The mechanism of the anti-inflammatory activity of the topical steroids, in general, is unclear. However, corticosteroids are thought to act by the induction of phospholipase A2 inhibitory proteins, collectively called lipocortins. It is postulated that these proteins control the biosynthesis of potent mediators of inflammation such as prostaglandins and leukotrienes by inhibiting the release of their common precursor, arachidonic acid. Arachidonic acid is released from membrane phospholipids by phospholipase A2. Amcinonide has affinity for the glucocorticoid receptor. It has weak affinity for the progesterone receptor, and virtually no affinity for the mineralocorticoid, estrogen, or androgen receptors.
Amcinonide is a topical corticosteroid. The topical corticosteroids constitute a class of primarily synthetic steroids used as anti-inflammatory and antipruritic agents. Amcinonide reduces or inhibits the actions of chemicals in the body that cause inflammation, redness, and swelling. The mechanism of anti-inflammatory activity of the topical corticosteroids is unclear. Various laboratory methods, including vasoconstrictor assays, are used to compare and predict potencies and/or clinical efficacies of the topical corticosteroids. There is some evidence to suggest that a recognizable correlation exists between vasoconstrictor potency and therapeutic efficacy in man. When in an ointment form, amcinonide also helps the skin maintain moisture.
Once absorbed through the skin, topical corticosteroids are handled through pharmacokinetic pathways similar to systemically administered corticosteroids. Corticosteroids are metabolized primarily in the liver and are then excreted by the kidneys.
Results from acute toxicity studies do not indicate that any risk of acute intoxication is to be expected following a single dermal application of an overdose (application over a large area under conditions favorable to absorption) or inadvertent oral ingestion.