Generic Name: zinc oxide topical (ZINK OX ide)
Brand Name: ARC, Balmex, Boudreaux Butt Paste, Caldesene, Calmol-4 Suppository, Critic-Aid Skin Paste, Delazinc, Desitin, Dr. Smith's Rash + Skin, Flanders Buttocks Ointment, Geri-Protect, Nupercainal Suppository, PeriGuard, Pinxav, Rash Relief, Secura Protective Cream, Seniortopix Healix, Soothe & Cool Skin Paste, Sportz Block Dark, Triple Paste, Unna-Flex Elastic Unna Boot 4 inch, Znlin
Medically reviewed on April 19, 2017
What is ARC?
Zinc oxide is a mineral.
Zinc oxide rectal suppositories are used to treat itching, burning, irritation, and other rectal discomfort caused by hemorrhoids or painful bowel movements.
There are many brands and forms of zinc oxide available. Not all brands are listed on this leaflet.
ARC may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
Before taking this medicine
ARC will not treat a bacterial or fungal infection. Call your doctor if you have any signs of infection such as redness and warmth or oozing skin lesions.
It is not known whether zinc oxide will harm an unborn baby. Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant.
It is not known whether zinc oxide passes into breast milk or if it could affect a nursing baby. Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are breast-feeding.
How should I use ARC?
Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Do not take by mouth. Topical medicine is for use only on the skin. A rectal suppository is for use only in your rectum.
Apply enough of this medication to cover the entire area to be treated. Zinc oxide often leaves a thin white residue that may not be entirely rubbed in.
To treat chapped skin, minor burn wounds, or other skin irritations, use the medication as often as needed. Apply a thin layer to the affected area and rub in gently.
To treat diaper rash, use ARC each time the diaper is changed. It is especially important to apply the medication at bedtime or whenever there will be a long period of time between diaper changes.
Keep the diaper area clean and dry to prevent worsening of skin rash. Change wet diapers as soon as possible. Allow the skin to dry thoroughly before putting on a fresh diaper.
When using the powder form of this medicine, pour the powder slowly to avoid a large puff into the air. Do not allow a baby to handle a powder bottle during use. Always close the lid after using the powder.
Wash your hands before and after inserting the rectal suppository.
Try to empty your bowel and bladder just before using the zinc oxide suppository.
Remove the wrapper before inserting the suppository. Avoid handling the suppository too long or it will melt in your hands.
Lie on your back with your knees up toward your chest. Gently insert the suppository into your rectum about 1 inch, pointed tip first.
For best results, stay lying down for a few minutes. The suppository will melt quickly and you should feel little or no discomfort while holding it in. Avoid using the bathroom for at least an hour after using the suppository.
Wash your hands before and after inserting a rectal suppository.
Try to empty your bowel and bladder just before using the suppository. Cleanse and dry your rectal area thoroughly.
Remove the outer wrapper from the suppository before inserting it. Avoid handling the suppository too long or it will melt in your hands.
For best results, stay lying down after inserting the suppository and hold it in your rectum for a few minutes. The suppository will melt quickly once inserted and you should feel little or no discomfort while holding it in.
Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 7 days of treatment.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the tube cap tightly closed when not in use.
You may store zinc oxide rectal suppositories in a refrigerator to prevent melting.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Since zinc oxide is used on an as needed basis, you are not likely to miss a dose. Using extra zinc oxide to make up a missed dose will not make the medication more effective.
What happens if I overdose?
An overdose of zinc oxide is not expected to be dangerous. Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if anyone has accidentally swallowed the medication.
What should I avoid while using ARC?
Avoid using other medications on the areas you treat with zinc oxide unless your doctor tells you to.
Rinse with water if ARC gets in your eyes.
Do not use ARC on deep skin wounds or severe burns.
ARC side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using zinc oxide rectal suppositories and call your doctor if you have rectal bleeding or continued pain.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect ARC?
It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on topically applied zinc oxide. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 4.01.
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- Drug class: miscellaneous topical agents