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Precautions and Warnings With Hydrocortisone Butyrate

Although hydrocortisone butyrate is an effective medication for treating various skin conditions, it is not suitable for everyone. Make sure your healthcare provider knows about any other medications you are taking or if you have any allergies before beginning treatment with hydrocortisone butyrate. Safety precautions and warnings also include possible risks associated with using this medicine while pregnant or breastfeeding.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Using Hydrocortisone Butyrate?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to using hydrocortisone butyrate (Locoid®) if you:
  • Are breastfeeding
  • Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Have any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
You should also tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Hydrocortisone Butyrate Precautions and Warnings

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of before using this medicine include the following:
  • Hydrocortisone butyrate is a steroid and, as such, can cause serious side effects. While it is not a particularly potent steroid, using too much or using it for extended periods increases the risk for serious side effects.
  • Like other steroids, hydrocortisone butyrate can cause serious problems like Cushing's syndrome or diabetes. Although this is more likely to occur with oral or injectable steroids, it is still possible with topical steroids, including hydrocortisone butyrate. The more you apply and the longer you use the drug, the more likely these problems are to occur. Covering the cream with a dressing may also increase the risk.
  • If you use this medication for an extended period, it may lead to Cushing's syndrome (a group of symptoms caused by prolonged exposure to steroids). Contact your healthcare provider if you develop signs of this condition, such as:
    • A rounded face
    • Unusual body fat distribution (more fat in the trunk, face, and neck, and less fat in the arms and legs)
    • High blood sugar levels.
  • Hydrocortisone butyrate can suppress the body's ability to make natural steroids. This typically happens when large doses are used over a long period. In such circumstances, hydrocortisone butyrate should be stopped gradually to give your body a chance to begin making its own natural steroids again. If this is not feasible, you might need to take an oral steroid for a while, after which you will slowly be weaned off the oral steroid.
  • Like all steroids, hydrocortisone butyrate may slow down the growth rate of children and teenagers. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you are concerned about this. In general, children may be more susceptible to the side effects of steroids. Close monitoring is necessary for any child receiving such drugs long-term.
  • If you develop a skin infection while using hydrocortisone butyrate, you will need to be treated with appropriate antibiotics or antifungal medications. If the infection does not clear up, you may need to stop using hydrocortisone butyrate.
  • Hydrocortisone butyrate is a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are currently unknown (see Locoid and Pregnancy).
  • It is unknown if hydrocortisone butyrate passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to using the drug (see Locoid and Breastfeeding).

Hydrocortisone Butyrate Drug Information

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