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Some commonly used brand names are:
In the U.S.—
Another commonly used name for hydrocortisone is cortisol .
Rectal corticosteroids (kor-ti-ko-STER-oyds) are used to treat mild or moderate ulcerative colitis. They also may be used along with systemic (oral or injection) corticosteroids or other medicines to treat severe disease or mild to moderate disease that has spread too far to be treated effectively by medicine inserted into the rectum alone. Rectal corticosteroids also are used to help relieve swelling, itching, and discomfort of some other rectal problems, including hemorrhoids and inflammation of the rectum caused by radiation therapy.
Rectal corticosteroids are available only with your doctor"s prescription in the following dosage forms:
Before Using This Medicine
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of using it must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For rectal corticosteroids, the following should be considered:
Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to any of the corticosteroids. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as food, preservatives, or dyes.
Pregnancy—Betamethasone may change the number and ability of movement of sperm in men. Budesonide crosses the placenta. It is not known whether other rectal corticosteroids cross the placenta. Studies in animals have shown that budesonide, hydrocortisone, and hydrocortisone acetate cause birth defects. Rectal corticosteroids should not be used in large amounts or for a long time by women who are pregnant or who are planning to become pregnant.
Breast-feeding—It is not known whether rectal corticosteroids pass into breast milk. However, systemic (oral and injection) corticosteroids pass into breast milk and may cause problems with growth in nursing babies. It may be necessary for you to take a different medicine or to stop breast-feeding during treatment. Be sure you have discussed with your doctor the risks and benefits of using the medicine.
Children—Children and teenagers who must use this medicine should be checked often by their doctor. Rectal corticosteroids may be absorbed through the lining of the rectum and, rarely, may affect growth, especially if used in large amounts or for a long time. Before using this medicine in children, you should discuss its use with the child"s doctor.
Older adults—Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults. Although there is no specific information comparing use of rectal corticosteroids in the elderly with use in other age groups, these medicines are not expected to cause different side effects or problems in older people than they do in younger adults.
Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction may occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are using rectal corticosteroids, it is especially important that your health care professional know if you are taking any of the following:
Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of rectal corticosteroids. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Proper Use of This Medicine
It is important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits .
For patients using the enema form of this medicine:
For patients using the foam form of this medicine:
For patients using the suppository form of this medicine:
Do not use rectal corticosteroids in larger amounts, more often, or for a longer time than your doctor ordered . To do so may increase the chance of absorption through the lining of the rectum and the chance of side effects.
Dosing—The dose of rectal corticosteroids may be different for different patients. Follow your doctor"s orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of corticosteroids. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
Missed dose—If you miss a dose of this medicine, use it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Storage—To store this medicine:
Precautions While Using This Medicine
Do not stop using this medicine without first checking with your doctor . Your doctor may want you to reduce gradually the amount you are using before you completely stop using it.
Check with your doctor if your condition does not improve within 2 or 3 weeks or if it becomes worse .
Check with your doctor if you notice rectal bleeding, pain, burning, itching, blistering, or any other sign of irritation that you did not have before you started using this medicine.
Use of suppositories may cause staining of clothing or fabric.
Tell the doctor in charge that you are using this medicine:
Avoid close contact with anyone who has chickenpox or measles . This is especially important for children. Tell your doctor right away if you think you have been exposed to chickenpox or measles .
While you are being treated with this medicine, and after you stop taking it, do not have any immunizations without your doctor"s approval .
For patients with diabetes:
Side Effects of This Medicine
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
Less common or rare
Burning and itching of skin; chills; depression; diarrhea; false sense of well-being; fever; infection; mood swings; painful, red or itchy, pus-containing blisters in hair follicles; personality changes; rectal bleeding, burning, dryness, itching, or pain not present before therapy; sensation of pins and needles; stabbing pain; straining while passing stool (with tixocortol only)
Additional side effects may occur if you use this medicine for a long time. Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
Abdominal or stomach pain; acne; backache; coughing; coughing up blood; decreased resistance to infection; dryness of mouth; eye pain; filling or rounding out of the face; gradual blurring or loss of vision; headache; hunchback; increased thirst; irregular heartbeat; loss of appetite; menstrual irregularities; mood or mental changes; muscle cramps or pain; muscle weakness; nausea or vomiting; nonelevated blue or purplish patch on the skin; osteoporosis or bone fractures; pain in joints; pain or discomfort in the area of a vein; rapid weight gain; reddish purple lines on arms, face, legs, trunk, or groin; redness of eye; sensitivity of eye to light; shortness of breath; skin rash; slow wound healing; stunting of growth (in children); swelling of feet or lower legs; trouble in sleeping; unusual decrease in sexual desire or ability in men; tearing of eyes; unusual increase in hair growth (especially on the face); unusual tiredness or weakness; unusual weight loss; weak pulse
Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:
Less common or rare
Dizziness; dry, scaly skin; increase in appetite; increased sweating; lightened skin color; passing of gas (with budesonide only); sensation of spinning; thin, fragile skin; thinning hair on scalp; unusual weight gain
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.
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