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What Is Prednicarbate?

By C.B. Fox
Updated May 17, 2024
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Prednicarbate is one of a class of medications known as steroids that are used to reduce swelling and itching. It is formulated as a cream and applied directly to the affected area. The majority of the effects of this drug are limited to the skin it is applied to, though there are some effects from prednicarbate that can affect a patient’s entire body. For short term use, prednicarbate is safe, though long-term exposure or use in children can lead to serious side effects. It should be used exactly as directed in order to decrease the risk of adverse effects.

Like other steroids, prednicarbate relieves symptoms of itching and swelling that are caused by an overactive immune response. Applied directly to the source of the discomfort, the medication can act quickly to relieve uncomfortable symptoms. It is not understand exactly how drugs of this class work, but it is believed that prednicarbate enters into the cells of the skin, where it interferes with the production of certain chemicals. It mimics the action of natural steroids that are released by the kidneys.

Allergic reactions and chronic inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema are often treated with prednicarbate. The prescription is generally for a specific length of time, however, in order to decrease the risk associated with long term exposure. The cream is applied directly to the affected area and absorbed quickly into the skin, and should only be used over only a small area. Once the medication has been applied, the treated area should not be bandaged unless directed by a doctor. The cream is applied at regular intervals and should to be used exactly as directed, as there is a risk associated with using too much.

Patients who use prednicarbate for a long period of time may experience a range of side effects. Bruising and thinning of the skin can both occur as well as changes to skin quality, including an increase in oiliness and acne. Sexual side effects, such as an increase in the growth of body hair or a decrease in sex drive, are also reported after long term use. Children may experience stunted growth when given prednicarbate and are generally not prescribed this medication. The drug may also be harmful to unborn children, and women who are pregnant are not usually offered this or other topical corticosteroids.

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