Meds and you

27 September 2013

Hydrocortisone

Hydrocortisone is a topical corticosteroid. Topical corticosteroids are steroid medications that are formulated for use on the skin.

0

Hydrocortisone is the active ingredient of Biocort cream (Nappi code:807834-017/018), Dilucort Cream (Nappi code:720011-019), Dilucort ointment (Nappi code:720038-006), Locoid cream (Nappi code:738875-007), Locoid lipocream (Nappi code:793930-006), Locoid ointment (Nappi code:738891-002), Locoid lotion (Nappi code:828890-013), Mylocort cream (Nappi code:745472-001), Mylocort ointment (Nappi code:745448-003), Procutan cream (Nappi code: 757268-005), Procutan ointment (757268-005), Stopitch cream (Nappi code:810223-007) and Vari-Hydrocortisone cream (Nappi code:700445-001).

General information

Hydrocortisone is a topical corticosteroid. Topical corticosteroids are steroid medications that are formulated for use on the skin. They reduce inflammation and are effective for treating inflammatory skin conditions.

In South Africa hydrocortisone is registered for the treatment of non-infected steroid responsive diseases and disorders affecting the skin.

This medication should be applied sparingly and as a thin, even layer to the affected area of the skin. Do not apply to broken skin, or apply more than directed.

Prolonged use on large surface areas, application of large amounts, or covering the application site with dressings, may increase systemic absorption, resulting in a decrease in the production of natural hormones by the adrenal glands. Prolonged or excessive use of this medicine may lead to thinning of the skin.

Do not apply to the face and avoid contact with the eyes.

Speak to your doctor before applying this medicine to infected skin.

How does hydrocortisone work?

When applied to the skin, hydrocortisone reduces the release of inflammatory chemicals. This reduces inflammation and its associated symptoms.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: schedule 2 and Schedule 4

Available as: hydrocortisone is available as cream, ointment, lipocream and lotion.

What does it do? Hydrocortisone relieves inflammation of the skin.

Overdose risk: low

Dependence risk: low

Is hydrocortisone available as a generic? yes

Is hydrocortisone available on prescription only? no and yes

User information

Onset of effect: within 4 hours

Duration of action: up to 12 hours

Prolonged use: this medicine is not intended for long-term use as this may lead to permanent skin changes.

Special precautions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

  • you have a bacterial, fungal or viral skin infection
  • you have porphyria
  • you have skin ulcers/broken skin
  • you have acne or rosacea

Pregnancy: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before using this drug, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.

Breastfeeding: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before use.

Porphyria: avoid. This medication may cause serious adverse effects. Consult your doctor before use.

Infants and children: this medication is not intended for use in children under the age of 2 years.

The elderly: no special precautions need to be taken.

Driving and hazardous work: no special precautions need to be taken.

Alcohol: no special precautions need to be taken.

Possible side effects

Side effects Frequency
Call your doctor

Common Rare Only if severe In all cases
burning x
x
itching x
x
skin thinning
x
x
skin infections
x
x
systemic effects
x
x

Interactions

Drug interactions

Interactions are uncommon when this medication is used as directed

Overdose action

A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large overdose, seek emergency medical attention.

Recommended dosage

Apply sparingly to the affected area 2 - 3 times daily.

______________________________________________________________________________

This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only.

Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.

 
 

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.