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Triamcinolone (Intra-articular)

Medically reviewed on June 7, 2018

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Pharmacologic Class: Triamcinolone

Uses For triamcinolone

Triamcinolone injection is used to help relieve pain in the knees caused by osteoarthritis. Triamcinolone is a steroid (cortisone-like medicine) and works by preventing inflammation.

Triamcinolone is to be administered only by or under the direct supervision of your doctor.

Before Using triamcinolone

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 triamcinolone, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to triamcinolone 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.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of triamcinolone injection in children. However, children are more likely to have serious unwanted effects (eg, blood clots, cataracts, changes in mood or behavior, osteoporosis, ulcers), which may require caution in patients receiving triamcinolone. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Geriatric

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of triamcinolone injection in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more sensitive to the effects of triamcinolone than younger adults.

Breast Feeding

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 receiving triamcinolone, 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 triamcinolone 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.

  • Desmopressin
  • Rotavirus Vaccine, Live

Using triamcinolone 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.

  • Aldesleukin
  • Bemiparin
  • Ceritinib
  • Idelalisib
  • Macimorelin
  • Nadroparin
  • Ritonavir
  • Sargramostim

Using triamcinolone 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.

  • Alcuronium
  • Aspirin
  • Atracurium
  • Fosphenytoin
  • Gallamine
  • Hexafluorenium
  • Licorice
  • Metocurine
  • Phenytoin
  • Primidone
  • Saiboku-To

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 triamcinolone. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Chicken pox, recent exposure or
  • Infection or
  • Measles, recent exposure—May decrease your body's ability to fight infection.
  • Congestive heart failure or
  • Diabetes or
  • Heart rhythm problems (eg, arrhythmia) or
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure) or
  • Increased intraocular pressure (swelling of the eye) or
  • Joint damage or
  • Kidney disease or
  • Mental illness, history of or
  • Myasthenia gravis or
  • Osteoporosis or
  • Stomach or bowel problems (eg, anastomoses, colitis, diverticulosis, ulcers)
  • Thyroid problems—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.

Proper Use of triamcinolone

A nurse or other trained health professional will give you triamcinolone in a hospital or clinic. It is given as a shot into one of your joints.

Triamcinolone comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

Precautions While Using triamcinolone

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that triamcinolone is working properly and to check for unwanted effects.

Triamcinolone should not be given in any other routes. Brain, spine, and nerve problems (eg, paralysis of the arms and legs, stroke) have been reported in patients given with triamcinolone as an epidural or as a needle placed into your spine. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns.

Triamcinolone may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. This can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor right away if you have a rash, itching, hoarseness, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth after receiving triamcinolone.

Triamcinolone may cause septic arthritis. This is more likely if the medicine is injected into an infected site. Check with your doctor right away if you have muscle or joint stiffness, tightness, or rigidity.

Call your doctor right away if you start to have a cough that won't go away, weight loss, night sweats, fever, chills, flu-like symptoms (such as a runny or stuffy nose, headache, blurred vision, or feeling generally ill), painful or difficult urination, or sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips. These may be signs that you have an infection.

Triamcinolone may increase your risk of having an adrenal gland that is less active than normal. The adrenal gland makes steroids for your body. This is more likely for people who use steroids for a long time or use high doses. Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have any of the following symptoms: darkening of the skin, diarrhea, dizziness, fainting, loss of appetite, mental depression, nausea, skin rash, unusual tiredness or weakness, or vomiting.

Triamcinolone may increase your risk for high blood pressure, edema, and electrolyte imbalances. Check with your doctor right away of you have blurred vision, dizziness, nervousness, headache, pounding in the ears, slow or fast heartbeat, or swelling of the hands, ankles, feet, or lower legs.

Triamcinolone may increase the swelling of the eye. It may also cause changes in bone density, which may lead to osteoporosis. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns.

Triamcinolone may cause a tear or hole in your stomach and bowels. Check with your doctor if you have severe stomach pain, cramping, or burning, bloody, black, or tarry stools, trouble breathing, vomiting of material that looks like coffee grounds, severe and continuing nausea, heartburn, or indigestion.

Triamcinolone injection may cause some people to be agitated, irritable, or display other abnormal behaviors. It may also cause some people to become more depressed. Also tell your doctor if you have sudden or strong feelings, such as feeling nervous, angry, restless, violent, or scared. If you or your caregiver notice any of these side effects, tell your doctor right away.

Before you have any medical tests, tell the medical doctor in charge that you are receiving triamcinolone. The results of some tests (eg, skin tests) may be affected by triamcinolone.

Do not have any live vaccines (immunizations) while you are being treated with a steroid medicine. Check with your doctor before having any vaccines.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

Triamcinolone 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.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Less common

  • Bruise
  • cough
  • fever
  • headache
  • joint swelling
  • pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • tightness of the chest
  • troubled breathing

Incidence not known

  • Aggression
  • bloody, black, or tarry stools
  • blurred vision
  • change in vision
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • decreased or uncontrolled urination
  • difficulty with swallowing
  • dizziness
  • fast heartbeat
  • heartburn
  • hives, itching, skin rash
  • hoarseness
  • incoordination
  • indigestion
  • irregular heartbeat
  • loss of appetite
  • loss of vision
  • low blood pressure
  • lower back or side pain
  • menstrual changes
  • mood or behavior changes
  • muscle or joint stiffness, tightness, or rigidity
  • muscle weakness
  • numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness in the hands or feet
  • painful or difficult urination
  • paralysis or severe weakness of the legs
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • severe and continuing nausea
  • severe stomach pain, cramping, burning
  • stiffness of the arms or legs
  • suppressed growth in children
  • swelling in the hands and feet
  • tightness in the chest
  • uncontrolled bowel movements
  • uncontrolled movements of the body
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • unusual warmth or flushing of the skin
  • vomiting of material that looks like coffee grounds
  • weight gain
  • weight loss

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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