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Hydrocortisone Rectal enema, suspension

What is this medicine?

HYDROCORTISONE (hye droe KOR ti sone) is a corticosteroid. It helps to reduce swelling, redness, itching caused by ulcerative colitis and ulcerative proctitis.

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is only for use in the rectum. Do not take by mouth. Wash hands before and after use. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Patient should lie on his/her left side, raise the right knee toward your chest. Gently insert the applicator tip into the rectum and press applicator tip to deliver the medication. Stay on your side for at least 30 minutes to let the medicine work after the enema is given. Every effort should be made to retain the enema for at least an hour, and preferably all night. Do not use more often than directed. Do not suddenly stop using your medicine because you may develop a severe reaction. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. If your doctor wants you to stop using the medicine, the amount that you use may be slowly lowered over time to avoid any side effects.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this medicine may be prescribed for children for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue

  • fever, sore throat, sneezing, cough, or other signs of infection

  • mental depression, mood swings, mistaken feelings of self-importance, mistaken feelings of being mistreated

  • muscle cramps or muscle weakness

  • nausea

  • rectal pain, burning or bleeding after use of medicine

  • skin problems, acne

  • swelling of feet or lower legs

  • thinning of the skin

  • unusual bruising or red pinpoint spots on the skin

  • unusually weak or tired

  • weight gain

  • wounds that will not heal

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • diarrhea or constipation

  • difficulty sleeping

  • headache

  • increased appetite

  • increased sweating

  • menstrual problems

What may interact with this medicine?

  • aminoglutethimide

  • amphotericin B

  • aspirin

  • barbiturates, like phenobarbital

  • carbamazepine

  • certain antibiotics like clarithromycin or erythromycin

  • cholestyramine

  • cyclosporine

  • digoxin

  • diuretics

  • female hormones, like estrogens or progestins and birth control pills

  • isoniazid

  • ketoconazole

  • medicines for Alzheimer's disease

  • medicines for diabetes

  • medicines that improve muscle strength or tone for conditions like myasthenia gravis

  • NSAIDs, medicines for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen

  • phenytoin

  • rifampin

  • toxoids and vaccines

  • warfarin

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • any active infection

  • diabetes

  • glaucoma or cataracts

  • high blood pressure

  • immune system problems

  • previous heart attack

  • recent ileocolostomy

  • rectal obstruction, abscess, perforation or fistula

  • stomach or intestinal disease

  • thyroid disease

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to hydrocortisone, corticosteroids, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Consult your doctor or health care professional you do not start to get better after several days of use. Do not use if there is blood in your stools. Report rectal bleeding, pain, burning, itching, blistering, or any other sign of irritation to your doctor or health care professional.

This medicine may increase your risk of getting an infection. Stay away from people who are sick. Tell your doctor or health care professional if you are around anyone with measles or chickenpox.

The medicine can increase your blood sugar. If you are a diabetic check with your doctor if you need help adjusting the dose of your diabetic medicine.

Online Medical Reviewer: Louise Akin, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith, RN, MSN, FNP, CCRC
Last Review Date: 6/11/2009
© 2000-2014 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.