hydrocortisone valerate, Westcort
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:
GENERIC NAME: hydrocortisone valerate
BRAND NAME: Westcort
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Hydrocortisone valerate is a synthetic (man-made) corticosteroid that is used on the skin (topically). The naturally-occurring corticosteroid is cortisol or hydrocortisone produced by the adrenal gland. Corticosteroids have potent anti-inflammatory actions and also suppress the immune response. The FDA approved hydrocortisone valerate in March 1978.
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
PREPARATIONS: Cream or Ointment: 0.2%
STORAGE: Westcort should be stored at room temperature, 59-86 F (15-30 C).
DOSING: Westcort should be applied sparingly to affected areas once or twice daily. The minimum effective amount should be used.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: No significant drug interactions have been described with hydrocortisone valerate.
PREGNANCY: The use of hydrocortisone valerate in pregnant women has not been adequately evaluated.
NURSING MOTHERS: It is not known if hydrocortisone valerate is secreted in breast milk.
SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects are burning, itching, irritation, and dryness at application sites. Side effects are more frequent when occlusive dressings or large quantities are applied. Applying corticosteroids to infected skin may worsen the infection. Long-term use may lead to atrophy of the skin and pigmentation changes. Prolonged use of hydrocortisone can depress the ability of the body's adrenal glands to produce corticosteroids. Abruptly stopping hydrocortisone in these individuals can cause symptoms of corticosteroid insufficiency, with accompanying nausea, vomiting, and even shock. Hydrocortisone valerate has produced mild, reversible suppression of corticosteroids in adult patients when administered for 5 days and the area was covered (occluded); when 15 grams was applied twice a day to over 25% to 60% body surface area; or when applied three times a day to over 20% to 30% body surface area for 3-4 weeks.
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information
Last Editorial Review: 2/17/2012
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