Hydrocortisone and acetic acid (Otic)
Generic Name: acetic acid/hydrocortisone (hye-droe-KOR-ti-sone, a-SEE-tik AS-id)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Aug 31, 2020.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
- Acetasol HC
- Vosol HC
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Anti-Infective/Anti-Inflammatory Combination
Pharmacologic Class: Adrenal Glucocorticoid
Chemical Class: Acetic Acid (class)
Uses for hydrocortisone and acetic acid
Corticosteroid and acetic acid combinations are used to treat certain problems of the ear canal. They also help relieve the redness, itching, and swelling that may accompany these conditions.
These medicines may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Corticosteroid and acetic acid combinations are available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before using hydrocortisone and acetic acid
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For hydrocortisone and acetic acid, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to hydrocortisone and acetic acid or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
There is no specific information comparing the use of otic corticosteroids in children under 3 years of age with use in other age groups.
Although there is no specific information comparing the use of otic corticosteroids in the elderly with use in other age groups, they are not expected to cause different side effects or problems in older people than they do in younger adults.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking hydrocortisone and acetic acid, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using hydrocortisone and acetic acid with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
- Rotavirus Vaccine, Live
Using hydrocortisone and acetic acid with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Amtolmetin Guacil
- Choline Salicylate
- Flufenamic Acid
- Lutetium Lu 177 Dotatate
- Mefenamic Acid
- Niflumic Acid
- Nimesulide Beta Cyclodextrin
- Salicylic Acid
- Sodium Salicylate
- Tiaprofenic Acid
- Tolfenamic Acid
Using hydrocortisone and acetic acid with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of hydrocortisone and acetic acid. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Any other ear infection or condition—Otic corticosteroids may worsen existing infections or cause new infections
- Punctured ear drum—Using otic corticosteroids when you have a punctured ear drum may damage the ear
Proper use of hydrocortisone and acetic acid
- Lie down or tilt the head so that the affected ear faces up. Gently pull the ear lobe up and back for adults (down and back for children) to straighten the ear canal. Drop the medicine into the ear canal. Keep the ear facing up for several (about 5) minutes to allow the medicine to run to the bottom of the ear canal. A sterile cotton plug may be gently inserted into the ear opening to prevent the medicine from leaking out. At first, your doctor may want you to put more medicine on the cotton plug during the day to keep it moist.
To keep the medicine as germ-free as possible, avoid touching the dropper or applicator tip to any surface as much as possible (including the ear). Also, always keep the container tightly closed.
For patients using hydrocortisone and acetic acid ear drops:
- Do not wash the dropper or applicator tip, because water may get into the medicine and make it weaker. If necessary, you may wipe the dropper or applicator tip with a clean tissue.
Do not use corticosteroids more often or for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of side effects.
Do not use any leftover medicine for future ear problems without first checking with your doctor. Hydrocortisone and acetic acid should not be used if certain kinds of infections are present. To do so may make the infection worse.
The dose of hydrocortisone and acetic acid will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of hydrocortisone and acetic acid. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For hydrocortisone and acetic acid
- For ear drops dosage form:
- For ear infections:
- Adults and children over 3 years of age—Use 3 to 5 drops in the affected ear every four to six hours for the first twenty-four hours, then 5 drops three to four times daily.
- Children under 3 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For ear infections:
If you miss a dose of hydrocortisone and acetic acid, apply it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.
Do not stop treatment abruptly.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Precautions while using hydrocortisone and acetic acid
If your condition does not improve within 5 to 7 days, or if it becomes worse, check with your doctor.
Hydrocortisone and acetic acid side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Anorexia, weakness, weight loss (in children)
- stinging, itching, irritation, or burning of the ear
There have not been any other side effects reported with hydrocortisone and acetic acid. However, if you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.
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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.