How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Triamcinolone belongs to the class of medications called topical corticosteroids. It is used to treat certain skin conditions, including psoriasis and allergic eczema. It may also be used to relieve itchiness. It works by reducing inflammation or swelling of the skin.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are being given this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to use this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Aristocort “C” (0.5%), concentrate; Aristocort “R” (0.1%), regular. Nonmedicinal ingredients: benzyl alcohol, emulsifying wax, glycerin, isopropyl palmitate, lactic acid, sorbitol solution, and purified water.
Aristocort “R” (0.1%), regular. The ointment contains no preservatives. Nonmedicinal ingredients: white petrolatum.
How should I use this medication?
A small amount of this medication should be applied to the affected areas no more than 3 or 4 times daily. For some cases of psoriasis and certain other conditions, your doctor may advise you to cover the area with an occlusive dressing (a dressing that doesn’t breathe) such as plastic wrap for more effective treatment. If your doctor has not suggested this, do not cover the area as this may cause unwanted effects.
Do not let this medication get in your eyes. If contact occurs, flush with plenty of water and consult your doctor.
Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are using the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, apply it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not apply a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not use this medication if you:
are allergic to triamcinolone or any ingredients of the medication
have a skin infection caused by viruses, including herpes simplex, vaccinia, and varicella (chickenpox)
have tuberculosis of the skin
have untreated infected skin lesions caused by an infection with fungi or bacteria if no antifungal (for fungal infections) or antibacterial agent (for bacterial infections) is used at the same time
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
burning, dryness, irritation, itching, or redness or skin (usually mild and temporary)
increased redness or scaling of skin sores (usually mild and temporary)
skin rash (usually mild and temporary)
Although most of these side effects listed below don’t happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
blood-containing blisters on skin
blood vessels visible through the skin (or “spider veins”)
burning and itching of skin
lack of healing of skin condition
thinning of skin with easy bruising
Additional side effects may occur if this medication is used improperly or for long periods of time. Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
acne or oily skin
blurring or loss of vision (occurs gradually if used near the eye)
burning and itching of skin with pinhead-sized red blisters
eye pain (if used near the eye)
filling or rounding of the face
increased blood pressure
irregular menstrual periods
irritation of skin around mouth
loss of appetite
muscle cramps, pain, or weakness
rapid weight gain or loss
reddish-purple lines on arms, face, legs, trunk, or groin
skin colour changes
softening of the skin
stomach bloating, burning, cramping, or pain
swelling of feet or lower legs
tearing of the skin
unusual decrease in sexual desire or ability (in men)
unusual increase in hair growth, especially on the face
unusual loss of hair, especially on the scalp
unusual tiredness or weakness
weakness of the arms, legs, or trunk (severe)
worsening of infections
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Inform all doctors you go to that you are using a topical (skin-applied) corticosteroid.
Absorption: When triamcinolone is used over extensive areas for prolonged periods and under dressings that don’t breathe, it is possible that enough medication will absorb into the bloodstream to give rise to unwanted side effects. Therefore, it is advisable to use triamcinolone for brief periods only and to stop using it as soon as the problem clears.
Adverse effects: Although adverse effects associated with the use of this medication are uncommon and not to be expected from ordinary use, sensitization, irritation, and failure of therapeutic response have been noticed in rare instances.
Eyes: Use this medication with caution on lesions close to the eye. Take care to ensure that it does not enter the eye, as glaucoma may result. Cataracts have been reported following internal use of corticosteroids.
Infection: Topical corticosteroids may increase the risk of developing a skin infection. Contact your doctor if you notice any increased redness, swelling, heat, or pain around the area where the medication is applied as these are possible signs of infection.
Thinning of skin: Using topical corticosteroid medications for a long period of time can cause skin to thin or soften or cause stretch marks. Your doctor may recommend you stop using this medication once in a while or to apply to one area of the body at a time. Suddenly stopping corticosteroid medication may cause psoriasis to return.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if triamcinolone passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The active ingredient in this medication, triamcinolone, belongs to the family of medications known as corticosteroids. Children may be more likely to experience the side effects encountered by using large amounts of this class of medication for long periods of time (e.g., slowing down of growth, delayed weight gain). The use of this medication by children should be limited to the smallest effective amount. Discuss with your doctor the risks and benefits of using medication by children.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between triamcinolone and any of the following:
other topical medications that contain corticosteroids or that have irritating effects
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
stop taking one of the medications,
change one of the medications to another,
change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.