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Cortaid

Last reviewed on RxList: 12/8/2004
Drug Description

DESCRIPTION

The topical corticosteroids constitute a class of primarily synthetic steroids used as anti-inflammatory and anti-pruritic agents. Hydrocortisone is included in this class of synthetic corticosteroid.

Chemically, hydrocortisone is pregna-4-ene3,20-dione,11,17,21-trihydroxy-(11B); its molecular formula is C21H30O5 ; its molecular weight is 362.47; its Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) registry number is 50-23-7. The structural formula is:

Each gram of Hydrocortisone Cream USP 1 % provides 10 mg of hydrocortisone in a nonstaining water washable cream base consisting of stearyl alcohol, glyceryl monostearate, polyoxyl 40 stearate, isopropyl palmitate, paraffin, sorbitan monostearate, glycerin, lactic acid, potassium sorbate and purified water.

Each gram of Hydrocortisone Ointment USP 1% provides 10 mg of hydrocortisone in a white petrolatum base.

For Consumers

What are the possible side effects of hydrocortisone topical?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using hydrocortisone topical and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • blurred vision, or seeing halos around lights;
  • uneven heartbeats;
  • sleep problems (insomnia);
  • weight gain, puffiness in your face; or
  • feeling tired.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • skin redness, burning, itching, or peeling;
  • thinning...
Indications & Dosage

INDICATIONS

Topical corticosteroids are indicated for the relief of the inflammatory and pruritic manifestations of corticosteroid-responsive dermatoses.

DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

Topical corticosteroids are generally applied to the affected area as a thin film from two to four times daily depending on the severity of the condition.

Occlusive dressings may be used for the management of psoriasis or recalcitrant conditions. If an infection develops, the use of occlusive dressings should be discontinued and appropriate antimicrobial therapy instituted.

HOW SUPPLIED

Hydrocortisone Cream USP 1 %

1 o (28.4 g) tube

Hydrocortisone Ointment USP 1 %

1 o (28.4 g) tube

Side Effects & Drug Interactions

SIDE EFFECTS

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: burning, itching, irritation, dryness, folliculitis, hypertrichosis, acneiform eruptions, hypopigmentation, perioral dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, maceration of the skin, secondary infection, skin atrophy, striae, miliaria.

DRUG INTERACTIONS

No information provided.

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Warnings & Precautions

WARNINGS

Do not use CORTAID (hydrocortisone cream and ointment 1.0%) near the eyes if you have glaucoma. Treatment with alclometasone, clobetasol, halobetasol propionate and augmented betamethasone dipropionate beyond two weeks consecutively is not recommended. Do not use if there is an infection or sores present on the area to be treated. Though very unlikely, it is possible CORTAID (hydrocortisone cream and ointment 1.0%) will be absorbed into your bloodstream. This may have undesirable consequences that may require additional corticosteroid treatment. This is especially true for children and for those who have used this for an extended period if they also have serious medical problems such as serious infections, injuries or surgeries. This precaution applies for up to one year after stopping use of this drug. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details. CORTAID (hydrocortisone cream and ointment 1.0%) should be used cautiously during pregnancy and only if clearly needed. Discuss the benefits and risks with your doctor. Small amounts of CORTAID (hydrocortisone cream and ointment 1.0%) may appear in breast milk. Consult with your doctor before breast-feeding.

PRECAUTIONS

General

Systemic absorption of topical corticosteroids has produced reversible hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis suppression, manifestations of Cushing's syndrome, hyperglycemia, and glucosuria in some patients.

Conditions which augment systematic absorption include the application of the more potent steroids, use over large surface areas, prolonged use, and the addition of occlusive dressings.

Therefore, patients receiving a large dose of a potent topical steroid applied to a large surface area or under an occlusive dressing should be evaluated periodically for evidence of HPA axis suppression by using the urinary free cortisol and ACTH stimulation tests. If HPA axis suppression is noted, an attempt should be made to withdraw the drug, to reduce the frequency of application, or to substitute a less potent steroid.

Recovery of HPA axis function is generally prompt and complete upon discontinuation of the drug. Infrequently, signs and symptoms of steroid withdrawal may occur, requiring supplemental systemic corticosteroids.

Children may absorb proportionally larger amounts of topical corticosteroids and thus be more susceptible to systemic toxicity (See Pediatric Use below). If irritation develops, topical corticosteroids should be discontinued and appropriate therapy instituted.

In the presence of dermatological infections, the use of an appropriate antifungal or antibacterial agent should be instituted. If a favorable response does not occur promptly, the corticosteroid should be discontinued until the infection has been adequately controlled.

Information for the Patient

See PATIENT INFORMATION section.

Laboratory Tests

The following tests may be helpful in evaluating HPA axis suppression: Urinary free cortisol test; ACTH stimulation test.

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis and Impairment of Fertility

Long-term animal studies have not been performed to evaluate the carcinogenic potential or the effect on fertility of topical corticosteroids. Studies to determine mutagenicity with prednisolone and hydrocortisone have revealed negative results.

Pregnancy

Teratogenic Effects - Pregnancy Category C. Corticosteroids are generally teratogenic in laboratory animals when administered systemically at relatively low dosage levels. The more potent corticosteroids have been shown to be teratogenic after dermal application in laboratory animals. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women on teratogenic effects from topically applied corticosteroids. Therefore, 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.

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether topical administration of corticosteroids 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. Nevertheless, caution should be exercised when topical corticosteroids are administered to a nursing woman.

Pediatric Use

Pediatric patients may demonstrate greater susceptibility to topical corticos- teroid-induced hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis suppression and Cushing's syndrome than mature patients because of a larger skin surface area to body weight ratio. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis suppression, Cushing's syndrome, and intracranial hypertension have been reported in pediatric patients receiving topical corticosteroids. Manifestations of adrenal suppression in pediatric patients include linear growth retardation, delayed weight gain, low plasma cortisol levels, and absence of response to ACTH stimulation. Manifestations of intracranial hypertension include bulging fontanelles, headaches, and bilateral papilledema.

Administration of topical corticosteroids to pediatric patients should be limited to the least amount compatible with an effective therapeutic regimen. Chronic corticosteroid therapy may interfere with the growth and development of pediatric patients.

Overdosage & Contraindications

OVERDOSE

Topically applied corticosteroids can be absorbed in sufficient amounts to produce systemic effects (see PRECAUTIONS).

CONTRAINDICATIONS

Topical corticosteroids are contraindicated in those patients with a history of hypersensitivity to any of the components of the preparation.

Clinical Pharmacology

CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

Topical corticosteroids share anti-inflammatory, anti-pruritic and vasoconstrictive actions. The mechanism of anti-inflammatory activity of the topical corticosteroids is unclear. Various laboratory methods, including vasoconstrictor assays, are used to compare and predict potencies and/ or clinical efficacies of the topical corticosteroids. There is some evidence to suggest that a recognizable correlation exists between vasoconstrictor potency and therapeutic efficacy in man.

Pharmacokinetics

The extent of percutaneous absorption of topical corticosteroids is determined by many factors including the vehicle, the integrity of the epidermal barrier, and the use of occlusive dressings.

Topical corticosteroids can be absorbed from normal intact skin. Inflammation and/ or other disease processes in the skin increase percutaneous absorption. Occlusive dressings substantially increase the percutaneous absorption of topical corticosteroids. Thus, occlusive dressings may be a valuable therapeutic adjunct for treatment of resistant dermatoses (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

Once absorbed through the skin, topical corticosteroids are handled through pharmacokinetic pathways similar to systemically administered corticosteroids. Corticosteroids are bound to plasma proteins in varying degrees. Corticosteroids are metabolized primarily in the liver and are then excreted by the kidneys. Some of the topical corticosteroids and their metabolites are also excreted into the bile.

Medication Guide

PATIENT INFORMATION

Patients using topical corticosteroids should receive the following information and instructions.

1. This medication is to be used as directed by the physician. It is for external use only. Avoid contact with eyes.

2. Patients should be advised not to use this medication for any disorder other than for which it was prescribed.

3. The treated skin area should not be bandaged or otherwise covered or wrapped as to be occlusive unless directed by the physician.

4. Patients should report any signs of local adverse reactions especially under occlusive dressing.

5. Parents of pediatric patients should be advised not to use tight- fitting diapers or plastic pants on a child being treated in the diaper area, as these garments may constitute occlusive dressings.

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