GENERIC NAME: hydrocortisone, rectal suppository, enema, foam
BRAND NAMES: Cortifoam, Anusol-HC, Anucort-HC, Proctocort
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: 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 arthritis, colitis, asthma, bronchitis, 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.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Hydrocortisone is used rectally for the treatment of ulcerative proctitis, inflamed hemorrhoids, and anal itching, burning, and inflammation caused by several conditions that affect the anal area.
SIDE EFFECTS: Hydrocortisone's side effects when applied to the rectum include:
- contact dermatitis,
- secondary infections, and
- lightening of skin color (hypopigmentation)
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