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Cortenema (Generic Hydrocortisone Rectal)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Proctitis (rectal swelling) and ulcerative colitis are both treated with rectal hydrocortisone in conjunction with other drugs (a condition which causes swelling and sores in the lining of the large intestine and rectum). Hemorrhoids and other rectal issues can be treated with it to reduce irritation and swelling. The drug hydrocortisone belongs to the corticosteroid family of drugs. To relieve swelling, redness, and itching, it works by triggering natural chemicals in the skin.

How should this medicine be used?

For usage in the rectum, hydrocortisone rectal is available as a cream, an enema, suppositories, and a foam. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any instructions on your prescription or product label that you do not understand, and carefully follow them. Follow the rectal hydrocortisone instructions precisely. Use it only as directed by your doctor, and never more or less regularly.

Hydrocortisone rectal foam for proctitis is often applied once or twice daily for two to three weeks, then, if necessary, every other day until your condition gets better. When treating severe cases, hydrocortisone rectal suppositories may need to be administered up to six to eight times daily for two weeks. Within five to seven days, proctitis symptoms may subside.

Hydrocortisone rectal cream is typically applied up to three or four times daily to haemorrhoids in adults and children 12 years of age and older. If you bought hydrocortisone over the counter (without a prescription) and your condition didn’t get better in 7 days, stop using it and call your doctor. Avoid using your fingers to apply the cream to your rectus.

Hydrocortisone rectal enema is often administered for 21 nights straight to treat ulcerative colitis. Despite the fact that colitis symptoms might become better in 3 to 5 days, it might take 2 to 3 months of consistent enema use. If your colitis symptoms do not go away in 2 or 3 weeks, call your doctor.

To ensure that you are constantly utilising the lowest amount of rectal hydrocortisone that works for you, your doctor may adjust your dose during treatment. If your body is put under unusual stress, such as through surgery, illness, or infection, your doctor could also need to adjust your dose. During your therapy, let your doctor know if your symptoms grow better or worse, if you get sick or experience any changes in your health.

Rectal suppositories of hydrocortisone may leave stains on textiles like clothes. When using this medication, take care to avoid stains.

Read the printed directions that come with the hydrocortisone rectal foam very carefully before using it for the first time. Whatever portion you do not understand, ask your physician or pharmacist to explain.

Follow these steps if administering a hydrocortisone rectal enema:

  1. Attempt to go to the bathroom. If your bowels are empty, the drug will work more effectively.
  2. To ensure that the drug is well-mixed, thoroughly shake the enema bottle.
  3. The applicator tip’s protective cover should be removed. To prevent medication from leaking out of the container, be sure to hold the bottle by the neck.
  4. Lay on your left side with your right leg bent towards your chest for balance and your lower (left) leg straight. Moreover, you can kneel on a bed while supporting your upper chest and one arm there.
  5. The applicator tip should be gently inserted into your rectum and slightly pointed towards your navel (belly button).
  6. The nozzle should be pointed towards your back when you firmly grasp the bottle. To release the medication, slowly and steadily squeeze the bottle.
  7. Take the applicator away. Spend at least 30 minutes in the same place. Attempt to maintain the medication in your system all night (while you sleep).
  8. Clean your hands completely. The bottle should be disposed of in a trashcan that is out of kids’ and animals’ reach. There is just one dose in each bottle, thus they shouldn’t be used again.

Other uses for this medicine

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you believe this drug should be used for something else.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before using rectal hydrocortisone,

  • If you have an allergy to hydrocortisone, any other drugs, or any of the substances in products containing rectal hydrocortisone, let your doctor and pharmacist know right once. Get a list of the components from your pharmacist.
  • Inform your doctor and pharmacist about any additional prescription and over-the-counter drugs, herbal products, vitamins, and nutritional supplements you are now taking or intend to take. Any of the following should be mentioned: barbiturates; carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Epitol, Tegretol, among others); cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune); digoxin (Lanoxin); hormonal contraceptives (birth control pills, patches, rings, implants, and injections); aspirin or other NSAIDs such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn); amphotericin B (Abelcet, Ambisome, Fungizone); medicines for diabetes; isoniazid (in Rifamate, in Rifater); ketoconazole (Extina, Nizoral, Xolegel); macrolide antibiotics such erythromycin (E.E.S., Eryc, Eryped, others) or clarithromycin (Biaxin, in Prevpac); phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek); and rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, in Rifamate, in Rifater). Your physician might need to adjust the dosage of your drugs or keep a close eye on you for side effects. Tell your doctor about all of the medications you are taking, even any not on this list, as many other drugs may also interact with hydrocortisone.
  • Intestinal obstruction, a fistula (an abnormal connection between two organs inside your body or between an organ and the outside of your body), a fungal infection (other than on your skin or nails), peritonitis (inflammation of the lining of the stomach area), and a tear in the wall of your stomach or intestine should all be reported to your doctor. Your physician might advise against using rectal hydrocortisone.
  • Inform your doctor if you have or have ever had threadworms (a type of worm that can live inside the body), diabetes, diverticulitis (inflamed bulges in the large intestine lining), heart failure, high blood pressure, a recent heart attack, osteoporosis (condition where the bones become weak and fragile and can break easily); the muscle-weakening disorder myasthenia gravis; emotional issues, depression, or other mental illnesses; tuberculosis (TB: a lung infection); ulcers; cirrhosis; or liver, renal, or thyroid disease. A herpes eye infection (a condition that results in an eyelid sore) or any other untreated bacterial, parasitic, viral, or fungal infections should also be disclosed to your doctor.
  • If you are breastfeeding a child or intend to become pregnant, let your doctor know. Call your doctor right away if you find out you’re pregnant while taking rectal hydrocortisone.
  • Without first consulting your doctor, avoid getting any immunisations (shots that prevent infections).
  • Inform the surgeon or dentist that you are taking rectal hydrocortisone if you are undergoing surgery, including dental surgery.
  • Rectal hydrocortisone may lessen your body’s capacity to fight infection, as well as perhaps preventing the onset of symptoms in the event that you do contract an infection. While using this medication, keep your distance from sick persons and wash your hands frequently. Keep away from someone who has the measles or chicken pox. If you suspect you may have been exposed to someone who has chicken pox or measles, call your doctor right once.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Your doctor might advise you to consume a lot of calcium, potassium, or minimal salt. Also, your doctor might advise or prescribe a calcium or potassium supplement. Pay close attention to these guidelines.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

The missed dose should be taken as soon as you remember. If the next dose is soon due, skip the missed one and carry on with your regular dosing plan. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Rectal hydrocortisone may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Localized ache or burning
  • Muscle tremor
  • Extreme mood swings and behavioural changes
  • Unsuitable happiness
  • Having trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Sluggish wound and bruise healing
  • Irregular or nonexistent menstruation
  • Dry, brittle, or thin skin
  • Acne
  • Increased perspiration
  • Alterations in the distribution of fat throughout the body

Certain adverse effects can be very harmful. Call your doctor right away if any of these symptoms occur to you:

  • Bleeding
  • Vision alters
  • Depression
  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Swelling of the lower legs, hands, arms, feet, ankles, lips, tongue, or eyes
  • Hives
  • Breathing or swallowing challenges

Rectal hydrocortisone use in children may raise their risk of experiencing negative side effects, such as reduced growth and delayed weight gain. The hazards of using this drug should be discussed with your child’s doctor.

Long-term rectal hydrocortisone users run the risk of developing cataracts or glaucoma. During your therapy, ask your doctor how frequently you should have your eyes checked and any dangers associated with taking rectal hydrocortisone.

The chance of developing osteoporosis may increase if you receive rectal hydrocortisone. Discuss the dangers of using this drug with your doctor.

Further adverse effects from rectal hydrocortisone are possible. If you experience any strange issues while taking this drug, call your doctor right away.

You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme online or by phone if you have a serious side event (1-800-332-1088).

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. As directed on the packaging, store it. Keep it away from excessive heat and moisture at room temperature (not in the bathroom). Products containing rectal hydrocortisone should not be frozen or chilled.

Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilising a medicine take-back programme is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programmes in your area, speak with your pharmacist or the garbage/recycling department in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medications website at for additional information.

Although many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning.

In case of emergency/overdose

Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Moreover, information can be found online at Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.

What other information should I know?

Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. To monitor how your body reacts to rectal hydrocortisone, your doctor may request specific lab tests.

Inform the lab staff and your doctor that you are using rectal hydrocortisone before to any laboratory test.

Do not share your medication with anybody else. Any queries you may have regarding medication refills should be directed to your pharmacist.

You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Anusol HC®
  • Colocort®
  • Cortifoam®
  • Cortenema®
  • Preparation H Anti-Itch®
  • Proctocort® Suppository
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