Triamcinolone is a medication available in both prescription and non-prescription forms. It is used to treat inflammation caused by a variety of diseases, conditions, and allergies.
The prescription forms are used to treat inflammation due to arthritis and disorders of the skin, blood, kidney, lungs, eye, thyroid, and intestines. This medication page refers to the prescription form of triamcinolone.
Triamcinolone belongs to a group of drugs called corticosteroids. These work by mimicking the action of steroids normally produced by your body.
Triamcinolone is available as a topical cream, ointment, lotion, spray for use on the skin, and as a paste for use in the mouth. It is also available in injectable forms to be given directly into a muscle (IM), a joint (intra-articular) and the eye (intravitreal) by a healthcare professional.
Common side effects of triamcinolone include upset stomach, headache, insomnia, anxiety, depression, acne, increased hair growth, easy bruising, and irregular menstrual cycles.
Triamcinolone can also cause dizziness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how triamcinolone affects you.
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Uses of Cort-K
Triamcinolone (topical) is a prescription medication used to treat inflammation, itching, redness, and discomfort associated with a variety of skin conditions.
Triamcinolone (injection) is used to treat inflammation associated with a variety of conditions, including allergies, diseases of the skin, endocrine disorders, inflammation of the intestines, blood disorders, kidney diseases, and diseases and inflammation of the eye.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
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Side Effects of Cort-K
Serious side effects have been reported with triamcinolone. See the “Triamcinolone Precautions” section.
Common side effects of topical triamcinolone include the following:
- Drying of the skin
- Itching or burning of the skin
- Change in skin color
Common side effects of injectable triamcinolone include the following:
- Stomach upset
- Emotional instability
- Weight gain
- Fluid retention
This is not a complete list of triamcinolone side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:
- Aminoglutethimide (Cytadren)
- Amphotericin B (Fungizone, Abelcet, AmBisome, Amphotec)
- Anticholinesterase agents such as donepezil (Aricept), rivastigmine (Exelon), and galantamine (Ryzadyne)
- Anticoagulants such as warfarin (Coumadin)
- Antidiabetic agents
- Cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune)
- Digoxin (Lanoxin)
- Estrogens, including oral contraceptives
- Phenytoin (Dilantin)
- Carbamazepine (Tegretol)
- Rifampin (Rifadin)
- Ketoconazole (Nizoral)
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), and celecoxib (Celebrex)
This is not a complete list of triamcinolone drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Serious side effects have been reported with topical triamcinolone including the following:
- Burning, drying and itching of the skin
- Increased blood pressure
- Muscle weakness
- Changes in menstrual cycle
- Swelling in lower extremities
- Water retention
- Worsening of diabetes or ulcers
Serious side effects have been reported with injectable triamcinolone including the following:
- Stomach upset
- Muscle weakness or atrophy
- Adrenal insufficiency
- Increased blood pressure
- Water and salt retention
- Increased susceptibility to infection
Glaucoma, cataracts, optic nerve damage, and ocular infections have been reported with the ophthalmic injections of triamcinolone.
Triamcinolone can cause dizziness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how triamcinolone affects you.
Do not take triamcinolone if you are allergic to triamcinolone or to any of its ingredients.
Cort-K Food Interactions
Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of triamcinolone, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.
Before taking triamcinolone, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:
- are allergic to triamcinolone or to any of its ingredients
- have diabetes
- have glaucoma
- have cataracts
- have or have had a circulation disorder
- have or have had an immune system disorder
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
- are breastfeeding or plan to begin breastfeeding
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Cort-K and Pregnancy
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.
Triamcinolone topical preparations and most injectable formulations fall into category C. In animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication and had some babies born with problems. No well-controlled studies have been done in humans. Therefore, this medication may be used if the potential benefits to the mother outweigh the potential risks to the unborn child.
Triamcinolone injectable formulations for the eye fall into category D. It has been shown that use of triamcinolone in pregnant women caused some babies to be born with problems. However, in some serious situations, the benefit of using this medication may be greater than the risk of harm to the baby.
Cort-K and Lactation
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.
Triamcinolone has been detected in human breast milk. Because of the possibility for adverse reactions in nursing infants from triamcinolone, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or to stop use of this medication. The importance of the drug to the mother should be considered.
Take triamcinolone exactly as prescribed. If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of triamcinolone at the same time.
This medication comes in several topical forms.
- Apply the ointment, cream, liquid, or lotion sparingly in a thin film and rub it in gently.
- To apply the topical spray, shake well and spray on the affected area holding the container about 3 to 6 inches away. Spray for about 2 seconds to cover an area the size of your hand. Avoid inhaling the vapors. If you are spraying near your face, cover your eyes.
- To apply the paste, press a small amount on the mouth sore without rubbing until a thin film develops. You may need to use more paste if the mouth sore is large. If the mouth sore does not begin to heal within 7 days, call your doctor.
- The dose and frequency of use of triamcinolone will depend on the condition being treated.
This medication is available in an injectable form to be given directly into a muscle (intramuscular; IM), into a joint (intra-articular) and into the eye (intravitreal) by a healthcare professional.
Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.
The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:
- the condition being treated
- other medical conditions you have
- other medications you are taking
- how you respond to this medication
- your weight, height, or body surface area
- your age
If you take too much triamcinolone, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.
Store triamcinolone at room temperature.
Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children.