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Brand Name
Uremol HC
Common Name
hydrocortisone - urea
How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

This medication contains 2 active ingredients. Hydrocortisone belongs to the family of medications called topical corticosteroids. It works by blocking the processes that lead to inflammation and itching. Urea is an emollient, moisturizer, and antipruritic (anti-itch agent). It helps to keep the skin hydrated and well moisturized.

Hydrocortisone - urea is used to treat skin conditions associated with symptoms of itching, redness, dryness, crusting, scaling, and inflammation.

This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are using this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

How should I use this medication?

Apply a thin layer of this medication to the affected skin area(s) once or twice a day until the skin has healed, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not apply this medication to your eyes. Do not cover this medication with a tight dressing that does not allow your skin to to be exposed to the air.

Hydrocortisone - urea is intended to be used for a short period of time. If your condition gets worse, or doesn't improve within 2 to 4 weeks, contact your doctor.

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones given here, do not change the way that you are using the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important that this medication be used exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose of this medication, apply it as soon as you remember it. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and carry on with your regular schedule. Do not apply a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from heat and freezing, and keep it out of the reach of children.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Uremol HC is no longer being manufactured for sale in Canada. For brands that may still be available, search under hydrocortisone - urea. This article is being kept available for reference purposes only. If you are using this medication, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for information about your treatment options.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not use hydrocortisone - urea if you:

  • are allergic to hydrocortisone, urea, or any ingredients of this medication
  • are hypersensitive to other corticosteroids
  • have untreated tuberculosis, fungal, or bacterial infections of the skin, or viral infections such as chickenpox, herpes, or vaccinia

Do not use this medication in, or around the eye area.

What side effects are possible with this medication?

Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.

The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.

The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

  • burning, dryness, irritation, peeling, itching, or redness of skin

Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • acne or oily skin
  • delayed healing of skin wounds
  • folliculitus (tiny skin rashes with pimply appearance around the hair roots)
  • irritation of skin around mouth
  • new skin rash
  • pinhead-sized red blisters
  • reddish-purple lines (stretch marks)
  • thinning or softening of skin
  • unusual bruising or skin discoloration
  • worsening of skin infection

Additional side effects may occur if this medication is used improperly or for long periods of time. Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • acne or oily skin
  • blurring or loss of vision (occurs gradually if used near the eye)
  • eye pain (if used near the eye)
  • filling or rounding of the face
  • increased blood pressure
  • irregular heartbeat
  • irregular menstrual periods
  • irritability
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • skin colour changes
  • swelling of feet or lower legs
  • tearing of the skin
  • unusual bruising
  • unusual decrease in sexual desire or ability (in men)
  • unusual increase in hair growth, especially on the face
  • unusual loss of hair, especially on the scalp
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • worsening of infections

Stop using the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:

  • symptoms of a serious allergic reaction (e.g., difficulty breathing, dizziness, itching, rash, swelling)
  • symptoms of high levels of corticosteroids in the blood stream (e.g., fatigue, increased thirst and urination, irritability, muscle weakness)

Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.

Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?

Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.

Absorption: Applying this medication to large areas of the body or applying it under dressings that don't allow the skin to contact the air encourages the absorption of hydrocortisone into the blood circulation. This could produce unwanted effects similar to those experienced after taking oral (by mouth) corticosteroid medications for long periods of time. If you notice symptoms of using steroid medications for long periods of time, such as weakness, increased urination, increased thirst, fatigue or weight loss, contact your doctor as soon as possible.

Areas of application: Do not apply this medication in or around your eyes. Do not use it to treat vulvar itching with vaginal discharge. If you have a skin condition around a leg ulcer which is caused by poor circulation, talk to your doctor before using this medication.

Medical treatment: Inform all health professionals involved in your care that you have been using a topical (skin-applied) corticosteroid.

Prolonged use: Using topical corticosteroid medication for a long period of time can cause skin to thin or soften or cause stretch marks. Talk to your doctor about how long you should use this medication.

Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.

Breast-feeding: It is not known if hydrocortisone - urea passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are using this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.

Children: This medication is not recommended for children less than 2 years of age. Children may absorb more corticosteroid medication through the skin than adults. As a result, they may be more likely to experience the side effects related to the use of large amounts of this of class medication for long periods of time (e.g., slowing down of growth, delayed weight gain). Use the smallest amount possible when applying this medication to a child's skin. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about using this medication on your child.

Seniors: People over the age of 65 may need to use a smaller amount of this medication or use it less often.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

There may be an interaction between hydrocortisone - urea and any of the following:

  • other topical (skin-applied) corticosteroids (e.g., mometasone)
  • topical medications that have irritating effects (e.g., retinoic acid, salicylic acid)

If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications that you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.

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