What is it used for?
1) An attack of the body by its immune system resulting in the destruction of red blood cells (autoimmune haemolytic anaemia).
2) Cancer of the lymph nodes (lymphoma).
3) Hayfever (seasonal allergic rhinitis).
4)Inflammation of the bony projection at the end of a long bone e.g. humerus in the arm (epicondylitis).
5)Inflammation of the envelope (bursa) found around parts of the body which are subject to friction e.g. joints, muscles and tendons (bursitis).
6)Inflammation of the tissue surrounding a tendon (tenosynovitis).
7)Inflammatory disorders e.g. asthma, arthritis, severe allergic reactions, Crohn's disease, systemic lupus erythematosus.
8)Insufficient production of natural steroid hormones by the adrenal glands (adrenal insufficiency).
9)Joint injection in inflammatory disease of the joints (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis).
10)Joint injection in osteoarthritis with associated inflammation.
How does it work?
Triamcinolone acetonide is a type of medicine known as a corticosteroid. Corticosteroids are hormones produced naturally by the adrenal glands which have many important functions on every organ system.
Corticosteroids affect the strength of heart muscle and its response to natural chemicals affecting heart rate. They affect the water and salt balance in the body and also enable the body to cope with stress. Stress includes changes in temperature, pain, fear, anxiety and illness and can be hazardous if the body is not equiped to cope, due to low levels of corticosteroids. Corticosteroids allow us to respond to stress by increasing the rate and force of the heartbeat, increasing blood supply to essential tissues (muscle, heart, brain), increasing the body's supply of energy by raising blood sugar and by several other effects on body systems.
Triamcinolone acetonide is a synthetic corticosteroid and is given by injection in many situations where a lasting corticosteroid effect is required. This includes replacement therapy in people whose adrenal glands are not producing enough natural steroids (adrenal insufficiency) and decreasing inflammation in certain disease states.
Corticosteroids decrease inflammation by acting within cells to prevent the release of certain chemicals that are important in the immune system. These chemicals are normally involved in producing immune and allergic responses, resulting in inflammation. By decreasing the release of these chemicals in a particular area, inflammation is reduced. This can help control a wide number of disease states, characterised by excessive inflammation. They include severe allergic reactions, inflammation of the lungs in asthma and inflammation of the joints in arthritis. The injection can be given as a single dose to people who suffer from hayfever and don't respond to conventional therapy. This can relieve symptoms over the entire hayfever period. Triamcinolone may also be given by injection directly into a joint to relieve inflammation and pain and increase mobility of the affected joint, in conditions such as arthritis.
Triamcinolone also decreases the numbers of white blood cells circulating in the blood. This is useful for the treatment of certain types of leukaemia, where there is an abnormally large production of certain white blood cells. It is also used to treat some diseases which are caused by the immune system attacking the body's own tissues (auto immune diseases).
Triamcinolone is used in much higher doses than the levels of corticosteroids produced naturally by the body, and as such, the usual actions of corticosteroids become exaggerated and can be observed as side effects of this medicine.
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Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
Difficulty in sleeping (insomnia)
Thinning of the skin
Increased pressure inside the eye (glaucoma)
Irregular menstrual cycle
Decreased functioning of the adrenal gland (adrenal suppression)
Thinning of the bones (osteoporosis)
Ulceration of the stomach or intestine
Increased susceptibility to infections
An extreme allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)
Increased risk of fractures of the bones
Increased hair growth (hirsutism)
Yeast infection of the moist areas of the body, especially the vagina (candidiasis)
Muscle wasting and weakness