Health care providers prescribe the corticosteroid triamcinolone acetonide in a variety of different forms because of the medication’s anti-inflammatory properties. The medication is available for local or systemic use as manufacturers formulate triamcinolone as a nasal spray or as an inhalant, along with lotion and ointment preparations. Physicians might also prescribe the drug in a serum for lesional or intramuscular injections. A steroid with more than twice the strength of prednisone, the triamcinolone acetonide has numerous side effects, which include weakening the immune system and suppressing adrenal function.
As an aerosol spray or as an inhalant, health care providers prescribe triamcinolone acetonide to counteract and prevent the effects of allergies and asthma. The medication acts by inhibiting the chemicals that produce an allergic response. Individuals using the spray or inhaler chronically might experience nosebleeds, headaches and oral or systemic yeast infections. Persons generally also become more susceptible to other types of infections.
Triamcinolone acetonide in lotion form frequently treats a variety of topical conditions causing inflammation and itching. The skin, whether disrupted or intact, absorbs the medication. Persons using dermatologic preparations for an extended period of time might experience skin burning, dryness and irritation. They may also be subject to edema, subcutaneous bleeding and hyperpigmentation. Systemic absorption creates the possibility of developing a secondary infection due to suppressed immune response.
Physicians typically use triamcinolone acetonide in serum form to reduce the discomfort and inflammation of topical lesions commonly associated with autoimmune disorders that include lupus or psoriasis. The medication might also be used to treat cystic tumors or keloids. Health care providers frequently use intramuscular injections to minimize the inflammation and pain that patients experience with gouty or rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and other joint and muscle ailments.
Numerous serious systemic adverse effects are typically associated with long-term use of triamcinolone acetonide. Individuals using the drug are more likely to succumb to bacterial, fungal or viral infections. Reduced immune responses might trigger and exacerbate underlying conditions, including herpes or tuberculosis. Prolonged adrenal suppression could result in a Cushing syndrome type appearance with facial edema and general muscle wasting in other parts of the body. Osteoporosis with spontaneous fractures may also develop.
Cardiovascular side effects include possible dysrhythmias, congestive heart failure and hypertension. Related ailments can include fluid and electrolyte imbalances caused by the medication, such as elevated blood sodium levels and decreased potassium levels. Other endocrine malfunction symptoms commonly associated with triamcinolone acetonide include hyperglycemia and disorders of the pituitary gland.