Why is this medication prescribed?
Triamcinolone topical is used to treat the itching, redness, dryness, crusting, scaling, inflammation, and discomfort of various skin conditions, including psoriasis (a skin disease in which red, scaly patches form on some areas of the body and eczema (a skin disease that causes the skin to be dry and itchy and to sometimes develop red, scaly rashes). It is also used as a dental paste to relieve the discomfort of mouth sores. Triamcinolone is in a class of medications called corticosteroids. It works by activating natural substances in the skin to reduce swelling, redness, and itching.
How should this medicine be used?
Triamcinolone comes in ointment, cream, lotion, and aerosol (spray) in various strengths for use on the skin and as a paste for use in the mouth. It usually is applied two to four times a day. For mouth sores, it is applied at bedtime and, if necessary, two or three times daily, preferably after meals. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use triamcinolone exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor. Do not apply it to other areas of your body or use it to treat other skin conditions unless directed to do so by your doctor.
To use triamcinolone topical, apply the ointment, cream, or lotion sparingly in a thin film and rub it in gently.
To use the lotion or aerosol (spray) on your scalp, part your hair, apply a small amount of the medicine on the affected area, and rub it in gently. Protect the area from washing and rubbing until the lotion or spray dries. You may wash your hair as usual but not right after applying the medicine.
To apply an aerosol, shake well and spray on the affected area holding the container about 3 to 6 inches away. Spray for about 2 seconds to cover an area the size of your hand. Take care not to inhale the vapors. If you are spraying near your face, cover your eyes.
To apply the paste, press a small amount on the mouth sore without rubbing until a thin film develops. You may need to use more paste if the mouth sore is large. If the mouth sore does not begin to heal within 7 days, call your doctor.
Triamcinolone aerosol (spray) may catch fire. Stay away from open fire, flames, and do not smoke while you are applying triamcinolone aerosol, and for a short time afterward.
If you are using triamcinolone topical on your face, keep it out of your eyes.
Do not apply other skin preparations or products on the treated area without talking with your doctor.
If you are using triamcinolone on a child's diaper area, do not use tight-fitting diapers or plastic pants. Such use may increase side effects.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using triamcinolone topical,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to triamcinolone, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in triamcinolone topical products. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and nutritional supplements you are taking or plan to take.
- tell your doctor if you have an infection in your mouth or throat or if you have ever had diabetes or Cushing's syndrome (an abnormal condition that is caused by excess hormones [corticosteroids]).
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while using triamcinolone topical, call your doctor.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not apply a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Side effects from triamcinolone can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- burning, itching, irritation, stinging, redness, or drying of the skin
- change in skin color
- unwanted hair growth
- tiny red bumps or rash around the mouth
- small white or red bumps on the skin
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- severe rash
- redness or swelling or other signs of skin infection in the place where you applied triamcinolone
Children who use triamcinolone topical may have an increased risk of side effects including slowed growth and delayed weight gain. Talk to your child's doctor about the risks of applying this medication to your child's skin.
Triamcinolone topical may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Do not freeze it.
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
In case of emergency/overdose
If someone swallows triamcinolone topical, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your body's response to triamcinolone.
Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Brand names of combination products
- Mykacet® (containing Triamcinolone, Nystatin)
¶ This branded product is no longer on the market. Generic alternatives may be available.