Hydrocortisone (Into the rectum)

Hydrocortisone (hye-droe-KOR-ti-sone)

Treats inflammation of the rectum and anus. May also be used for ulcerative colitis and similar conditions. This medicine is a corticosteroid.

Brand Name(s):

Anu-Med Hc, Anucort-HC, Anusol-HC, Cortifoam, Hemmorex-HC, Procto-Med HC, Procto-Pak, Proctocort, Proctozone-Hc, Rectasol-Hc

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to hydrocortisone, or if you have a fungus infection.

How to Use This Medicine:

Cream, Suppository, Foam

  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after using this medicine.
  • Follow the directions on your medicine for preparing the foam or suppository.
  • Foam
    • Do not use the aerosol container to put the medicine directly into your rectum. Always use the foam applicator that came with the medicine.
    • Connect the applicator to the cap of the aerosol container. Shake the container for 5 to 10 seconds just before using.
    • Wash the foam applicator with warm, soapy water after you use it.
    • Store the foam at room temperature, away from heat and direct light. Do not refrigerate.
  • Suppository
    • Remove the foil or wrapper from the suppository before inserting it.
    • After you insert the medicine, keep lying down for about 15 minutes so the suppository does not come out before it melts. Then, wash your hands again.
    • You may store the suppositories in the refrigerator, but do not freeze them.
  • Missed dose:Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines and foods can affect how hydrocortisone works. Tell you doctor if you are also using any of the following:
    • Amphotericin B, aminoglutethimide, carbamazepine, cholestyramine, cyclosporine, digitalis, isoniazid, ketoconazole, or phenytoin
    • Antibiotic, including azithromycin, clarithromycin, erythromycin, or rifampin
    • Blood thinner, including warfarin
    • Diuretic (water pill)
    • Estrogen, including oral contraceptive
    • Insulin or other diabetes medicine
    • NSAID, including aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen, or celecoxib
  • This medicine may interfere with vaccines. Ask your doctor before you get a flu shot or any other vaccines.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have heart problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, cirrhosis, osteoporosis, thyroid problems, or myasthenia gravis. Tell your doctor if you have digestive problems, including ulcer, colitis, or diverticulitis.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Cataracts or glaucoma
    • High blood pressure
    • Increased risk for osteoporosis
    • Adrenal gland problems
  • This medicine may cause you to get infections more easily. Tell your doctor if you have any type of infection before you start treatment. Avoid people who are sick or have infections. If you are exposed to chickenpox or measles, tell your doctor right away.
  • This medicine may delay growth in children. If you think your child is not growing properly while using this medicine, talk with your doctor.
  • Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Dark freckles, skin color changes, coldness, weakness, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, weight loss
  • Depression, mood swings, trouble sleeping, usual thoughts, feelings, or behavior
  • Dry mouth, increased thirst, muscle cramps, nausea or vomiting, uneven heartbeat
  • Eye pain, vision changes
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, body aches
  • Rapid weight gain, swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Rectal irritation, burning, or itching

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 11/6/2020

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