Skip to Content
Diagnosed with AS? Biologics can help >

triamcinolone (injection)

Generic Name: triamcinolone (injection) (TRYE am SIN oh lone)
Brand Name: Aristospan Injection, Arze-Ject-A, Clinacort, Kenalog-40, Zilretta

What is triamcinolone injection?

Triamcinolone is a steroid that prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation.

Triamcinolone injection is used to treat many different types of inflammatory conditions, including severe allergic reactions, severe colitis, blood cell disorders, inflammatory eye disorders, lung disorders, acute gouty arthritis, rheumatic arthritis, and problems caused by low adrenal gland hormones.

Triamcinolone injection is also used to treat inflammation of the joints or tendons to treat arthritis, bursitis, or epicondylitis (tennis elbow). It is usually given in these conditions only as a short-term treatment of a severe or aggravated episode.

Triamcinolone is also used to treat certain skin disorders caused by autoimmune conditions such as lupus, psoriasis, lichen planus, and others.

Triamcinolone injection may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

You may not be able to receive this medicine if you have a fungal infection, or a condition called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP).

Before taking this medicine

You should not be treated with this medicine if you are allergic to triamcinolone.

You may not be able to receive triamcinolone injection if you have:

  • a fungal infection; or

  • idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP).

To make sure triamcinolone is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Steroid medicine can decrease bone formation, which could lead to osteoporosis, especially with long-term use. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk of bone loss while receiving triamcinolone injection.

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Triamcinolone can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How is triamcinolone injection given?

Triamcinolone injection is given through a needle and can be injected into different areas of the body: into a muscle; into the space around a joint or tendon, or into a lesion on the skin. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Triamcinolone can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to get sick from being around others who are ill. Your blood may need to be tested often.

Call your doctor if you have signs of infection (fever, weakness, cold or flu symptoms).

Your doctor may instruct you to limit your salt intake while you are receiving triamcinolone injection. You may also need to take potassium supplements. Follow your doctor's instructions.

This medicine can cause unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using triamcinolone.

Tell your doctor if you have any type of surgery, illness, or medical emergency. Your dose needs may be different during times of unusual stress.

You should not stop using triamcinolone suddenly after long-term use, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to safely stop using this medicine.

Long-term use of steroids can cause harmful effects on the eyes, such as glaucoma or cataracts. If you receive triamcinolone injection for longer than 6 weeks, your doctor may want you to have regular eye exams.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for a scheduled triamcinolone injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Since this medicine is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.

An overdose of triamcinolone is not expected to produce life threatening symptoms. However, long term use of high steroid doses can lead to symptoms such as thinning skin, easy bruising, changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your face, neck, back, and waist), increased acne or facial hair, menstrual problems, impotence, or loss of interest in sex.

What should I avoid while receiving triamcinolone injection?

After injection of triamcinolone into a joint, you should avoid overusing that joint through strenuous activity or high-impact sports. You could cause damage to the joint.

Do not receive a "live" vaccine or a toxoid vaccine while using triamcinolone, or you could develop a serious infection. Live or toxoid vaccines include diphtheria, measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), polio, rotavirus, smallpox, tetanus, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), zoster (shingles), and nasal flu (influenza) vaccine.

Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Call your doctor for preventive treatment if you are exposed to chicken pox or measles. These conditions can be serious or even fatal in people who are using triamcinolone.

Triamcinolone injection 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.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • (after injection into a joint space) increased pain or swelling, joint stiffness, fever, and general ill feeling;

  • blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights;

  • unusual changes in mood or behavior;

  • shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling, rapid weight gain;

  • stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, bloody or tarry stools, rectal irritation;

  • fast or slow heartbeats;

  • sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body);

  • a seizure (convulsions);

  • increased blood pressure--severe headache, blurred vision, pounding in your neck or ears, anxiety, nosebleed;

  • increased pressure inside the skull--severe headaches, ringing in your ears, dizziness, nausea, vision problems, pain behind your eyes; or

  • signs of low adrenal gland hormones--flu-like symptoms, headache, depression, weakness, tiredness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, craving salty foods, and feeling light-headed.

Steroids can affect growth in children. Tell your doctor if your child is not growing at a normal rate while using this medicine.

Common side effects may include:

  • skin changes (acne, dryness, redness, discoloration);

  • increased hair growth, or thinning hair;

  • nausea, bloating, appetite changes;

  • stomach or side pain;

  • cough, runny or stuffy nose;

  • headache, sleep problems (insomnia);

  • a wound that is slow to heal;

  • sweating more than usual; or

  • changes in your menstrual periods.

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)

Triamcinolone dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Ankylosing Spondylitis:

Doses should be individualized based on the disease and lesion being treated

Intra-Articular (IA) Administration:
-Smaller joints: 2.5 to 5 mg (up to 10 mg)
-Larger joints: 5 to 15 mg (up to 40 mg)
Maximum dose: For single injections into several joints, up to a total of 20 mg or more (using 10 mg/mL concentration) OR 80 mg (using 40 mg/mL concentration) have been used
Maximum frequency: Every 3 to 4 weeks; injection should be as infrequent as possible to avoid possible joint destruction

Periarticular Injection:
-Tenosynovitis: Use care to ensure injection into tendon sheath rather than tendon substance
-Epicondylitis: May treat by infiltrating into area of greatest tenderness

Comments:
-May use 10 mg/mL or 40 mg/mL injectable suspension.
-If an excessive amount of synovial fluid is present in the joint, aspirate some (not all) to provide pain relief and prevent undue dilution of the steroid.

Uses: Short-term, adjunctive therapy for acute episodes or exacerbations of acute gout arthritis, acute and subacute bursitis, acute nonspecific tenosynovitis, epicondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, or synovitis

Usual Adult Dose for Bursitis:

Doses should be individualized based on the disease and lesion being treated

Intra-Articular (IA) Administration:
-Smaller joints: 2.5 to 5 mg (up to 10 mg)
-Larger joints: 5 to 15 mg (up to 40 mg)
Maximum dose: For single injections into several joints, up to a total of 20 mg or more (using 10 mg/mL concentration) OR 80 mg (using 40 mg/mL concentration) have been used
Maximum frequency: Every 3 to 4 weeks; injection should be as infrequent as possible to avoid possible joint destruction

Periarticular Injection:
-Tenosynovitis: Use care to ensure injection into tendon sheath rather than tendon substance
-Epicondylitis: May treat by infiltrating into area of greatest tenderness

Comments:
-May use 10 mg/mL or 40 mg/mL injectable suspension.
-If an excessive amount of synovial fluid is present in the joint, aspirate some (not all) to provide pain relief and prevent undue dilution of the steroid.

Uses: Short-term, adjunctive therapy for acute episodes or exacerbations of acute gout arthritis, acute and subacute bursitis, acute nonspecific tenosynovitis, epicondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, or synovitis

Usual Adult Dose for Rheumatoid Arthritis:

Doses should be individualized based on the disease and lesion being treated

Intra-Articular (IA) Administration:
-Smaller joints: 2.5 to 5 mg (up to 10 mg)
-Larger joints: 5 to 15 mg (up to 40 mg)
Maximum dose: For single injections into several joints, up to a total of 20 mg or more (using 10 mg/mL concentration) OR 80 mg (using 40 mg/mL concentration) have been used
Maximum frequency: Every 3 to 4 weeks; injection should be as infrequent as possible to avoid possible joint destruction

Periarticular Injection:
-Tenosynovitis: Use care to ensure injection into tendon sheath rather than tendon substance
-Epicondylitis: May treat by infiltrating into area of greatest tenderness

Comments:
-May use 10 mg/mL or 40 mg/mL injectable suspension.
-If an excessive amount of synovial fluid is present in the joint, aspirate some (not all) to provide pain relief and prevent undue dilution of the steroid.

Uses: Short-term, adjunctive therapy for acute episodes or exacerbations of acute gout arthritis, acute and subacute bursitis, acute nonspecific tenosynovitis, epicondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, or synovitis

Usual Adult Dose for Gouty Arthritis:

Doses should be individualized based on the disease and lesion being treated

Intra-Articular (IA) Administration:
-Smaller joints: 2.5 to 5 mg (up to 10 mg)
-Larger joints: 5 to 15 mg (up to 40 mg)
Maximum dose: For single injections into several joints, up to a total of 20 mg or more (using 10 mg/mL concentration) OR 80 mg (using 40 mg/mL concentration) have been used
Maximum frequency: Every 3 to 4 weeks; injection should be as infrequent as possible to avoid possible joint destruction

Periarticular Injection:
-Tenosynovitis: Use care to ensure injection into tendon sheath rather than tendon substance
-Epicondylitis: May treat by infiltrating into area of greatest tenderness

Comments:
-May use 10 mg/mL or 40 mg/mL injectable suspension.
-If an excessive amount of synovial fluid is present in the joint, aspirate some (not all) to provide pain relief and prevent undue dilution of the steroid.

Uses: Short-term, adjunctive therapy for acute episodes or exacerbations of acute gout arthritis, acute and subacute bursitis, acute nonspecific tenosynovitis, epicondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, or synovitis

Usual Adult Dose for Psoriatic Arthritis:

Doses should be individualized based on the disease and lesion being treated

Intra-Articular (IA) Administration:
-Smaller joints: 2.5 to 5 mg (up to 10 mg)
-Larger joints: 5 to 15 mg (up to 40 mg)
Maximum dose: For single injections into several joints, up to a total of 20 mg or more (using 10 mg/mL concentration) OR 80 mg (using 40 mg/mL concentration) have been used
Maximum frequency: Every 3 to 4 weeks; injection should be as infrequent as possible to avoid possible joint destruction

Periarticular Injection:
-Tenosynovitis: Use care to ensure injection into tendon sheath rather than tendon substance
-Epicondylitis: May treat by infiltrating into area of greatest tenderness

Comments:
-May use 10 mg/mL or 40 mg/mL injectable suspension.
-If an excessive amount of synovial fluid is present in the joint, aspirate some (not all) to provide pain relief and prevent undue dilution of the steroid.

Uses: Short-term, adjunctive therapy for acute episodes or exacerbations of acute gout arthritis, acute and subacute bursitis, acute nonspecific tenosynovitis, epicondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, or synovitis

Usual Adult Dose for Synovitis:

Doses should be individualized based on the disease and lesion being treated

Intra-Articular (IA) Administration:
-Smaller joints: 2.5 to 5 mg (up to 10 mg)
-Larger joints: 5 to 15 mg (up to 40 mg)
Maximum dose: For single injections into several joints, up to a total of 20 mg or more (using 10 mg/mL concentration) OR 80 mg (using 40 mg/mL concentration) have been used
Maximum frequency: Every 3 to 4 weeks; injection should be as infrequent as possible to avoid possible joint destruction

Periarticular Injection:
-Tenosynovitis: Use care to ensure injection into tendon sheath rather than tendon substance
-Epicondylitis: May treat by infiltrating into area of greatest tenderness

Comments:
-May use 10 mg/mL or 40 mg/mL injectable suspension.
-If an excessive amount of synovial fluid is present in the joint, aspirate some (not all) to provide pain relief and prevent undue dilution of the steroid.

Uses: Short-term, adjunctive therapy for acute episodes or exacerbations of acute gout arthritis, acute and subacute bursitis, acute nonspecific tenosynovitis, epicondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, or synovitis

Usual Adult Dose for Alopecia:

Doses should be individualized based on the disease and lesion being treated

-Use 10 mg/mL concentration only; multiple sites may be injected, separate by 1 cm or more
-May repeat at weekly or less frequent intervals as necessary

Comments:
-Inject directly into lesion, i.e. intradermally or subcutaneously.
-The site of injection and volume of injection should be carefully considered due to the potential for cutaneous atrophy.

Uses: For the treatment of alopecia areata; discoid lupus erythematosus; keloids; localized inflammatory lesions of granuloma annulare, lichen planus, lichen simplex chronicus (neurodermatitis), and psoriatic plaques; and necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticoruml; may be useful in cystic tumors of an aponeurosis or tendon (ganglia)

Usual Adult Dose for Lichen Simplex Chronicus:

Doses should be individualized based on the disease and lesion being treated

-Use 10 mg/mL concentration only; multiple sites may be injected, separate by 1 cm or more
-May repeat at weekly or less frequent intervals as necessary

Comments:
-Inject directly into lesion, i.e. intradermally or subcutaneously.
-The site of injection and volume of injection should be carefully considered due to the potential for cutaneous atrophy.

Uses: For the treatment of alopecia areata; discoid lupus erythematosus; keloids; localized inflammatory lesions of granuloma annulare, lichen planus, lichen simplex chronicus (neurodermatitis), and psoriatic plaques; and necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticoruml; may be useful in cystic tumors of an aponeurosis or tendon (ganglia)

Usual Adult Dose for Psoriasis:

Doses should be individualized based on the disease and lesion being treated

-Use 10 mg/mL concentration only; multiple sites may be injected, separate by 1 cm or more
-May repeat at weekly or less frequent intervals as necessary

Comments:
-Inject directly into lesion, i.e. intradermally or subcutaneously.
-The site of injection and volume of injection should be carefully considered due to the potential for cutaneous atrophy.

Uses: For the treatment of alopecia areata; discoid lupus erythematosus; keloids; localized inflammatory lesions of granuloma annulare, lichen planus, lichen simplex chronicus (neurodermatitis), and psoriatic plaques; and necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticoruml; may be useful in cystic tumors of an aponeurosis or tendon (ganglia)

Usual Adult Dose for Lichen Planus:

Doses should be individualized based on the disease and lesion being treated

-Use 10 mg/mL concentration only; multiple sites may be injected, separate by 1 cm or more
-May repeat at weekly or less frequent intervals as necessary

Comments:
-Inject directly into lesion, i.e. intradermally or subcutaneously.
-The site of injection and volume of injection should be carefully considered due to the potential for cutaneous atrophy.

Uses: For the treatment of alopecia areata; discoid lupus erythematosus; keloids; localized inflammatory lesions of granuloma annulare, lichen planus, lichen simplex chronicus (neurodermatitis), and psoriatic plaques; and necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticoruml; may be useful in cystic tumors of an aponeurosis or tendon (ganglia)

Usual Adult Dose for Keloids:

Doses should be individualized based on the disease and lesion being treated

-Use 10 mg/mL concentration only; multiple sites may be injected, separate by 1 cm or more
-May repeat at weekly or less frequent intervals as necessary

Comments:
-Inject directly into lesion, i.e. intradermally or subcutaneously.
-The site of injection and volume of injection should be carefully considered due to the potential for cutaneous atrophy.

Uses: For the treatment of alopecia areata; discoid lupus erythematosus; keloids; localized inflammatory lesions of granuloma annulare, lichen planus, lichen simplex chronicus (neurodermatitis), and psoriatic plaques; and necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticoruml; may be useful in cystic tumors of an aponeurosis or tendon (ganglia)

Usual Adult Dose for Osteoarthritis:

Doses should be individualized based on the disease and lesion being treated

Intra-Articular (IA) Administration; may use 10 mg/mL or 40 mg/mL injectable suspension
-Smaller joints: 2.5 to 5 mg (up to 10 mg)
-Larger joints: 5 to 15 mg (up to 40 mg)
Maximum dose: For single injections into several joints, up to a total of 20 mg or more (using 10 mg/mL concentration) OR 80 mg (using 40 mg/mL concentration) have been used
Maximum frequency: Every 3 to 4 weeks; injection should be as infrequent as possible to avoid possible joint destruction

Extended-release: (Zilretta[R]) 32 mg/5 mL:
-For Osteoarthritic Knee Pain only: 32 mg as a single intra-articular injection
-The safety and efficacy of repeat administration has not been evaluated

Comments:
-If an excessive amount of synovial fluid is present in the joint, aspirate some (not all) to provide pain relief and prevent undue dilution of the steroid.
-Zilretta(R) is not suitable for use in small joints, such as the hand, it is only indicated for osteoarthritis of the knee.

Use; Adjunctive therapy for acute episodes or exacerbations of osteoarthritis

Usual Adult Dose for Multiple Sclerosis:

160 mg IM once a day for 1 week; then 64 mg IM every other day for 1 month

Comments:
-Controlled clinical trials have shown corticosteroids to be effective in speeding the resolution of acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis, although they have not been shown to affect the natural history of the disease.
-Short-term high-dose corticosteroids are an accepted standard of care for treating relapses of multiple sclerosis; chronic daily corticosteroids are not recommended.
-IV methylprednisolone, oral prednisone and prednisolone are the corticosteroids most studied and cited in clinical guidelines; while this drug may be used, efficacy studies and comparative data are lacking.

Use: For the treatment of acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis.

Usual Adult Dose for Allergic Rhinitis:

40 to 100 mg IM once

Comments:
-Use 40 mg/mL concentration only
-Patients who have not responded to conventional therapy for hay fever or pollen asthma may obtain symptom relief with a single injection.

Use: For symptom relief of hay fever or pollen asthma.

Usual Adult Dose for Anti-inflammatory:

Doses should be individualized based on disease and response of patient:

Initial dose: 60 mg IM deep into gluteal muscle
-Dose adjustments within the range of 40 to 80 mg are generally adequate
-Dose ranges of 2.5 to 100 mg have been used; in certain overwhelming, acute, life-threatening situations, much higher doses may be used

Comments:
-Use 40 mg/mL concentration only
-Improper IM administration may result in atrophy of subcutaneous fat; therefore, IM injection should be made deeply into the gluteal muscle; alternative sites should be used for subsequent injections.

Uses: As an anti-inflammatory when systemic corticosteroid therapy is appropriate, such as treatment of certain allergic states; dermatologic diseases, endocrine disorders, gastrointestinal diseases, hematologic disorders, neoplastic, nervous system, ophthalmic, renal, or respiratory diseases.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Anti-inflammatory:

Doses should be individualized based on disease and response of patient:

Initial dose: 0.11 to 1.6 mg/kg/day OR 3.2 to 48 mg/m2/day IM in 3 or 4 divided doses
-Doses should be adjusted to response with goal of titrating to lowest effective dose

Comments:
-Use 40 mg/mL concentration only
-Improper administration may result in atrophy of subcutaneous fat; injection should be made deeply into the gluteal muscle and alternative sites used for subsequent injections.
-In order to minimize the potential growth effects of this drug, titrate to the lowest effective dose.

Uses: As an anti-inflammatory when systemic corticosteroid therapy is appropriate, such as treatment of certain allergic states; dermatologic diseases, endocrine disorders, gastrointestinal diseases, hematologic disorders, neoplastic, nervous system, ophthalmic, renal, or respiratory diseases.

What other drugs will affect triamcinolone injection?

Many drugs can interact with triamcinolone. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

This list is not complete and many other drugs can interact with triamcinolone. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Give a list of all your medicines to any healthcare provider who treats you.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about triamcinolone injection.
  • 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.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 4.02.

Date modified: January 03, 2018
Last reviewed: November 02, 2017

Hide