Review of best Eumovate alternatives: creams and ointments

8 Best Eumovate alternative creams & ointments

Eumovate is a brand of topical medication (cream and ointment) which is used to treat various skin conditions. Its active ingredient is clobetasone butyrate belongs to a class of drugs called corticosteroids. Corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory drugs that help reduce redness, itching, and swelling associated with certain skin conditions. Eumovate has been out of stock in recent weeks, hence the popularity of Eumovate alternative creams and ointments is on the rise.

What is Eumovate used for?

Eumovate is commonly prescribed for conditions like eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, and other inflammatory skin disorders. It is available in different formulations, such as creams and ointments, for application to the affected areas of the skin.

Can you buy Eumovate?

Smaller tubes of Eumovate cream can be purchased over the counter (OTC) from pharmacies. Eumovate Eczema & Dermatitis 0.05% Cream is classified as pharmacy-only medication, which means it is available from behind the pharmacy counter.

Eumovate Eczema & Dermatitis Cream is used for short-term management of eczema and dermatitis and allergic dermatitis. Adults and children over 12 years of age can use Eumovate OTC.

Eumovate alternative - over the counter Eumovate

Over the counter Eumovate contains the same active ingredient as prescription-only Eumovate cream or ointment (clobetasone 0.05%).

Eumovate Eczema & Dermatitis has not been affected by shortage as the prescription-only Eumovate.

I was prescribed Eumovate cream 30g, can the pharmacy dispense two Eumovate Eczema & Dermatitis crams (2x15g) to fulfil my prescription?

Although both Eumovate Eczema & Dermatitis and prescription-only Eumovate are the same, it is unlikely that two 15g of OTC Eumovate will be dispensed to fulfil the prescription. Over the counter Eumovate cream is much more expensive to purchase than generic clobetasone which means that the pharmacy would make a loss in this situation.

Use of emollient creams with topical steroids

Using emollient cream alongside steroid cream is often recommended. It serves several purposes and can be beneficial for your skin when dealing with certain skin conditions. Here are some reasons why emollient creams are often recommended alongside steroid creams:

  • Moisturizing Effect: Emollient creams are rich in moisturizing agents that help hydrate the skin and improve its barrier function. Steroid creams can sometimes dry out the skin or cause irritation, and using emollient creams can counteract this effect by keeping the skin hydrated and preventing moisture loss.
  • Enhancing Efficacy: Applying an emollient before using a steroid cream can help enhance the penetration and absorption of the steroid into the skin. A well-hydrated skin surface allows the steroid cream to spread more evenly and effectively, increasing its therapeutic benefits. Wait 30 minutes before application of steroid cream to allow full absorption of emollient into the skin.
  • Soothing and Calming: Emollient creams have a soothing effect on the skin, which can help reduce itching, redness, and discomfort associated with certain skin conditions. By calming the skin, emollient creams can complement the anti-inflammatory effects of steroid creams.
  • Maintaining Skin Health: Long-term use of steroid creams alone can sometimes lead to skin thinning and other side effects. Emollient creams can promote skin health by keeping it supple, soft, and well-nourished, reducing the risk of potential complications from steroid use.
  • In-between Applications: Emollient creams can be used between applications of steroid creams to continue providing relief and support to the skin. This is particularly helpful during maintenance phases or after the acute symptoms have subsided.

No products found.

Eumovate alternative OTC options

Eumovate is not the only steroid cream available without a prescription. Hydrocortisone cream and ointment can be purchased from pharmacies.

Eumovate vs hydrocortisone: what is the difference?

Hydrocortisone and clobetasone are both topical corticosteroids used to treat various skin conditions, but they differ in their potency (how strong they are).

Clobetasone is a more potent corticosteroid compared to hydrocortisone. Potency refers to the strength or effectiveness of the medication in reducing inflammation and symptoms. Clobetasone is considered a medium-strength corticosteroid, while hydrocortisone is considered a low-strength corticosteroid.

1. Hydrocortisone 1% cream

Hydrocortisone cream is available in different forms. There are plenty of genetic options as well as branded products for example Hc45 Hydrocortisone Cream.

No products found.

Hydrocortisone cream has similar use as Eumovate cream. It can be used to control symptoms of contact dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, insect bite reactions, and mild to moderate eczema.

Who can use hydrocortisone cream?

Over the counter hydrocortisone can be used by children over 10 years of age and adults.

2. Hydrocortisone 1% ointment

Hydrocortisone 1% ointment is a less popular pharmacy-only medication. Hydrocortisone 1% ointment has the same use as hydrocortisone cram. Hydrocortisone ointment has a thicker and greasier texture compared to hydrocortisone cream. Ointments are usually used for dry or scaly skin and for treating more severe skin conditions. Because of the greasier texture hydrocortisone ointment tend to stay on the skin’s surface for a more extended period, which can be advantageous for providing prolonged hydration and protection.

3. Eurax HC Cream

Eurax HC is another Eumovate alternative which can be purchased from pharmacies. Eurax HC cream has the same use as hydrocortisone and Eumovate. Eurax HC contains however two active ingredients, hydrocortisone 0.25% (lower strength than previously discussed hydrocortisone 1%) and crotamiton 10%.

Crotamiton has antipruritic properties (anti-itching), which means it helps to alleviate itching. The exact mechanism by which it relieves itching is not fully understood, but it is believed to have a local anaesthetic effect. Crotamiton may interfere with the transmission of itch signals in the skin, providing temporary relief from itching associated with eczema, dermatitis, and other skin conditions.

4. Hydrocortisone and antifungal creams

Although less relevant, hydrocortisone can be purchased as over the counter combination cream with antifungal drugs. The two most popular combination creams containing hydrocortisone are:

  • Daktacort Hydrocortisone Cream
  • Canesten HC Cream

Both creams are used to treat fungal infections associated with inflammation and itchiness.

Eumovate alternative: prescription-only medicines

Steroid creams and ointments are classified according to their strength (BNF, 2023):

  • Mildly potent — hydrocortisone 0.1%, 0.5%, 1.0%, and 2.5%.
  • Moderately potent — betamethasone valerate 0.025% (Betnovate-RD®) and clobetasone butyrate 0.05% (Eumovate®).
  • Potent — betamethasone valerate 0.1% (Betnovate®) and betamethasone dipropionate 0.05% (Diprosone®).
  • Very potent — clobetasol propionate 0.05% (Dermovate®) and diflucortolone valerate 0.3% (Nerisone Forte®).

Prescription-only creams and ointments corticosteroids can be prescribed in larger quantities.

5. Eumovate alternative: generic clobetasone cream and ointment

Generic Eumovate alternative creams and ointments contain the same active ingredient, clobetasone. Patients who struggle to get Eumovate cream and ointment may be able to get a generic clobetasone cream or ointment.

Unfortunately, generic clobetasone has also been out of stock.

6. Betamethasone valerate 0.025% (Audavate-RD)

Audavate-RD is a great Eumovate alternative. It has similar potency (strength) as Eumovate, despite containing a different active ingredient, a lower strength of betamethasone. Similarly to clobetasone, betamethasone is classified as a steroid. Audavate-RD is a prescription-only topical medication, which comes in the form of cream and ointment.

The best Eumovate alternative - Audovate RD ointment & cream

RD in the name of the medicine stands for Ready Diluted. Instead of betamethasone 0.1% (Audavate) a diluted preparation is used, betamethasone 0.025%.

Like Eumovate, Audavate-RD is prescribed to control redness and itchiness associated with various skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis.

Audavate-RD: the availability

Audavate -RD have the best availability within mild-moderate steroid creams since the shortage of Eumovate.

Can the pharmacy dispense Audavate-RD when Eumovate is prescribed?

No. Eumovate and Audavate-RD contain different active ingredients. Patients who struggle to find Eumovate stock would need to get in touch with their GP to have their prescription changed to Audavate-RD or a generic prescription for betamethasone 0.025%.

7. Betamethasone valerate 0.025% (Betnovate-RD®)

Betamethasone valerate 0.025% (Betnovate-RD®) cream or ointment is a good Eumovate alternative since both topical steroids are in the same strength category. Betnovate-RD comes is available in the form of cream and ointment.

Betnovate-RD is not the same as Betnovate. Betnovate contains a stronger version of betamethasone (0.1%).

Is Betnovate-RD out of stock?

Betnovate-RD has had poor availability in recent months.

Can you buy Betnovate-RD?

Betnovate-RD is classified as prescription-only medication and is not available for sale.

8. Other prescription-only steroid alternatives to Eumovate

There are a few more options for topical steroid creams and ointments beyond the moderate potency (medium strength) category. Betnovate, Audavate or generic betamethasone 0.1% are classified as potent steroids. They could be considered as a Eumovate alternative, however, this will depend on the condition treated and the judgement of the prescriber.


The overall availability of steroid creams and ointment is poor in recent months. Eumovate has a few good alternatives with Audavate-RD having the best availability. Despite containing a different active ingredient, Audavate-RD is of the same strength. Patients who pay for their prescriptions and require Eumovate may be able to buy it over the counter at a lower cost compared to prescription charges.


BNF (2023). Topical. Available at: Accessed on 24/07/2023

I am a qualified pharmacist working in an independent pharmacy in the UK.
Posts created 87

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top