How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
This combination product contains 3 medications: pramoxine, hydrocortisone, and zinc sulfate. Pramoxine is a topical anesthetic, which makes the affected areas numb. Hydrocortisone is a corticosteroid with an anti-inflammatory effect. It reduces swelling, itching, and discomfort. Zinc reduces itching and discomfort and helps prevent infection by protecting the areas to which it is applied. This medication is used to relieve pain, swelling, itching, and discomfort in the anal area due to a variety of causes, including rectal surgery for hemorrhoids.
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 taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking 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 take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each gram of ointment contains pramoxine HCl 1%, hydrocortisone acetate 0.5%, and zinc sulfate monohydrate 0.5%. Nonmedicinal ingredients: methylparaben, propylparaben, and petrolatum.
Each suppository contains pramoxine HCl 20 mg, zinc sulfate monohydrate 10 mg, and hydrocortisone acetate 10 mg in a triglyceride base. Nonmedicinal ingredients: dibasic calcium phosphate, magnesium stearate, methylparaben, propylparaben, and triglyceride.
How should I use this medication?
The recommended starting dose of this medication is one suppository or application of ointment in the morning and at bedtime and after each bowel movement. After pain and discomfort have been reduced, use the suppository or ointment daily as directed by your doctor to prevent the discomfort from returning.
Suppository: Bathe and dry the affected anal area. Insert one suppository into the rectum. The suppository is most easily inserted while in a stooped or squatting position or while lying on your side with your knees flexed. By applying a slight bearing down pressure, the anal opening (sphincter) will relax and allow for easy insertion of the suppository.
Ointment: Bathe and dry the affected anal area. Attach the plastic applicator to the tube and insert it into the rectum to its full extent, then slowly withdraw while gently squeezing the tube. You may also apply the ointment to the outside surface of the anus to relieve any external discomfort. Wash the applicator after use.
Do not use this medication for future hemorrhoid problems unless instructed to do so.
Many things can affect the dose of 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 taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, use 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 take 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.
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?
Do not use this medication if you:
- are allergic to pramoxine, hydrocortisone, zinc sulfate, or any ingredients of this medication
- have a tuberculosis, fungal, or viral infection of the skin
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.
- dry, scaly skin
- thin, fragile skin
Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- burning and itching of skin
- rectal bleeding, burning, dryness, itching, or pain not present before therapy
- skin rash, redness, itching, or hives at or near place of application
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.
Pregnancy: For short periods of time, this medication is considered safe to use during pregnancy. If you are pregnant, consult your doctor about the benefits and risks of using this medication. This medication should not be used unnecessarily on extended areas, in large amounts, or for prolonged periods of time under these circumstances.
Breast-feeding: Hydrocortisone passes into breast milk, however the amount of medication absorbed into the body when used in these preparations is minimal. If you are breast-feeding, consult your doctor about the benefits and risks of using this medication. This medication should not be used unnecessarily on extended areas, in large amounts, or for prolonged periods of time under these circumstances.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications that 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. 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.