Cortenema (Hydrocortisone rectal)

For More Information
Please Contact Us

Hydrocortisone rectal (Cortenema) is a steroid medicine that reduces inflammation in the colon. It is used together with other medication to treat ulcerative colitis, proctitis, and other inflammatory conditions of the lower intestines and rectal area.

How should it be used?

Cortenema is used only in the rectum once nightly before bedtime.

  • For best results, use after a bowel movement.
  • Shake the bottle first before you use it.
  • Lie on your side with your knees bent toward the chest. Gently insert the applicator tip into the rectum.
  • Squeeze the bottle so the drug goes into the rectum.
  • Stay on your side for at least 30 minutes.
  • Try to keep the medicine in your rectum for at least 1 hour, and overnight if possible.
  • Do no use more of this medicine, use it more often, or longer than the doctor tells you to use it.

Special Precautions/Instructions

Before you start to use this medicine, tell your doctor about all of the following:

  • Stomach problems like ulcers, blockage, bleeding,
  • Any infection
  • Recent surgery
  • Certain eye conditions
  • Heart problems
  • Kidney or liver disease
  • thyroid problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Bone loss
  • Bleeding or clotting problems
  • Muscle/nerve disease
  • Mental/mood conditions
  • Pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.

Side effects

Call 911 or contact your doctor immediately if you experience: rash, itching or swelling of face, throat, or tongue, severe dizziness, or trouble breathing.

Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve after 2-3 weeks, or if your condition becomes worse.

Call your doctor if you have these side effects:

  • If you have pain or burning in the rectum
  • Changes in your period
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Unusual weight gain
  • Increased sweating
  • Acne
  • Unusual hair growth.
  • Persistent headache
  • Swelling in the ankles or feet
  • Increased thirst or going to the bathroom (urination)
  • Problems seeing (vision)
  • Puffy face
  • Thinning skin
  • Unusual skin growths
  • Black, tarry stool
  • Wounds that are slow to heal
  • Vomit that looks like coffee grounds
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Severe heartburn
  • Bone pain
  • Mood changes
  • Muscle weakness or pain
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Signs of infection
  • Sore throat
  • Worsening redness or irritation near the anus
  • Seizures


  • Store at room temperature between 68-77 degrees.
  • Do not flush down the toilet or pour into a drain.
  • Throw it away when it is expired.
  • Keep out of the reach of children or pets.

Call poison control at 1-800-222-1222 if there is a medical emergency.