Hydrocortisone Probutate (Topical)

A medium-strength corticosteroid used in the treatment of eczema, rashes and dermatitis, hydrocortisone probutate can relive many of the symptoms of these skin disorders.

Overview

This corticosteroid medication is applied directly to the skin for the relief of itchiness, swelling, rashes, and redness that can occur as a result of flareups of eczema or dermatitis. It should never be applied to certain areas of the body however, including the groin, underarms, or face, where extreme sensitivity may cause more harm than good. It should also not be used in the treatment of a baby's diaper rash, since an infant's skin would also be much more sensitive to its effects, and would likely exacerbate any existing condition.

The best way to use hydrocortisone probutate is to wash your hands thoroughly before applying, make sure the targeted area has been cleaned and dried, and then apply a thin film of the cream where the skin irritation has developed. For most patients, once or twice daily is all that needs to be done in order to see results within a few days, but your family doctor will probably recommend a specific approach to treatment.

The skin area where this medication is applied should not be bandaged or covered up by any kind of wrap, unless your family doctor has specifically directed that this should be done. During application, it should be kept well away from the eyes, mouth, and nose, and after application, you should immediately wash your hands so that you don't risk spreading it to some sensitive areas of the body. If you do happen to touch the eyes, nose, or mouth with the cream still on your hands, you should rinse these areas right away. If your skin condition does not improve significantly within two weeks, you should notify your doctor so that some alternative form of treatment may be considered.

Condition Treated

  • Dermatitis, eczema, rashes, allergies

Type Of Medicine

  • Corticosteroid

Side Effects

As with virtually all medications, there are certain side effects which may be experienced by some patients who use hydrocortisone probutate. Some patients will experience no side effects whatsoever or perhaps very mild side effects, while others may notice relatively more severe symptoms occurring after usage of this medication.

One of the most severe types of reaction that a patient could have to using this cream is an allergic reaction, so if you notice any of the associated symptoms listed below after using this cream, you should seek medical attention immediately. There is a possibility that these symptoms can worsen into extreme severity, and can even become life-threatening, although that is a very rare occurrence.

The symptoms to look for in a person having an allergic reaction to this medication are as follows:

  • Severe dizziness or lightheadedness, with the sensation that you might be about to pass out
  • Difficulty with breathing, sometimes accompanied by a very noticeable tightness in the chest
  • Extreme itchiness at various locations around the body
  • Rashes and/or hives which appear on skin surfaces
  • A pronounced swelling or puffiness in the facial area, especially on the tongue, lips, throat and around the eyelids.

Some of the other symptoms associated with taking this medication include those listed below, and if they should reach a point where they become very uncomfortable, you should contact your doctor for some kind of medical relief. If any of these symptoms become extreme, it is likely that your doctor will recommend switching to an alternative form of treatment for your medical condition. Some of the symptoms listed below only develop with prolonged use, while others occur fairly soon after applying the cream to an affected area:

  • Numbness, tingling sensation, or extreme redness at the site where the cream has been applied
  • Skin dryness or irritation
  • Burning or stinging sensation, either at the site of application or in the surrounding area
  • Unusual hair growth
  • Uncharacteristic development of acne
  • Stretch marks
  • Skin discoloration
  • Hair bumps
  • Skin thinning
  • Extreme tiredness or weakness
  • Weight loss
  • Headaches
  • Swelling of the feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • Increased thirst
  • More frequent urination
  • Greater urgency with urination
  • Blurry vision
  • Other vision problems.

Dosage

When applying this medication, be very careful not to apply it to an open wound or a scab which is healing. You should also not wrap the treated site with any kind of airtight covering such as a special patch or plastic wrap, because that will cause the skin to absorb much more of the medication directly. When this increased proportion of medication is absorbed through the skin, it has the effect of doubling or at least significantly multiplying the actual dosage of the medication.

The dosage recommended by your doctor will depend on exactly what kind of medical condition you're being treated for, as well as your body's tolerance to the cream itself. It may also depend on how many doses you take each day, and the length of time that you have been using the cream in treating your medical condition.

For the most part to treat itching, swelling, or redness on the skin, adults can use hydrocortisone probutate once or twice daily, by applying a thin film over the affected area, and immediately washing your hands afterward. It is allowable to gently rub the medication in for greater absorption before washing your hands.

There is a potential for pediatric patients to have a more pronounced reaction to usage of this medicine, so any dosage recommended by your doctor will be tailored to a specific case for a younger patient.

The danger with absorbing a greater amount of the medication than is intended by your doctor, is the fact that it will be very likely to increase the potential for side effects occurring, and to increase the severity of any side effects which do appear.

If you should miss your regularly scheduled dosage of hydrocortisone probutate, it is acceptable to apply the cream as soon as you do think of it. However, if you don't think of it until it's very close to the time of your next regularly scheduled treatment, it's better to forego the missed application altogether, and simply wait for the next scheduled treatment. The danger with doubling up on dosages is that a greater amount of the medication can be absorbed by your skin, thereby increasing the likelihood and the severity of the side effects.

Interactions

Whenever using a new medication, there is a possibility for interactions to occur with other drugs you may be taking. These interactions can take the form of producing adverse side effects in the patient, or they can involve a decrease in the effectiveness of one or both drugs in question.

Since hydrocortisone probutate is not an ingested drug, and is instead applied topically, there is a reduced danger of interaction with other drugs that you may be taking. Still, it is advisable for you to prepare a list of other medications you are currently using, including over-the-counter drugs, other prescription medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements, so that your doctor can review this list and determine whether there is any potential for drug interactions.

You can also use this list if you have a need to go to an emergency room where your primary care doctor will not be in residence. There, any doctor can review your list of medications and make sure that any treatment he/she prescribes in treating your emergency condition will not interfere with medications you are currently using.

It is advisable to not use alcohol or tobacco while you are being treated with this medication, since those two substances can have an impact on virtually any medication a patient might be using.

It is also possible for this medication to have an interaction with existing medical conditions that you may have, so if you have any of the conditions listed below, you should consult with your doctor about that fact, so that alternative strategies may be considered.

  • Diabetes
  • Infections anywhere near the site of treatment on the body
  • Large sores
  • Severe injuries at the site of cream application
  • Broken skin at or near the treatment area
  • Adrenal gland disorder, a.k.a. Cushing's Syndrome
  • Intracranial hypertension.

Warnings

There are a few warnings or precautions which any patient using this medication should be aware of, and should adhere to. Make sure not to miss any regularly scheduled doctor's appointments for evaluation of how the cream is working, with regard to treating your skin condition. These appointments are the best time for monitoring any side effects, and it's also the best time to evaluate the effectiveness of the medication.

If the symptoms which have prompted your usage of this medication do not significantly improve within the space of 14 days, you should consult with your doctor, even before your next scheduled appointment. If your symptoms should become worse during this initial period, you should consult with your doctor right away, and not wait for an appointment.

If your child is being treated with this medication, be sure to monitor the child for a period of time after each application, to ensure that none of the cream is touched by the child and then transferred to the eyes, nose, or mouth. If you observe that this does occur, make sure to flush the affected area very well with water as soon as possible. There is a potential for some severe side effects to occur, especially if the child actually swallows the cream.

There is a potential for prolonged usage of this medication to trigger adrenal gland problems, and this potential is higher for pediatric patients and patients who use a large dosage of the cream.

You should discontinue usage of this medication immediately if you observe any kind of reactions like burning, swelling, irritation, stinging, or extreme redness at the site of application.

You should not apply any tight-fitting wraps to the area which has been treated, either on your body or on your child's, because this will have the effect of causing more of the medication to be absorbed through the skin. When an increased amount of medication is absorbed through the skin, it will have the affect of worsening any side effects which may occur.

It is strongly advised to not use any other skin care products, or any cosmetics on the same skin areas which are to be treated by hydrocodone probutate.

Storage

This medication should be stored at room temperature, in a location which is not subject to extremes of heat, cold, or humidity. That makes the family medicine cabinet in the bathroom a poor choice for storage, since this room is often subject to hot and humid conditions.

It should always be kept out of the reach of pets and curious children. If you observe that your child has accessed this medicine and may have swallowed it, contact the local poison control center immediately, and ask for instructions.

Do not keep any expired or unused medication hanging around in the household for someone to get into. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for proper disposal methods, and if you can't get this information, you can look it up on the FDA website for the safe disposal of medicines.

Summary

Hydrocortisone probutate is a topical treatment used by patients to relieve itchiness, redness, rashes, and swelling which may occur as a result of eczema, dermatitits, or allergy symptoms. It has relatively mild side effects if any, and has relatively few interactions with other drugs. It is generally tolerated well by patients, and can be very effective for short-term use. If used over a prolonged period, the likelihood of side effects occurring will increase, as will the potential for other medical conditions. This drug should be carefully applied to the affected area, and your hands should be immediately washed afterward, to avoid the possibility of having it come into contact with the eyes, nose, or mouth, which can cause more serious side effects.