Different formulations have been developed in an effort to enhance the delivery of topical corticosteroids. Betamethasone valerate in a foam had superior efficacy for scalp psoriasis and was preferred by patients when compared with betamethasone valerate lotion [ 20 ]. The foam becomes a liquid on contact with skin and is also well tolerated by patients with trunk and extremity psoriasis [ 21 ]. A clobetasol propionate spray is also available; like foams, sprays are easy to apply to large areas [ 22 ]. The main advantage of these newer preparations is likely greater patient acceptance, which may translate into greater adherence; the main disadvantage is cost.
Kaposi's sarcoma has been reported to occur in patients receiving corticosteroid
therapy. Discontinuation of corticosteroids may result in clinical remission.
Although controlled clinical trials have shown corticosteroids to be effective in speeding the resolution of acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis , they do not show that corticosteroids affect the ultimate outcome or natural history of the disease. The studies do show that relatively high doses of corticosteroids are necessary to demonstrate a significant effect. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION .)