Hydrocortisone Valerate (Topical)

Overview

Known in the US under the brand name Westcort and in Canada as Hydroval and Tarocort, Hydrocortisone Valerate is a topical treatment for certain skin conditions. Available as an ointment or cream, it is used topically to reduce itching, redness, swelling or other types of discomfort. Hydrocortisone Valerate belongs to a family of medicines known as corticosteroids (steroids, or cortisone-like medicines). Hydrocortisone Valerate is not available over the counter, patients can only access it with a prescription from a qualified physician.

Hydrocortisone Valerate has been prescribed to treat a number of different skin conditions, including allergies, contact dermatitis, eczema and rashes. As a mid-strength corticosteroid, it reduces inflammation, redness and itching of the skin in patients who are experiencing a skin condition.

Hydrocortisone Valerate should only be used topically (on the skin), and should not be used on the groin, underarms or face unless specifically instructed to by a physician. Patients should thoroughly clean and dry their hands before application, and clean and dry the affected area. Hydrocortisone Valerate should be applied in a thin film to the area of concern, no more than three times a day, or as directed by a physician. Patients should not cover or bandage the area unless advised to by a physician. Once applied, patients should wash their hands again (unless the area affected is on the hands). Patients should avoid the eyes (as it can worsen conditions such as com/health/coma/">glaucoma), nose and mouth.

Only intended for short-term use, patients should only use Hydrocortisone Valerate for the treatment time advised by their physician, and should not use it to treat other conditions unless instructed by their doctor.

Conditions Treated

  • Skin inflammation

Type Of Medicine

  • Corticosteroid

Side Effects

Most medicines come with the risk of causing unwanted side effects alongside their desired effects. Not all patients may experience the following side effects, but some of them may require medical attention.

Patients should contact their physician immediately if they notice any of the following side effects while taking Hydrocortisone Valerate.

  • Stinging

Other side effects may appear that normally do not require immediate medical attention. These side effects may recede during treatment as the body adapts to Hydrocortisone Valerate. A physician should be able to provide advice on reducing or preventing the following side effects. Patients who are concerned about the persistence or wider effects of the following side effects should contact their physician or pharmacist to find out more.

  • Loss of appetite

Some patients may experience side effects not listed above. Patients who notice other side effects not listed should consult their healthcare professional to find out more. New side effects can also be reported to the FDA by calling 1-800-FDA-1088, or through a patient's physician.

Dosage

Different patients will require different doses of Hydrocortisone Valerate, depending on the severity of their condition, their medical history and other circumstances. Patients should always follow their physician's instructions to the letter or follow the directions on the label. The below information is intended to represent typical doses. Patients who have been asked to take other doses not listed here should continue as directed and not change their dose without first speaking to their physician.

The dose prescribed will also depend on the strength of the formulation used, the frequency of use, the number of doses needed each day, and the total length of treatment based on the specific medical issue the patient is experiencing.

Topical Hydrocortisone Valerate (in the form of ointment or cream) is typically used as required, two to three times per day for adults. It is used to treat swelling, redness and itching of the skin, it is normally prescribed for no more than two weeks at a time. Use of Hydrocortisone Valerate is not recommended for children and infants unless as directed by a physician. Patients should apply a thin film of Hydrocortisone Valerate to the affected area of skin and gently rub it in.

Patients who have missed a dose of this medicine should not worry and should apply it as soon as they remember. If it is nearly time for the next dose, they should skip the missed dose and continue as directed by their physician.

Major drug interactions

Some medicines should never be used in combination as they carry the risk of serious interactions. Other medicines can be used together even though there may be a risk of interactions. Where there is a risk, a physician may alter the dose of one or more of the medicines, the frequency of use, or the timings of doses to reduce the likelihood of side effects caused by the interaction. Patients should fully inform their physician about any medicines they are taking before accepting a prescription, including prescription medications, over-the-counter medicines, herbal remedies, vitamins, supplements and narcotics.

Hydrocortisone Valerate does not have any significant drug interactions with other medications. Patients should not use cosmetics or skincare products on the area of skin being treated unless cleared by their physician.

Specific medicines should also not be used at the same time as eating or eating certain types of food, as this may cause interactions. Drinking alcohol or smoking tobacco with some medicines can also lead to interactions. Patients who are concerned about the risk of interactions from food or drink should speak to their medical professional for advice.

Hydrocortisone Valerate can affect, or be affected by, the presence of other medical problems in the patient. Patients should give their physician a full medical history before accepting a prescription and tell their doctor if they have any of the following conditions in particular:

  • Diabetes

Warnings

A physician should regularly check in with patients who are using Hydrocortisone Valerate throughout the course of treatment to review their progress, discuss any side effects, and reassess whether they need to continue treatment. Hydrocortisone Valerate is intended for short-term use. If a patient does not experience any improvement in the symptoms within two weeks of treatment, or their conditions worsen, they should seek medical advice.

If prescribed for children, the parents of the child should carefully observe their child during treatment to ensure they do not get any cream or ointment in their eyes, nose or mouth. Hydrocortisone Valerate can cause significant side effects, particularly in children and infants, if it is swallowed.

Prolonged use, or using too much Hydrocortisone Valerate over the course of treatment can lead to an increased risk of developing problems with the patient's adrenal function. The risks of issues with the adrenal gland are raised in children and patients who use large amounts over a long period of time. Patients or parents of patients should tell their doctor if the patient experiences any of the following symptoms while using Hydrocortisone Valerate:

Patients or parents of patients should stop using Hydrocortisone Valerate immediately and check with their physician if the patient experiences burning, swelling, stinging, a skin rash or skin irritation during treatment.

If used to treat children, parents should avoid using plastic pants or tight diapers if the area treated is around a child's diaper area. Tight-fitting clothing and diapers could boost the absorption of Hydrocortisone Valerate through the skin, and increase the risk of side effects.

All patients using Hydrocortisone Valerate should avoid using skin care products or cosmetics on or around the area of treatment.

The decision to take any medication should always be based on a thorough assessment of the benefits weighed against the risks of taking it. It's a decision that should be jointly taken by the patient and their physician.

Patients should tell their physician about any allergic reactions they have had to other topical treatments, any medicines, or general substances before accepting a prescription for Hydrocortisone Valerate. Patients should also tell their healthcare professional about any allergies to dyes, foods, animals or preservatives. Patients should always read the packaging of any topical treatments carefully before using.

There are few studies on the relationship between age and use in pediatric care (use in the treatment of children and infants) for Hydrocortisone Valerate. It is, however, a medicine which has a level of toxicity, so any prescribed use with children should be closely monitored. Parents administering Hydrocortisone Valerate should always follow the instructions on the label and the advice of their child's physician. Physicians treating children and teenagers should regularly review their patient's progress while using Hydrocortisone Valerate to ensure that the negative effects of steroidal use are minimized, including effects on growth. Effectiveness and safety have not been established.

Studies have not yet shown adverse effects from using Hydrocortisone Valerate to treat elderly patients (for use in geriatric care).

Storage

Like many medicines, Hydrocortisone Valerate should be kept in its original packaging, firmly closed and at room temperature. Always store medicines well out of the reach of children or vulnerable adults, and away from direct light, heat or moisture.

Patients should not keep old medicines they no longer use, or medicines that have gone out of date. Patients who have leftover medicines after treatment has stopped should take them to their nearest pharmacy or ask their physician about local take-back programs that will safely dispose of them.

Summary

Hydrocortisone Valerate is a corticosteroid that is used in the treatment of itchy, burning, reddening and swelling skin conditions. It works by reducing the skin inflammation, and should only be used for short periods of treatment. It has been prescribed for a variety of skin conditions, including dermatitis, rashes, allergic skin reactions, and eczema. Particular caution should be paid to any use in children, as ingesting Hydrocortisone Valerate can increase the risk of serious side effects. As with all medicines, patients should closely follow their physician's directions for using Hydrocortisone Valerate.