How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
This is a combination medication that contains pramoxine and hydrocortisone. It is used to relieve inflammation and itching due to a variety of different skin conditions. Pramoxine works by numbing the area that is treated, while hydrocortisone works by reducing inflammation in the area.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are being given this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to use this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Pramox HC cream
This product contains 1% hydrocortisone acetate and 1% pramoxine in a cream base. Nonmedicinal ingredients: petrolatum USP, stearic acid TP NF, arlacel 165, lanette wax SX, cetyl alcohol NF, ceraphyl 368, phenonip, water (purified) USP, sodium biphosphate USP, propylene glycol USP, and sodium hydroxide NF.
Pramox HC lotion
This product contains 1% hydrocortisone acetate and 1% pramoxine in lotion form. Nonmedicinal ingredients: petrolatum USP, stearic acid TP NF, arlacel 165, lanette wax SX, generol 122 E5, ceraphyl 368, phenonip, water (purified) USP, sodium biphosphate USP, propylene glycol USP, menthol DL USP, and sodium hydroxide NF.
How should I use this medication?
Apply this medication to the affected areas 3 to 4 times daily. If you are using the lotion, shake well before applying. If you are using the medication on skin near your eyes, take care to avoid getting it in your eyes.
Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are using the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, apply it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not apply a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature and keep it out of the reach of children.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Hydrocortisone - pramoxine should not be used by anyone who:
- is allergic to hydrocortisone, pramoxine, or to any of the ingredients of the medication
- has certain viral diseases such as varicella (chickenpox), vaccinia, and herpes simplex
- has untreated tubercular, bacterial, or fungal skin infections
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent. The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- burning, dryness, irritation, itching, or redness of skin
- skin rash
Although most of these side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- blood-containing blisters on skin
- changes in skin colour
- excess hair growth
- increased skin sensitivity
- lack of healing of skin condition
- numbness in fingers
- pain when the medication is applied
- painful, red, or itchy pus-containing blisters in hair follicles
- raised, dark-red, wart-like spots on skin
- skin infection
- thinning of skin with easy bruising
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- symptoms of an allergic reaction (e.g., swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, face, lips, mouth, or throat; difficulty breathing or swallowing)
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Allergies or sensitization: Stop using this medication and call your doctor if irritation, allergic reaction, or sensitization occurs. Inform all health professionals involved in your care that you have been using corticosteroids.
Excessive use: Prolonged or excessive use of this product could produce effects similar to those seen after taking corticosteroids by mouth for prolonged periods of time (such as thin skin, easy bruising, and thin bones, or increased risk of infections). To minimize this possibility when long-term therapy is anticipated, your doctor may instruct you to periodically interrupt treatment.
Infected areas: Do not use this medication on infected lesions unless you are also using appropriate anti-infective medications as recommended by your doctor.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while using this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if this medication passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are using this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
If you are applying additional medications to the area being treated, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.