Hydrocortisone Rectal

Rectal hydrocortisone is used along with other medications to treat proctitis (swelling in the rectum) and ulcerative colitis (a condition which causes swelling and sores in the lining of the large intestine and rectum). It is also used to relieve itching and swelling from hemorrhoids and other rectal problems. Hydrocortisone is in a class of medications called corticosteroids. It works by activating natural substances in the skin to reduce swelling, redness, and itching.

🔔 How should this medicine be used?

Hydrocortisone rectal comes as a cream, an enema, suppositories, and a foam to use in the rectum. Follow the directions on your prescription or your product label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use rectal hydrocortisone exactly as directed. Do not use it more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

For proctitis, hydrocortisone rectal foam usually is used one or two times a day for 2 to 3 weeks, then if necessary, every other day until your condition improves. Hydrocortisone rectal suppositories usually are used two or three times daily for 2 weeks; may require treatment for up to 6 to 8 weeks in severe cases. Proctitis symptoms may improve within 5 to 7 days.

For hemorrhoids, hydrocortisone rectal cream usually is used in adults and children 12 years and older up to 3 or 4 times daily. If you obtained hydrocortisone without a prescription (over the counter) and your condition does not improve within 7 days, stop using it and call your doctor. Do not put the cream into your rectum with your fingers.

For ulcerative colitis, hydrocortisone rectal enema usually is used every night for 21 days. Although colitis symptoms may improve within 3 to 5 days, 2 to 3 months of regular enema use may be required. Call your doctor if your colitis symptoms do not improve within 2 or 3 weeks.

Your doctor may change your dose of rectal hydrocortisone during your treatment to be sure that you are always using the lowest dose that works for you. Your doctor may also need to change your dose if you experience unusual stress on your body such as surgery, illness, or infection. Tell your doctor if your symptoms improve or get worse or if you get sick or have any changes in your health during your treatment.

Preventable medical errors kill about 22,000 patients a year, according to research from the Yale School of Medicine. That’s much less than a previously reported number of 250,000 deaths a year where medical error is to blame.

Hydrocortisone rectal suppositories may stain clothing and other fabrics. Take precautions to prevent staining when you use this medication.

Before using hydrocortisone rectal foam the first time, carefully read the written instructions that come with it. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand.

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If using a hydrocortisone rectal enema, follow these steps:

  1. Try to have a bowel movement. The medication will work best if your bowels are empty.
  2. Shake the enema bottle well to make sure the medication is mixed.
  3. Remove the protective cover from the applicator tip. Be careful to hold the bottle by the neck so that the medication will not leak out of the bottle.
  4. Lie down on your left side with your lower (left) leg straight and your right leg bent toward your chest for balance. You can also kneel on a bed, resting your upper chest and one arm on the bed.
  5. Gently insert the applicator tip into your rectum, pointing it slightly toward your navel (belly button).
  6. Hold the bottle firmly and tilt it slightly so that the nozzle is aimed toward your back. Squeeze the bottle slowly and steadily to release the medicine.
  7. Withdraw the applicator. Remain in the same position for at least 30 minutes. Try to keep the medicine inside of your body all night (while you sleep).
  8. Wash your hands thoroughly. Throw away the bottle in a trash can that is out of the reach of children and pets. Each bottle contains only one dose and should not be reused.