"Scientists at the National Institutes of Health report they have discovered in mouse studies that a small molecule released in the spinal cord triggers a process that is later experienced in the brain as the sensation of itch.
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.
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;
What are the precautions when taking hydrocortisone cream and ointment 1.0% (Cortaid)?
Before using hydrocortisone, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other corticosteroids (e.g., prednisone, triamcinolone); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
If you have any health problems, consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this product.
If you have itching of the outer female genitals with vaginal discharge, consult your doctor before using this product.
Do not use if there is an infection or sore in the area to be treated. Skin infections can become worse when this medication is used. Tell your doctor promptly if redness, swelling, or irritation does not improve.
Last reviewed on RxList: 12/8/2004
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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