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Anusol HC® is a steroid medication used to ease swelling, itching and discomfort of the skin of the rectal area caused by conditions such as hemorrhoids. The treatment contains an active ingredient called hydrocortisone, which is part of a group of medications known as topical corticosteroids. Anusol HC® is available as a topical medication and in suppository form.
The topical cream is designed to be used directly on the affected skin; it is not to be inserted into the rectum. The suppository form is designed for insertion into the rectum. The active component of the medication acts to slow the growth of cells and the release of chemicals from the cells that cause the discomfort felt in the affected area.
The frequency of application of Anusol HC® depends on the severity of the skin condition. Treatment can last up to eight weeks for the suppository and up to seven days for the topical cream. The treatment should only be used for rectal complaints, and not on other parts of the body.
If you have a blockage, perforation or abscess of the bowel or rectum, Anusol HC® should not be used. In addition, some people may be allergic to the ingredients used in the medication, so the ingredient list should be checked before use. If pregnant or breastfeeding, or planning to get pregnant or to breastfeed, check with your doctor prior to using Anusol HC® topical cream or suppository. In addition, inform your doctor prior to taking Anusol HC® in suppository form is you have heart or kidney disease, stomach ulcers or a disease of the digestive system, an infection, fever, high blood pressure, myasthenia gravis, or if you have ever had tuberculosis.
The common side effects of Anusol HC® are dryness and mild irritation of the area. Anusol HC® can also cause reactions in people who are allergic to a component of the medication. This reaction results in hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of the face, neck and tongue; and tightness in the chest. Other severe side effects include infection, a burning sensation in the area, bleeding, severe headache, seizures, and rectal pain.
When using Anusol HC®, patients should not get any vaccinations, because steroids can affect the efficacy of the vaccine. Overdosing on hydrocortisone is not likely to be life-threatening but can be harmful. Long-term use of steroids can also cause problems that include impotence, easy bruising, increased acne or facial hair, menstrual problems, and lack of interest in sex.