Does Anusol-HC (hydrocortisone) cause side effects?

Anusol-HC (hydrocortisone) is a natural corticosteroid used rectally to treat ulcerative proctitis, inflamed hemorrhoids, and anal itching, burning, and inflammation caused by several conditions that affect the anal areas. 

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. 

Common side effects of Anusol-HC include

Serious side effects of Anusol-HC include

The risk of drug interactions is low when Anusol-HC is administered rectally. 

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women on teratogenic effects from topically applied corticosteroids such as Anusol-HC. 

  • Topical corticosteroids should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. 
  • Drugs of this class should not be used extensively on pregnant patients, in large amounts, or for prolonged periods of time. 

It is unknown whether topical administration of Anusol-HC could result in sufficient systemic absorption to produce detectable quantities in breast milk. Systemically administered corticosteroids are secreted into breast milk in quantities not likely to have a deleterious effect on the infant. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

What are the important side effects of Anusol-HC (hydrocortisone)?

Hydrocortisone's most common side effects when applied to the rectum include:

  • include burning,
  • dryness,
  • itching,
  • irritation,
  • dryness,
  • contact dermatitis,
  • folliculitis,
  • secondary infections, and
  • lightening of skin color (hypopigmentation)

Other side effects include:

Anusol-HC (hydrocortisone) side effects list for healthcare professionals

The following local adverse reactions are reported infrequently with topical corticosteroids, but may occur more frequently with the use of occlusive dressings. These reactions are listed in an approximate decreasing order of occurrence:

Acneiform eruptions
Perioral dermatitis
Allergic contact dermatitis
Maceration of the skin
Secondary infection
Skin atrophy

What drugs interact with Anusol-HC (hydrocortisone)?

No information provided.

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Medically Reviewed on 11/11/2020
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Professional side effects and drug interactions sections courtesy of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.