rectal hydrocortisone suppository (enema, foam) Cortifoam, Anusol-HC, Anucort-HC, Proctocort
Eni Williams, PharmD, PhD
Eni Williams, PharmD, PhD
Dr. Eni Williams graduated from Creighton University in 1988 with a B.S. degree in pharmacy and a Doctor of Pharmacy from Howard University in 1994. She also obtained a Ph.D. in Public Policy in 2009 at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:
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.
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
PREPARATIONS: Enema: 100 mg/60 ml; Foam: 10% (15 g); Suppository: 25 and 30 mg
STORAGE: Hydrocortisone should be store at room temperature, 20 C to 25 C (68 F to 77 F), in a sealed container.
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.
DOSING: 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 symptoms resolve.
The dosing for foam is one applicator once daily or every 12 hours for 2-3 weeks, then every other day if necessary.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: The risk of drug interactions is low when hydro-cortisone is administered rectally.
PREGNANCY: Hydrocortisone has not been adequately evaluated during pregnancy.
NURSING MOTHERS: 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 milk.
SIDE EFFECTS: Hydrocortisone's side effects when applied to the rectum include burning, dryness, itching, irritation, dryness, contact dermatitis, folliculitis, secondary infections, and lightening of skin color (hypopigmentation).
REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information.
Last Editorial Review: 4/21/2014
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