Why is this medication prescribed?
Triamcinolone, a corticosteroid, is similar to a natural hormone produced by your adrenal glands. It often is used to replace this chemical when your body does not make enough of it. It relieves inflammation (swelling, heat, redness, and pain) and is used to treat certain forms of arthritis; skin, blood, kidney, eye, thyroid, and intestinal disorders (e.g., colitis); severe allergies; and asthma. Triamcinolone also is used to treat certain types of cancer.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should this medicine be used?
Triamcinolone comes as a tablet and syrup to be taken by mouth. Your doctor will prescribe a dosing schedule that is best for you. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand.
Do not stop taking triamcinolone without talking to your doctor. Stopping the drug abruptly can cause loss of appetite, upset stomach, vomiting, drowsiness, confusion, headache, fever, joint and muscle pain, peeling skin, and weight loss. If you take large doses for a long time, your doctor probably will decrease your dose gradually to allow your body to adjust before stopping the drug completely. Watch for these side effects if you are gradually decreasing your dose and after you stop taking the tablets or oral liquid, even if you switch to an inhalation. If these problems occur, call your doctor immediately. You may need to increase your dose of tablets or liquid temporarily or start taking them again.
Take triamcinolone exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking triamcinolone,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to triamcinolone, aspirin, tartrazine (a yellow dye in some processed foods and drugs), or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin), arthritis medications, aspirin, cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), digoxin (Lanoxin), diuretics ('water pills'), estrogen (Premarin), ketoconazole (Nizoral), oral contraceptives, phenobarbital, phenytoin (Dilantin), rifampin (Rifadin), theophylline (Theo-Dur), and vitamins.
- if you have a fungal infection (other than on your skin), do not take triamcinolone without talking to your doctor.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver, kidney, intestinal, or heart disease; diabetes; an underactive thyroid gland; high blood pressure; mental illness; myasthenia gravis; osteoporosis; herpes eye infection; seizures; tuberculosis (TB); or ulcers.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking triamcinolone, call your doctor.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking triamcinolone.
- if you have a history of ulcers or take large doses of aspirin or other arthritis medication, limit your consumption of alcoholic beverages while taking this drug. Triamcinolone makes your stomach and intestines more susceptible to the irritating effects of alcohol, aspirin, and certain arthritis medications. This effect increases your risk of ulcers.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Your doctor may instruct you to follow a low-sodium, low-salt, potassium-rich, or high-protein diet. Follow these directions.
Triamcinolone may cause an upset stomach. Take triamcinolone with food or milk.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
When you start to take triamcinolone, ask your doctor what to do if you forget a dose. Write down these instructions so that you can refer to them later.
If you take triamcinolone once a day, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Although side effects from triamcinolone are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- upset stomach
- stomach irritation
- increased hair growth
- easy bruising
- irregular or absent menstrual periods
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- skin rash
- swollen face, lower legs, or ankles
- vision problems
- cold or infection that lasts a long time
- muscle weakness
- black or tarry stool
What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison controlcenter at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsedor is not breathing, call local emergency services at911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to triamcinolone. Checkups are especially important for children because triamcinolone can slow bone growth.
Carry an identification card that indicates that you may need to take supplementary doses (write down the full dose you took before gradually decreasing it) of triamcinolone during periods of stress (injuries, infections, and severe asthma attacks). Ask your pharmacist or doctor how to obtain this card. List your name, medical problems, drugs and dosages, and doctor's name and telephone number on the card.
This drug makes you more susceptible to illnesses. If you are exposed to chicken pox, measles, or tuberculosis (TB) while taking triamcinolone, call your doctor. Do not have a vaccination, other immunization, or any skin test while you are taking triamcinolone unless your doctor tells you that you may.
Report any injuries or signs of infection (fever, sore throat, pain during urination, and muscle aches) that occur during treatment.
Your doctor may instruct you to weigh yourself every day. Report any unusual weight gain.
If your sputum (the matter you cough up during an asthma attack) thickens or changes color from clear white to yellow, green, or gray, call your doctor; these changes may be signs of an infection.
If you have diabetes, triamcinolone may increase your blood sugar level. If you monitor your blood sugar (glucose) at home, test your blood or urine more frequently than usual. Call your doctor if your blood sugar is high or if sugar is present in your urine; your dose of diabetes medication and your diet may need to be changed.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.