Rectal corticosteroids are used to treat mild or moderate ulcerative colitis. They also may be used along with systemic (oral or injection) corticosteroids or other medicines to treat severe disease or mild to moderate disease that has spread too far to be treated effectively by medicine inserted into the rectum alone. Rectal corticosteroids also are used to help relieve swelling, itching, and discomfort of some other rectal problems, including hemorrhoids and inflammation of the rectum caused by radiation therapy.
Rectal corticosteroids are available only with your doctor's prescription.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to medicines in this group or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Children and teenagers who must use this medicine should be checked often by their doctor. Rectal corticosteroids may be absorbed through the lining of the rectum and, rarely, may affect growth, especially if used in large amounts or for a long time. Before using this medicine in children, you should discuss its use with the child's doctor.
Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults. Although there is no specific information comparing use of rectal corticosteroids in the elderly with use in other age groups, these medicines are not expected to cause different side effects or problems in older people than they do in younger adults.
Betamethasone may change the number and ability of movement of sperm in men. Budesonide crosses the placenta. It is not known whether other rectal corticosteroids cross the placenta. Studies in animals have shown that budesonide, hydrocortisone, and hydrocortisone acetate cause birth defects. Rectal corticosteroids should not be used in large amounts or for a long time by women who are pregnant or who are planning to become pregnant.
It is not known whether rectal corticosteroids pass into breast milk. However, systemic (oral and injection) corticosteroids pass into breast milk and may cause problems with growth in nursing babies. It may be necessary for you to take a different medicine or to stop breast-feeding during treatment. Be sure you have discussed with your doctor the risks and benefits of using the medicine.
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of medicines in this class. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
It is important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits.
For patients using the enema form of this medicine:
For patients using the foam form of this medicine:
For patients using the suppository form of this medicine:
Do not use rectal corticosteroids in larger amounts, more often, or for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of absorption through the lining of the rectum and the chance of side effects.
The dose medicines in this class will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of these medicines. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Do not puncture, break, or burn the rectal foam aerosol container, even when it is empty.
Do not stop using this medicine without first checking with your doctor. Your doctor may want you to reduce gradually the amount you are using before you completely stop using it.
Check with your doctor if your condition does not improve within 2 or 3 weeks or if it becomes worse.
Check with your doctor if you notice rectal bleeding, pain, burning, itching, blistering, or any other sign of irritation that you did not have before you started using this medicine.
Use of suppositories may cause staining of clothing or fabric.
Tell the doctor in charge that you are using this medicine:
Avoid close contact with anyone who has chickenpox or measles. This is especially important for children. Tell your doctor right away if you think you have been exposed to chickenpox or measles.
While you are being treated with this medicine, and after you stop taking it, do not have any immunizations without your doctor's approval.
For patients with diabetes:
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
Additional side effects may occur if you use this medicine for a long time. Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.