. Topical steroids and tazarotene are both options for topical psoriasis treatment, but as monotherapies, they are associated with adverse events (AEs) that make adherence to prescribed treatment challenging. In addition, the topical vehicles may have an unappealing appearance or texture that proves impractical for patients. Consequently, patients may not use treatments as prescribed. This noncompliance can lead to a frustrating cycle of treatment, discontinuation, and retreatment without achieving treatment goals. Psoriasis is a chronic disease; thus, topical treatment options are needed that address these barriers to use and promote long-term adherence, making satisfactory improvement of psoriasis more attainable. In this review, we discuss patient preferences for topical therapies with vehicles that are moisturizing, nongreasy, and quickly absorbed. We then introduce the vehicle formulation of fixed-dose combination halobetasol propionate 0.01%/tazarotene 0.045% (HP/TAZ) lotion, which has a unique matrix mesh formulation that enhances uniform absorption, allows for efficient drug delivery, and aligns with patient preferences. In addition to vehicle benefits, the combination of HP and TAZ has been shown to minimize AEs seen with either monotherapy. In clinical trials, HP/TAZ was efficacious and associated with a low rate of AEs with long-term use. This evidence supports the use of HP/TAZ as a topical treatment for patients with psoriasis facing challenges adhering to prescribed treatments and looking to break the cycle of unsatisfactory treatment outcomes. J Drugs Dermatol. 2023;22(3):247-251. doi:10.36849/JDD.7399.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-251
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Drugs in Dermatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2023


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