Ala-Cort - Hydrocortisone Cream, Lotion, Ointment, or Solution

What is this medication?

HYDROCORTISONE (hye droe KOR ti sone) reduces swelling, redness, itching, and rashes caused by skin conditions, such as eczema. It works by decreasing inflammation of the skin. It belongs to a group of medications called topical steroids.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Ala-Cort, Ala-Scalp, Anusol HC, Aqua Glycolic HC, Aquaphor, Aquaphor Children's Itch Relief, Aquaphor Itch Relief, Balneol for Her, Caldecort, Cetacort, Cortaid, Cortaid Advanced, Cortaid Intensive Therapy, Cortaid Sensitive Skin, CortAlo, Corticaine, Corticool, Cortizone, Cortizone-10, Cortizone-10 Cooling Relief, Cortizone-10 External Itch Relief, Cortizone-10 Intensive Healing, Cortizone-10 Plus, Cortizone-5, Dermarest Dricort, Dermarest Eczema, DERMASORB HC Complete, Gly-Cort, Hycort, Hydro Skin, Hydrocort, Hydrocortisone in Absorbase, Hydroskin, Hydroxym, Hytone, Instacort, Lacticare HC, Locoid, Locoid Lipocream, MiCort-HC, Monistat Complete Care Instant Itch Relief Cream, Neosporin Eczema, NuCort, Nutracort, NuZon, Pandel, Pediaderm HC, Penecort, Preparation H Hydrocortisone, Procto-Kit, Procto-Med HC, Procto-Pak, Proctocort, Proctocream-HC, Proctosol-HC, Proctozone-HC, Rederm, Sarnol-HC, Scalacort, Scalpicin Anti-Itch, Texacort, Tucks HC, Vagisil Anti-Itch, Walgreens Intensive Healing, Westcort

What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • Large areas of burned or damaged skin
  • Skin infection
  • Taking steroids, such as dexamethasone or prednisone
  • Using steroid cream, lotions, or inhalers
  • An unusual or allergic reaction to hydrocortisone, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Breastfeeding

How should I use this medication?

This medication is for external use only. Do not take by mouth. Wash your hands before and after use. If you are treating your hands, only wash your hands before use. Do not use on healthy skin or over large areas of skin. Do not get this medication in your eyes. If you do, rinse it out with plenty of cool tap water. Use it as directed on the label at the same time every day. Do not use it more often than directed or for a longer time period than prescribed by your care team. Keep taking it unless your care team tells you to stop.

Apply a thin film to the affected area and rub gently. Do not bandage or wrap the skin being treated unless directed to do so by your care team.

Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. While it may be prescribed for children as young as 2 for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medication?

Interactions are not expected. Do not use any other skin products on the affected area without asking your care team.

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

What should I watch for while using this medication?

Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress. Tell your care team if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.

Call your care team if you are around anyone with measles, chickenpox, or if you develop sores or blisters that do not heal properly.

This medication can damage and reduce the effect of latex-containing products, such as condoms and diaphragms. Avoid contact of this medication with latex-containing products; throw away any products that are exposed to this medication.

Do not use this medication for diaper rash unless directed to do so by your care team. If applying this medication to the diaper area, do not cover with tight-fitting diapers or plastic pants. This may increase the amount of medication that passes through the skin and increase the risk of serious effects.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:

  • Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Burning, itching, crusting, or peeling of treated skin
  • Fragile or thinning skin that bruises easily
  • Skin infection—skin redness, swelling, warmth, or pain
  • Small, red, pus-filled bumps on skin around hair follicles

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):

  • Mild skin irritation, redness, or dryness
  • Unexpected hair growth at application site

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

Keep out of the reach of children and pets.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Do not freeze. Get rid of any unused medication after the expiration date.

To get rid of medications that are no longer needed or expired:

  • Take the medication to a medication take-back program. Check with your pharmacy or law enforcement to find a location.
  • If you cannot return the medication, check the label or package insert to see if the medication should be thrown out in the garbage or flushed down the toilet. If you are not sure, ask your care team. If it is safe to put in the trash, empty the medication out of the container. Mix the medication with cat litter, dirt, coffee grounds, or other unwanted substance. Seal the mixture in a bag or container. Put it in the trash.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

© 2023 Elsevier/Gold Standard (2023-07-14 00:00:00)


Additional Information From Chemocare.com About Ala-Cort


When to contact your doctor or health care provider:

Contact your health care provider immediately, day or night, if you should experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever of 100.4° F (38° C), chills (possible signs of infection)
  • If you feel an irregular or fast heartbeat, shortness of breath, or chest or jaw pain, seek emergency help and notify your healthcare provider.
  • If you become suddenly confused

The following symptoms require medical attention, but are not emergency situations.  Contact your health care provider within 24 hours of noticing any of the following:

  • Extreme fatigue (unable to carry on self-care activities)
  • Any unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Black or tarry stools, or blood in your stools or urine
  • Nausea (interferes with ability to eat and unrelieved with prescribed medications)
  • Vomiting (vomiting more than 4-5 times in a 24-hour period)
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness, feeling faint
  • Persistent headache
  • Severe hot flashes or mood swings
  • Inability to sleep (insomnia)
  • Severe skeletal (bone) pain
  • Difficult or painful urination; increased urination, or severe thirst
  • Changes in vision, blurred vision, eye pain, enlarged pupils, discharge
  • Any new rashes or changes in your skin
  • Swelling of the feet or ankles.  Sudden weight gain (greater than 3 pounds a week)
  • Swelling, redness and/or pain in one leg or arm and not the other

Always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.


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