Top of the page
Common Brand Name(s): Cortifoam
This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
This medication is used to treat a certain intestinal problem known as ulcerative colitis of the rectum, also called ulcerative proctitis. It does not cure this condition but it may relieve rectal pain, diarrhea, and bloody stools caused by swelling (inflammation). Hydrocortisone belongs to a class of drugs called corticosteroids. This medication works by decreasing inflammation directly in the rectum. It is usually used in people who cannot use corticosteroid enemas.
Read the directions for use that come with this product. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Use this product in the rectum as directed by your doctor, usually once or twice daily for 2 to 3 weeks, then every other day. The dosage and length of treatment are based on your medical condition and response to treatment. To reduce the chance of side effects, your doctor will slowly lower your dose, after you have a positive response to treatment, to the lowest effective dose that controls your symptoms. If you have a worsening of your symptoms, your doctor may need to increase your dose temporarily. Follow your doctor's directions.
Do not insert any part of the container into the anus. Use the enclosed applicator to apply this drug. Leave the cap of the container on while using the product. Shake the container well for 5-10 seconds before use and hold upright. Fill the applicator with foam according to the instructions in the package. Gently insert the applicator tip into the anus, and gently push the plunger to apply the foam. Remove the applicator.
After inserting the foam, pull the applicator apart and wash all parts with warm water. Rinse the container cap and tip to prevent any blockage. Wash your hands after use.
Use this medication regularly as prescribed to get the most benefit from it. It may take 5 to 7 days to notice an improvement.
Do not apply large amounts of this product, use it more often, or use it for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects may increase. If you have been using this medication for a long time, do not stop using it without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve after 2-3 weeks of treatment or if it worsens.
Itching or burning in the rectum may occur. If either of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Rarely, it is possible this medication will be absorbed into the bloodstream. This can lead to side effects of too much corticosteroid. These side effects are more likely in children and people who use this medication for a long time. Tell your doctor right away if any of the following side effects occur:
Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur:
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using hydrocortisone, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other corticosteroids (such as prednisone); 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.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:
Limit alcoholic beverages while using this medication to decrease the risk of stomach/intestinal bleeding.
Rarely, using corticosteroid medications for a long time can make it more difficult for your body to respond to physical stress. Before having surgery or emergency treatment, or if you get a serious illness/injury, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this medication or have used this medication within the past few months.
Do not have immunizations, vaccinations, or skin tests without the consent of your doctor. Avoid contact with people who have recently received live vaccines (such as flu vaccine inhaled through the nose).
Rarely, this drug can make you more likely to get infections or may worsen any current infections. Wash your hands well to prevent the spread of infection. Avoid contact with people who have infections that may spread to others (such as chickenpox, measles, flu). Consult your doctor if you have been exposed to an infection or for more details.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially bone loss/pain, stomach/intestinal bleeding, and mental/mood changes (such as confusion).
Though it is unlikely, this medication may temporarily slow down a child's growth if used for a long time. See the doctor regularly so your child's height can be checked.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed and not for prolonged periods. Other forms of hydrocortisone (given by mouth or by injection) may harm an unborn baby. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. However, it is unlikely to harm a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
The effects of some drugs can change if you take other drugs or herbal products at the same time. This can increase your risk for serious side effects or may cause your medications not to work correctly. These drug interactions are possible, but do not always occur. Your doctor or pharmacist can often prevent or manage interactions by changing how you use your medications or by close monitoring.
To help your doctor and pharmacist give you the best care, be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) before starting treatment with this product. While using this product, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any other medicines you are using without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include:
Check all prescription and nonprescription medicine labels carefully since many medications contain pain relievers/fever reducers (including aspirin, salicylates, NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, naproxen) that may increase your risk of bleeding when taken with corticosteroids. However, if your doctor has directed you to take low-dose aspirin for heart attack or stroke prevention (usually 81-162 milligrams a day), you should continue taking the aspirin unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.
This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use. Share this list with your doctor and pharmacist to lessen your risk for serious medication problems.
This medicine may be harmful if swallowed. If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Alberta residents can call PADIS (Poison and Drug Information Service) 24 hours a day at 1-800-332-1414. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as sigmoidoscopy, adrenal gland function tests) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Use your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
If you have questions about missing a dose or you don't have more medication, contact your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
Store at room temperature between 68-77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C). Do not refrigerate or store above 120 degrees F (50 degrees C). The contents of the container are under pressure. Do not puncture or burn the container and do not use near heat/open flame. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised August 2021.
Copyright(c) 2021 First Databank, Inc.
Conditions of use: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information in not intend to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects nor should it be construed in indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.
Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.