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All about: Instacort Gel

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Generic Name: Hydrocortisone Gel and Solution (hye-droe-KOR-ti-sone)
Brand Name: Examples include Instacort and Scalpicin

Instacort Gel is used for:

Reducing itching, redness, and swelling associated with many skin conditions.

Instacort Gel is a topical corticosteroid. It works by depressing the formation, release, and activity of different cells and chemicals that cause swelling, redness, and itching.

Instacort Gel is a topical corticosteroid. The exact mechanism of action is not known.

Do NOT use Instacort Gel if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Instacort Gel

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Instacort Gel:

Some medical conditions may interact with Instacort Gel. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a skin infection, measles, thinning of the skin, tuberculosis (TB), chicken pox, shingles, a positive TB skin test, or have recently had a vaccination

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Instacort Gel. Because little, if any, of Instacort Gel is absorbed into the blood, the risk of it interacting with another medicine is low.

Ask your health care provider if Instacort Gel may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Instacort Gel:

Use Instacort Gel as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Apply a small amount of medicine to the affected area. Gently rub it in until it is evenly distributed. Wash your hands after applying Instacort Gel, unless your hands are part of the treated area.
  • Do not bandage or wrap the affected area unless directed otherwise by your doctor.
  • If you miss a dose of Instacort Gel, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Instacort Gel.

Important safety information:

  • Do not use Instacort Gel for other skin conditions at a later time.
  • If you are using Instacort Gel for a rectal condition, do not put Instacort Gel in the rectum using fingers or any mechanical device or applicator.
  • Instacort Gel is for external use only. Do not get Instacort Gel in your eyes. If you get Instacort Gel in your eyes, immediately flush them with cool tap water.
  • If Instacort Gel was prescribed to treat the diaper area of a child, avoid using tight-fitting diapers or plastic pants.
  • Check with your doctor before having vaccinations while you are using Instacort Gel.
  • Do not use Instacort Gel for external vaginal itching if vaginal discharge is present.
  • Corticosteroids may affect growth rate in CHILDREN and teenagers in some cases. They may need regular growth checks while they use Instacort Gel, especially if the child is using a large amount of it or using it for a long period of time.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Instacort Gel while you are pregnant. It is not known if Instacort Gel is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Instacort Gel, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Instacort Gel:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Mild, temporary stinging; skin irritation or dryness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); infection; itching, burning, pain, redness, or swelling of the skin not present before using Instacort Gel; skin thinning and discoloration.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Instacort Gel may be harmful if swallowed.

Proper storage of Instacort Gel:

Store Instacort Gel at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Instacort Gel out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Instacort Gel, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Instacort Gel is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Instacort Gel. If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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