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Hydrocortisone Description

Hydrocortisone Description


Pronunciation : (hye droe kor' ti sone)

Trade Name(s) : Cort-S, Efcorlin INJ, HSS, Hycoson, Lycortin-S, Primacort, Wycort

Why it is prescribed: Hydrocortisone is available with or without a prescription. Low-strength preparations are used without a prescription for the temporary relief of:
(1) minor skin irritation, itching, and rashes caused by eczema, insect bites, poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac, soaps, detergents, cosmetics, and jewelry;
(2) itchy anal and rectal areas; and
(3) itching and irritation of the scalp.
Hydrocortisone is prescribed by your doctor to relieve the itching, redness, dryness, crusting, scaling, inflammation, and discomfort of various skin conditions; the discomfort of mouth sores; the inflammation of ulcerative colitis; and the swelling and discomfort of hemorrhoids and other rectal problems.

When it is to be taken:
1. Hydrocortisone usually is used one to four times a day for skin problems.
2. For mouth sores, it usually is applied two or three times a day after meals and at bedtime.
3. If mouth sores do not begin to heal within seven days, contact your doctor. 4. For colitis, hydrocortisone usually is used every night or twice a day for two or three weeks. Although colitis symptoms may improve within three to five days, two to three months of regular enema use may be required. Contact your doctor if your colitis symptoms do not improve within three weeks.
4. For hemorrhoids, hydrocortisone usually is used twice a day, in the morning and at night, for two to six days. Follow the instructions on the label carefully.
5. If you obtained this medication without a prescription and your condition persists or worsens, stop using the medication and contact your doctor

How it should be taken:
1. Hydrocortisone comes in the form of ointment, cream, lotion, and aerosol spray for use on the skin; foam, suppositories, cream, ointment, and enema for rectal use; and paste for use in the mouth.
2. To apply the paste, press a small amount on the sore-without rubbing-to form a thin film.
3. To use hydrocortisone ointment, cream, or lotion on your skin, wash the affected areas thoroughly; then apply the medication sparingly in a thin film and rub it in gently. However, if washing irritates your skin, apply the drug without washing first.
4. If your doctor instructs you to wrap the treated area with plastic, soak or wash the area thoroughly. Apply the medication in a thin film and rub it in gently. Then apply another thin film. Cover the area with thin plastic wrap and attach the plastic with adhesive tape to normal skin adjacent to the treated areas or hold the plastic in place with an elastic or gauze bandage. Wash the areas each time you apply the medication.
5. If the area is moist, you can leave the edges of the plastic wrap partly unsealed or puncture the plastic wrap to allow excess moisture to escape. If your skin is dry, you can soak the area briefly before applying the medication and place a damp cloth on the area before covering it with plastic. If the treated area is the scalp, fingers, or hands, you can use a tight plastic shower cap for your scalp or gloves for your fingers and hands rather than plastic wrap. Ask your doctor for specific instructions.
6. If you use hydrocortisone on your face, keep the medication out of your eyes.
7. Apply the rectal cream and ointment externally to the anal area. Some over-the counter creams may be applied to the genital and anal areas; read the label of the product you are using. To insert a rectal suppository, follow these steps:
a) Remove the wrapper. If the suppository is too soft to insert, chill it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or run cold water over it before removing the foil wrapper.
b) Dip the tip of the suppository in water.
c) Lie down on your left side and raise your right knee to your chest.
d) Using your finger, insert the suppository into the rectum, about to 1 inch in infants and children and 1 inch in adults. Hold it in place for a few moments. You may stand up after about 15 minutes.
e) Wash your hands thoroughly and resume your normal activities.
8. The enema form comes with instructions that you should follow carefully. Lie on your left side while taking the enema and for 30 minutes afterward. Try to hold the enema for at least an hour or, better still overnight.
9. The rectal foam also comes with directions; read them carefully before you use it. A special application is provided and always should be used to apply the foam. Do not insert any part of the container into your rectum. After using the applicator, pull it apart and clean it thoroughly with warm water.
10. To use the lotion on your scalp, part your hair, apply a small amount of lotion, and rub it in gently. Wash your hair as frequently as usual but not right after you apply the lotion.
11. To apply the aerosol spray, shake it well and spray the affected skin area from a distance of about 6 inches for one to two seconds. Avoid inhaling the vapors from the spray.

Special Instruction :
1. If your skin problem continues or worsens or if the treated area gets infected or oozes pus, contact your doctor.
2. Use hydrocortisone exactly as directed.
3. Do not wrap or bandage the treated areas unless directed to do so by your doctor.
4. Do not use the medication for a longer time than as directed, and do not apply it more frequently than as stated on the label.
5. If you obtained hydrocortisone with a prescription, do not use it on areas of your body other than as directed by your doctor and do not use it for other skin problems.
6. Do not apply cosmetics, lotions, or other skin preparations to the treated area without consulting your doctor.
7. If you are using this medication on a child's diaper area, do not place tightly fitting diapers or plastic pants on the child. They can increase the absorption of hydrocortisone through the skin, which can decrease growth.
8. If you forget to apply a dose, apply the missed dose as soon as you remember it and apply the remaining doses for that day at evenly spaced intervals. Do not apply a double dose.

Side Effects :
1. Acne, skin sores, itching, burning, stinging, irritation, increased hair growth, changes in skin color, skin infection from the ointment, cream, lotion, and aerosol. Contact your doctor.
2. Irritation, burning, stinging from the rectal foam, enema, and suppositories. Contact your doctor.

Other Precautions :
1. If you have an infection, tell your doctor before using hydrocortisone.
2. Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should inform their doctors before using this drug.
3. If you obtained hydrocortisone with a prescription, do not allow anyone else to use your medication. Another persons skin problems may be very different from yours.
4. Do not use hydrocortisone on children less than two years of age without consulting a doctor.

Storage Conditions : Keep this medication out of the reach of children. Store it according to the package directions.

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