What is hydrocortisone-rectal cream, ointment, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Hydrocortisone is a natural corticosteroid produced
by the adrenal glands that are located adjacent to the kidneys. Corticosteroids
have potent anti-inflammatory properties and are used in a wide variety of
inflammatory conditions such as:
- certain skin rashes, and
- allergic or inflammatory conditions of the nose and eyes.
There are numerous preparations of corticosteroids including oral
tablets, capsules, liquids, topical creams and gels, inhalers and eye drops, as
well as injectable and intravenous solutions. Hydrocortisone that is used for
rectal conditions is discussed in this article. The FDA approved hydrocortisone
in December 1952.
What brand names are available for hydrocortisone-rectal cream, ointment?
Cortifoam, Anusol-HC, Anucort-HC, Proctocort, Colocort
Is hydrocortisone-rectal cream, ointment available as a generic drug?
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
Do I need a prescription for hydrocortisone-rectal cream, ointment?
What are the uses for hydrocortisone-rectal cream, ointment?
What are the side effects of hydrocortisone-rectal cream, ointment?
Common side effects of hydrocortisone when applied to the rectum include:
Other side effects include:
- secondary infections, and
- lightening of skin color (hypopigmentation)
Everyone has hemorrhoids.
What is the dosage for hydrocortisone-rectal cream, ointment?
- For proctitis the usual dosage is one suppository applied in the
morning and night time.
- Severe cases may require application 3 times daily or 2
suppositories twice daily.
- One enema is applied at bedtime for 21 days or until
- The dosing for foam is one applicator once daily or every 12
hours for 2-3 weeks, then every other day if necessary.
Which drugs or supplements interact with hydrocortisone-rectal cream, ointment?
: The risk of drug interactions is low when hydrocortisone
is administered rectally.
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Is hydrocortisone-rectal cream, ointment safe to take if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?
: Hydrocortisone has not been adequately evaluated during pregnancy.
Hydrocortisone taken orally can appear in breast milk, and
can have adverse effects on the baby. It is not known whether hydrocortisone
administered rectally is absorbed in sufficient amounts to appear in breast
What else should I know about hydrocortisone-rectal cream, ointment?
What preparations of hydrocortisone-rectal cream, ointment are available?
Enema: 100 mg/60 ml; Foam: 10% (15 g); Suppository: 25 and 30
How should I keep hydrocortisone-rectal cream, ointment stored?
Hydrocortisone should be store at room temperature, 20 C to 25 C (68
F to 77 F), in a sealed container.