Corticosteroids belong to the type of steroid hormones, which adrenal cortex produce. They are synthetic analogues of the hormones as well. Synthetic analogues of these hormones are used to cure various diseases, including allergic and autoimmune ones. In this article, we will tell about steroid creams (prescription and over-the-counter ones).
What does steroid cream over the counter feature?
For buying over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, you don’t have to obtain a prescription from your doctor. There is a wide range of different types of non-prescription medications. Some of them are applied to fight with itches, migraines, painful sensations and aches. The others are very efficient remedies for treating tooth decay, athlete’s foot or other diseases. The American Food and Drug Administration has allowed for distributing these medications over-the-counter. However, the government body warns that the use of OTC drugs is not absolutely safe. There is always a certain degree of risk. When interacting with certain drugs, foods or supplements, over-the-counter medications can lead to complications. In the risk group, there are also people who suffer from other diseases. During pregnancy, you should always consult a doctor before starting administering any medication. You should also follow the instructions properly when taking any medicament. It is especially important for treating children. The efficiency of the medication is not measured by the amount of it. Taking OTC medicines for a longer period or in a bigger amount can be dangerous for your life. If you don’t feel relieved from the symptoms, you should consult with a healthcare specialist.
There is only one steroid cream over the counter available on the market. It is hydrocortisone. You can buy a lot of hydrocortisone-based creams for eczema, for rash of allergic nature, for face allergy, etc.
What are the key characteristics of hydrocortisone topical steroid cream?
Hydrocortisone steroid cream over the counter is considered an efficient remedy for treating itching, discomfort, painful sensations and swelling, which are the symptoms of hemorrhoids, anal fissures and other anal area problems. Sometimes it can be used for acne.
Remember, that you shouldn’t suddenly stop your treatment. Stop it or change it slowly.
In addition, there is vaginal form of the drug on the market. But it isn’t produced as a cream, it comes in vaginal hydrocortisone suppositories to treat vulvovaginal lichen planus.
Hydrocortisone was created in 1955. In the WHO’s List of Essential Medicines, it is described as one of the safest for health and most powerful drugs. It is presented in the form of generic medicament. As of 2014, the average wholesale price of the drug for per oral administration is approximately 0.27 USD (treatment can last for months) in the developing countries. In the United States, a typical one month’ treatment costs less than $ 25.
The using of hydrocortisone topical steroid cream
The procedure is the following: first you need to prepare rinse the desired area: clean it with water & soap, rinse & wipe it with a soft towel, so as not to irritate the skin. For convenient application of the cream on the surface of the rectum, you should use the applicator tip or cap. Follow the recommendations of the healthcare professional and instructions on the pack. The applicator should be filled with the medicament (in the amount indicated in the instructions). After that put the applicator into the anus (1.5 or 2.5 cm inside) and gently apply the cream inside the rectum. If you insert your fingers or other objects into your anus you may be injured.
Steroid cream over the counter adverse effects
The most typical undesirable effects caused by the medicament include the following: burning sensations, itching & redness. In case of worsening of side effects above, consult with your healthcare professional. If your healthcare expert attributed this medicament to you, he/she was sure that the risk of side effects as well as their manifestation would be negligible compared to the benefits that you will get from using the medicament. Indeed, in many cases, treatment is not accompanied at all by any side effect.
In case of rare, but more severe side effects, which are rectal bleeding, skin changes (red color of the skin, skin hardening), see your healthcare expert immediately. In rare cases, this medicament can get directly into the blood, which is fraught with the appearance of undesirable events, characteristic of the abuse of corticosteroids. Children and patients, who have been treated with this medicament for a long period, are more likely to face such adverse events as body weight loss, swelling ankles or feet, severe tiredness, head pain, vision deteriorations, increased urination.
If you experience severe adverse events typical for infection (cold, fever etc.) inform your consulting physician immediately.
The occurrence of a severe allergic reaction is very rare. Anyway, you should not neglect the following symptoms: itching/swelling, problems with breathing, rash, severe dizziness. It is necessary to visit the doctor immediately.
It is worth noting that these adverse events are not exhaustive. There may be other similar worsening which must be reported to the doctor.
Steroid cream over the counter precautions
If you intend to use this drug, be sure to notify your doctor or licensed specialist whether you have allergic reactions to the medicament or not. There can be different problems, in particular allergic reactions.
You also need to tell the healthcare professional about the illnesses that you had earlier or are suffering from now (for example, liver problems, diabetes, eye diseases, gastrointestinal disorders, and so on).
In some cases, the use of corticosteroid medications may adversely affect the response of your body to any stress (for example, stress associated with surgical intervention). That’s why you should tell your healthcare professional about such upcoming interventions or about getting any injuries.
With extreme caution, you should use the drug for treating children. The cream should be applied to a small zone of the skin. It is also recommended to use special diapers that fit tightly.
Some experts argue that prolonged use of the drug can slow the growth of the child’s body. To prevent possible worsening, follow changes in the height of your child during the period of application of the drug.
If you are pregnant, then you can use the drug only in exceptional cases. Long-term use can only do harm, against which your doctor should warn you.
Prescription steroid cream – the list of remedies
Topical steroids are divided into the groups, according to their strength. They range from “super potent” (Class I) to the drugs with low potency of action (Class 7). There are generic versions of many branded topical steroids. Your healthcare professional will prescribe you the generic version if your treatment requires it. If you are recommended to take branded prescription steroid cream, be sure to check the information about it on the official website. Besides, check the possibility to obtain co-pay assistance.
For example, Class 2 of topical steroids includes the following drugs:
- 05% halobetasol propionate (Elocon Ointment);
- diflorasone diacetate (ApexiCon E Cream);
- 25% desoximetasone (Topicort Cream/Ointment);
- 01% fluocinonide (Halog Ointment).
These and other drugs also may be used for psoriasis. If you suffer from fungal infection, you may try to find antifungal steroid creams on the market.
Steroid cream over the counter and more information concerning our website
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