What Is Triamcinolone?

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  • Written By: Jacquelyn Gilchrist
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 09 November 2019
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Triamcinolone is a generic medication prescribed for a variety of skin conditions, including rashes, dermatitis, and eczema. It is a corticosteroid drug that may help relieve inflammatory symptoms like itching, redness, and swelling. It may also sometimes be prescribed to treat asthma, some types of arthritis, and intestinal disorders, as well as some types of cancer.

This medication is available as a tablet and a syrup. Patients using triamcinolone for a skin condition may be prescribed a cream to apply topically to the skin. To use the topical application, the area of affected skin must first be cleansed and dried. A thin layer of the cream should be evenly distributed over the area and then the patient must thoroughly wash his hands. The dosing schedule for the cream is typically two to four times daily, while dosing for the oral medication will be determined on an individual basis.

Patients must avoid abruptly discontinuing triamcinolone. Those who wish to stop using it should gradually decrease the dosage under the supervision of their doctors. Side effects may occur from abrupt discontinuation, such as weight loss, loss of appetite, and fever. Upset stomach, vomiting, and headache may also occur. Other withdrawal effects can also include drowsiness, joint and muscle pain, and confusion.


Some side effects may occur with the use of triamcinolone, which should be reported to the prescribing physician if they become bothersome. With the first few applications of the topical cream, patients may notice dryness, irritation, and burning, as well as itching. Other side effects that may occur from the oral medication can include insomnia, dizziness, and muscle weakness. Increased sweating, changes in the location of body fat, and slow wound healing have also been reported. Other patients may notice skin discoloration, bruising, and acne.

More serious side effects from triamcinolone may occur rarely, which require immediate medical care. Patients may notice unusual vision changes, rapid weight gain, and shortness of breath. Seizures, unusual thoughts or behavior, and depression can also occur. Other patients may experience coughing up blood, bloody stools, and swelling.

Triamcinolone may also cause certain complications, such as pancreatitis, which may be indicated by rapid heartbeat, nausea, and vomiting, as well as pain in the upper stomach and back. It can also cause a dangerously high blood pressure, which may cause blurred vision, ringing in the ears, and rapid heartbeats, as well as seizures, chest pain, and shortness of breath. Low levels of potassium may also occur. This can be indicated by extreme thirst, increased urination, and a limp feeling.

Before using triamcinolone, patients must disclose their other medical conditions, medications, and supplements. The oral medication may pass into breast milk and harm a nursing infant, while as of 2011 it is unknown whether the topical application may pass into breast milk. Women who are pregnant should discuss potential risks with their doctors. This drug may be contraindicated for use by those who have diabetes, osteoporosis, and congestive heart failure. It may interact with blood thinners, estrogen, and cyclosporine, as well as other medicines.


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