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Zilretta (injection)

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

Medically reviewed on March 26, 2018

What is Zilretta?

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

Zilretta is used to treat many different types of inflammatory conditions, including severe allergic reactions, severe colitis, inflammation of the joints or tendons, blood cell disorders, inflammatory eye disorders, lung disorders, and problems caused by low adrenal gland hormones.

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

Different brands of triamcinolone injection have different uses.

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

Important Information

You may not be able to receive Zilretta 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 Zilretta.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • an active or chronic infection, including tuberculosis;

  • idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP);

  • high blood pressure, heart disease, a stroke or heart attack;

  • cataracts, glaucoma, or herpes infection of the eyes;

  • liver or kidney disease;

  • a nerve-muscle disorder, such as myasthenia gravis;

  • a stomach or intestinal disorder;

  • a colostomy or ileostomy, or stomach surgery;

  • diabetes;

  • low bone mineral density; or

  • a problem with your thyroid or adrenal gland.

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

It may not be safe to breast-feed a baby while you are using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risks.

How is Zilretta given?

Zilretta 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.

Not every brand of Zilretta is used for the same conditions or injected into the same body areas. Some brands are given only one time as needed. Others may be given at regular intervals. Carefully follow your doctor's dosing instructions.

Zilretta can weaken (suppress) your immune system, and you may get an infection more easily. Call your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding, or signs of infection (fever, weakness, cold or flu symptoms, skin sores, diarrhea, frequent or recurring illness).

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

Your doctor may instruct you to limit your salt intake while you are receiving Zilretta. You may also need to take potassium supplements. Follow all instructions.

This medicine can affect the results of certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using Zilretta.

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

What happens if I miss a dose?

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

When Zilretta is used as a single dose, you will not be on a regular dosing schedule.

What happens if I overdose?

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

Using too much Zilretta is not likely to cause serious problems. However, long term use of high doses can lead to thinning skin, easy bruising, changes in 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 Zilretta?

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

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

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

Zilretta 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;

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

  • a seizure (convulsions);

  • severe headache, blurred vision, pounding in your neck or ears;

  • 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.

Certain side effects may be more likely with long-term use or repeated doses of triamcinolone injection.

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

Common side effects may include:

  • skin changes (acne, dryness, redness, bruising, 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)

What other drugs will affect Zilretta?

Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines. Many drugs can affect Zilretta, especially:

This list is not complete and many other drugs may affect Zilretta. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Further information

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.

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