Triamcinolone is a commonly prescribed steroid that comes in many forms: ointment, cream, pills, inhaler, or injectable. The form you’re given will depend on your condition.
- Triamcinolone is available in topical forms (creams, lotions, ointments), nasal spray, dental paste, and injectable forms.
- It comes in multiple strengths.
- It’s available as both a generic and brand-name medication depending on the form.
- Triamcinolone works by controlling inflammation and calming overactive immune systems.
- It’s used to treat allergic and autoimmune disorders like allergies, ulcerative colitis, psoriasis, eczema, arthritis, and many other conditions.
Important warnings about Triamcinolone
- Triamcinolone may weaken your immune system. It can make you more prone to getting an infection.
- Don’t take this medication if you have an infection. Try to avoid people who have an infection.
- Don’t take live vaccines during the time you’re taking triamcinolone. Ask your doctor for information.
- Contact your doctor immediately if you have signs of infection such as fever, chills, and body aches.
- Triamcinolone can cause a severe allergic reaction in some people. Let your doctor know if you’ve ever had a reaction to corticosteroids.
Read on to learn about the most common uses, benefits, and risks of triamcinolone.
Triamcinolone is a synthetic glucocorticoid. It imitates natural steroid hormones your body produces. It helps to adjust your immune system when it overreacts.
Your doctor might prescribe this medication for allergic or immune-related conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis, allergies, and mouth ulcers.
It was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1958, so it’s been around for a long time.
Triamcinolone is available in as both generic and brand-name medication. The dose and strength depend on the exact type of triamcinolone you’ve been prescribed and the medical conditions you have.
Topical triamcinolone is available in cream, lotion, ointment, and topical spray. Examples of triamcinolone topicals include:
- Kenalog Topical Spray
- Mykacet (nystatin/triamcinolone acetonide)
- Triamcinolone acetonide (various generics)
The most common examples of injectable triamcinolone include:
- Aristospan (triamcinolone hexacetonide)
- Triamcinolone acetonide (generic)
Other common brands of triamcinolone include:
- Nasacort (nasal spray)
- triamcinolone dental paste
There are many forms and strengths of triamcinolone. The dosage you are prescribed will depend on factors such as your age, weight, and the conditions you have.
Topical triamcinolone is considered medium- to high-strength. Topical ointments are the strongest because they can penetrate the skin best.
Triamcinolone topical products are used to treat skin conditions like:
Triamcinolone is also available as a nasal spray, injectible, and dental paste for:
Triamcinolone may also be prescribed for other uses not listed.
Your pharmacist can show you how to correctly use the nasal spray, dental paste, and other forms of triamcinolone your doctor prescribes.
special instructions for use
Use triamcinolone exactly as your doctor has directed.
- Always wash your hands after applying triamcinolone lotion, cream, or ointment to your skin.
- Don’t cover the area after applying this medication to your skin unless your doctor tells you differently.
- Keep topical products away from your eyes and nose.
- Injectable triamcinolone is usually given in your doctor’s office.
- Never share your medicine with anyone else.
Triamcinolone doses depend on the type of product: topical, nasal spray, dental paste, or injectable. Here’s information on some common doses.
Your doctor will decide the best dose and formulation for you based on your condition.
Your dose might have to be adjusted if you have certain conditions, including:
- liver problems
- stomach problems
- heart disease
- high blood pressure
Topical triamcinolone is usually applied two to four times a day. Using topical products on wet skin is most effective.
Your doctor will prescribe a strength of triamcinolone based on the condition or illness being treated. Topical triamcinolone may range in strength from .025 to 0.5 percent. Topical spray strength is 0.147 milligram per gram (mg/gm).
Apply a thin film on the injured area. It’s most effective when used at bedtime. You may need to apply this form of triamcinolone two to three times a day. Your doctor will tell you how often to do so.
Don’t rub the paste onto the sore area because it will become gritty and crumble.
Triamcinolone injectable comes in several forms (intramuscular, intra-articular, intravitreal), and dosage depends on the treatment and the type of triamcinolone being used.
All injectable forms are given in a doctor’s office.
Adults: Intramuscular injection (injection into muscle) is intended for severe allergies, arthritis, or skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema that haven’t responded to topical treatment. The dose is usually between 40 mg to 80 mg to start. Injections are continued based on the person’s response.
Adults: Intravitreal injection (injection into the eye) is used to treat eye inflammation. The starting dose is 4 mg. For eye surgery, doses vary from 1 mg to 4 mg.
Adults: Intra-articular injection (injection into a joint) of the brand-name drug Zilretta is used for osteoarthritis knee pain. The one-time dose is 32 mg. Zilretta can’t be substituted for other forms of triamcinolone acetonide injectable.
Other dosages of injectable triamcinolone are available for the treatment of various conditions. Your doctor can provide more information on the best dosage for you.
Children: Dosage is based on weight and the condition being treated.
For adults and children 12 and over, dosage starts with two sprays in each nostril once a day. The daily dose can be reduced to the minimum effective dose to avoid side effects.
For children 6 to 11 years old, dosage starts with one spray in each nostril once a day. If needed, this can be raised to two sprays per nostril daily.
For children 2 to 5 years of age, the typical dosage is one spray in each nostril once a day.
Triamcinolone is a popular medication with many uses.
Following are a few benefits of this medication:
- It’s well-known. Triamcinolone is widely used and has been around for a long time.
- It’s inexpensive. Many of the forms are available as generics, so it’s affordable.
- It has many uses. Triamcinolone is readily available and is used for many common conditions.
when to seek emergency care
Triamcinolone can cause a life-threatening allergic reaction in some people called anaphylaxis.
Call 911 immediately if you are having any of these symptoms:
- a strange feeling or a sense that something is wrong
- difficulty catching your breath or breathing
- rash, hives, or swelling
- difficulty swallowing or speaking
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- irregular heartbeat or cardiac arrest
- a feeling of doom or that you may die
Always let your doctor know if you’ve ever had a reaction to this medication in the past.
Some people may be at risk when taking triamcinolone. If you’re pregnant or nursing, talk to your doctor before taking triamcinolone.
Triamcinolone may delay growth in children, so be sure to talk to your child’s doctor about the risks of using triamcinolone.
Common side effects include:
- weight gain
- water retention
- shortness of breath
- mood changes
- insomnia or trouble sleeping
- anxiety or restlessness
Serious side effects from triamcinolone
Talk to your doctor right away if you have one or more of these serious side effects:
- severe mood changes or depression
- bloody or black, tarry stools
- muscle weakness
- very high blood pressure
- fast heart rate
- shortness of breath
- blurred vision
- severe headache
- pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), as indicated by symptoms such as pain in the upper stomach area, nausea, or vomiting
This isn’t a full list of risks and side effects for triamcinolone. Ask your doctor about potential side effects, and let your doctor know if you have any new or unusual symptoms while taking this medication.
Triamcinolone may interact with many other prescription medications, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, and supplements. It’s important to let your doctor know every prescription medication, OTC drug, supplement, and herbal remedy you’re taking.
Interactions depend on:
- the type of triamcinolone you’re taking
- other medications
- your age
- other health conditions you have
Topical triamcinolone usually has fewer interactions. Corticosteroids like injectable triamcinolone can interact with many other medications.
Corticosteroids like triamcinolone treat many different conditions that may be caused by an overreaction from your immune system.
The medication is available in several formulations and strengths. It’s also available in combination with other medications like nystatin, which is used for fungal infections.
Tell your doctor about all the medications you use to avoid interactions with triamcinolone.
Don’t suddenly stop taking triamcinolone, as this may cause withdrawal symptoms. Talk to your doctor about the best way to slowly stop the medication.