Psoriasis Home > Precautions and Warnings With Triamcinolone Acetonide Ointment

Because triamcinolone acetonide ointment is not suitable for everyone, tell your doctor if you have certain allergies or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Other precautions for triamcinolone acetonide ointment include warnings of potential problems this drug may cause, such as Cushing's syndrome or diabetes. Also, using this medicine for long periods of time can suppress the body's ability to make its own natural steroids.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Using Triamcinolone Acetonide Ointment?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to using triamcinolone acetonide ointment (Kenalog® ointment) if you:
  • Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding
  • Have any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
You should also tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Triamcinolone Acetonide Ointment Precautions and Warnings

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of before using this skin medicine include:
  • Triamcinolone acetonide ointment is a steroid and can cause serious side effects, such as Cushing's syndrome or diabetes. Although this is more likely to occur with oral or injectable steroids, it is still possible with topical steroids, including triamcinolone acetonide ointment. The more you apply and the longer you use the drug, the more likely these problems are to occur. Covering the ointment with a dressing (which is sometimes recommended) may also increase this risk.
  • If you use this medication for an extended period of time, it may lead to Cushing's syndrome (a group of symptoms caused by prolonged exposure to steroids). Contact your healthcare provider if you develop any signs of this condition, such as:
    • A rounded face
    • Unusual body fat distribution (more fat in the trunk, face, and neck, and less fat in the extremities)
    • High blood sugar levels.
  • Triamcinolone acetonide ointment can suppress the body's ability to make natural steroids. This typically happens when large doses are used over a long period of time. In such circumstances, triamcinolone acetonide ointment should be stopped gradually, to give your body a chance to begin making its own natural steroids again. If this is not feasible, you might need to be given an oral steroid for a while (after which you will slowly be weaned off the oral steroid).
  • Like all steroids, triamcinolone acetonide ointment may slow down the growth rate of children and teenagers. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you are concerned about a slow growth rate in your child. In general, children may be more susceptible to side effects of steroids. Close monitoring is necessary for any child receiving long-term steroids.
  • Triamcinolone acetonide ointment is a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are currently unknown (see Triamcinolone Acetonide Ointment and Pregnancy).
  • It is unknown if triamcinolone acetonide (when applied as an ointment) passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to using the drug (see Triamcinolone Acetonide Ointment and Breastfeeding).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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