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Hydrocortisone 0.5%
and 1.0% cream
Read all of this leaflet carefully before you
start using this medicine.
• Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it
• If you have any further questions, ask your
doctor or pharmacist.
• This medicine has been prescribed for you.
Do not pass it on to others. It may harm
them, even if their symptoms are the same
as yours.

1 What Hydrocortisone cream is
and what it is used for
2 Before you use
3 How to use
4 Possible side effects
5 How to store
6 Further information
1 What Hydrocortisone cream is and

what it is used for

Hydrocortisone belongs to a group of medicines
called topical corticosteroids. These work by
calming the inflammation that occurs during
certain skin conditions or reactions.
Hydrocortisone cream may be used for treating
various skin conditions including:
• eczema
• dermatitis, including intertrigo (irritation
between skin folds)
• insect bite reactions
• inflammation of the external ear (otitis externa)
• prurigo nodularis- a long term skin condition
where very itchy lumps appear
• neurodermatoses- a long term skin condition
where itchy skin becomes thick due to
• nappy rash, if infection exists it is being treated
with appropriate antibiotics.


2 Before you use
Do not use Hydrocortisone cream and tell
your doctor if you:

• are allergic (hypersensitive) to hydrocortisone
or any of the other ingredients (see section 6)
• are suffering from skin conditions caused by
infections, which are not being treated with
appropriate antibiotics, including impetigo,
cold sores, chicken pox, herpes, ringworm,
athlete’s foot or thrush
• have the scabies mite
• have rosacea (flushing of the skin on the face)
or dermatitis around the mouth area.

Check with your doctor or pharmacist

before using Hydrocortisone cream if you:
• are treating a child as long term use in children
is not recommended. Do not use under a
nappy or airtight dressing for more than five to
seven days
• are applying the cream to the face, particularly
around the eyes. Do not use the cream for
longer than your doctor has advised
• have a skin infection. If the condition appears
to be getting worse despite using antibiotics
prescribed, stop using the cream and contact
your doctor
• suffer with psoriasis.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to
become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you
become pregnant whilst using hydrocortisone
cream, tell your doctor immediately.

Ingredient information

This cream contains cetostearyl alcohol which
may cause local skin reactions such as contact
dermatitis and chlorocresol which may cause
allergic reactions, in some people.

Continued over page

3 How to use

Always use Hydrocortisone cream exactly as your
doctor has told you. If you are not sure, check
with your doctor or pharmacist.
For application to the skin.
• Adults - gently apply a thin layer of cream to
the affected area(s) two or three times a day.
• Children and infants - gently apply a thin layer
of cream to the affected area(s) two or three
times a day. Avoid using for more than five to
seven days at a time.

If you use more Hydrocortisone cream
than you should

• Do not use the cream more often or for longer
than your doctor tells you to.
• Do not use larger quantities than as directed,
as this will increase the possibility of side
• If you accidentally use too much on a few
occasions do not worry.
• If you accidentally swallow some cream, small
amounts are not harmful.

If you forget to use Hydrocortisone

If you forget to use the cream, apply it as soon as
you remember, unless it is nearly time to apply
the next dose.

4 Possible side effects

Like all medicines, Hydrocortisone cream can
cause side effects, although not everybody gets
them. Please tell your doctor or pharmacist if you
notice any of the following effects or any effects
not listed.
Stop using Hydrocortisone cream and
contact your doctor at once if the following
allergic reaction happens swelling of the face,
lips, tongue or throat, or difficulty breathing or
This is a very serious but rare side effect. You may
need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the
following side effects or notice any other effects
not listed:
• a change in the colour of skin, or increased
growth of hair in areas where the cream is used
• contact dermatitis – localised rash or irritation
to the skin

Continued top of next column

Using more than the correct amount of cream
• thin the skin so it damages easily
• allow the active ingredient to pass through
the skin and affect other parts of the body,
especially in infants and children, if used
under a nappy or airtight dressing and during
If you feel unwell or have any unusual discomfort
you do not understand, contact your doctor as
soon as possible.

5 How to store

Keep out of the reach and sight of children.
Store below 25°C. Do not freeze.
Do not use Hydrocortisone cream after the expiry
date stated on the label/carton/bottle. The expiry
date refers to the last day of that month.
Medicines should not be disposed of via
wastewater or household waste. Ask your
pharmacist how to dispose of medicines no
longer required. These measures will help to
protect the environment.

6 Further information
What Hydrocortisone cream contains

• The active substance (the ingredient that
makes the cream work) is hydrocortisone. Each
cream contains either 0.5% w/w or 1% w/w of
the active ingredient.
• The other ingredients are chlorocresol,
cetomacrogol, cetostearyl alcohol and paraffin.

What Hydrocortisone cream looks like
and contents of the pack
Hydrocortisone cream is white.
Pack sizes of 15g, 30g and 50g.

Marketing Authorisation Holder and
Actavis, Barnstaple, EX32 8NS, UK.
This leaflet was last revised in January 2012
More information on managing skin conditions
may be obtained from:
National Eczema Society or the Skin Care
Campaign, Hill House, Highgate Hill, London
N19 5NA

Actavis, Barnstaple, EX32 8NS, UK

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Source: Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided here is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. This information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.