Kenacort

Name: Kenacort

Why is this medication prescribed?

Triamcinolone, a corticosteroid, is similar to a natural hormone produced by your adrenal glands. It often is used to replace this chemical when your body does not make enough of it. It relieves inflammation (swelling, heat, redness, and pain) and is used to treat certain forms of arthritis; skin, blood, kidney, eye, thyroid, and intestinal disorders (e.g., colitis); severe allergies; and asthma. Triamcinolone is also used to treat certain types of cancer.

This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking triamcinolone,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to triamcinolone, aspirin, tartrazine (a yellow dye in some processed foods and drugs), or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin), arthritis medications, aspirin, cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), digoxin (Lanoxin), diuretics ('water pills'), estrogen (Premarin), ketoconazole (Nizoral), oral contraceptives, phenobarbital, phenytoin (Dilantin), rifampin (Rifadin), theophylline (Theo-Dur), and vitamins.
  • if you have a fungal infection (other than on your skin), do not take triamcinolone without talking to your doctor.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver, kidney, intestinal, or heart disease; diabetes; an underactive thyroid gland; high blood pressure; mental illness; myasthenia gravis; osteoporosis; herpes eye infection; seizures; tuberculosis (TB); or ulcers.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking triamcinolone, call your doctor.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking triamcinolone.
  • if you have a history of ulcers or take large doses of aspirin or other arthritis medication, limit your consumption of alcoholic beverages while taking this drug. Triamcinolone makes your stomach and intestines more susceptible to the irritating effects of alcohol, aspirin, and certain arthritis medications. This effect increases your risk of ulcers.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Triamcinolone may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • upset stomach
  • stomach irritation
  • vomiting
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • insomnia
  • restlessness
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • acne
  • increased hair growth
  • easy bruising
  • irregular or absent menstrual periods

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • skin rash
  • swollen face, lower legs, or ankles
  • vision problems
  • cold or infection that lasts a long time
  • muscle weakness
  • black or tarry stool

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to triamcinolone. Checkups are especially important for children because triamcinolone can slow bone growth.

Carry an identification card that indicates that you may need to take supplementary doses (write down the full dose you took before gradually decreasing it) of triamcinolone during periods of stress (injuries, infections, and severe asthma attacks). Ask your pharmacist or doctor how to obtain this card. List your name, medical problems, drugs and dosages, and doctor's name and telephone number on the card.

This drug makes you more susceptible to illnesses. If you are exposed to chicken pox, measles, or tuberculosis (TB) while taking triamcinolone, call your doctor. Do not have a vaccination, other immunization, or any skin test while you are taking triamcinolone unless your doctor tells you that you may.

Report any injuries or signs of infection (fever, sore throat, pain during urination, and muscle aches) that occur during treatment.

Your doctor may instruct you to weigh yourself every day. Report any unusual weight gain.

If your sputum (the matter you cough up during an asthma attack) thickens or changes color from clear white to yellow, green, or gray, call your doctor; these changes may be signs of an infection.

If you have diabetes, triamcinolone may increase your blood sugar level. If you monitor your blood sugar (glucose) at home, test your blood or urine more frequently than usual. Call your doctor if your blood sugar is high or if sugar is present in your urine; your dose of diabetes medication and your diet may need to be changed.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Aristocort®
  • Kenacort®
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