Hydrocortisone enemas -- I'm a believer

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 746
   Posted 12/20/2011 9:55 AM (GMT -7)   
For the last week or two, I've been posting on here about urgency and accidents, and I've been getting very downhearted about my condition, which is mild to moderate but really last week was reaching a level of intolerable.

I don't want to go back on oral prednisone, because when I was on that, I caught a cold from my boyfriend, which turned into pneumonia, which required strong antibiotics, which worsened my flare, which otherwise had seemed like it was getting under control. For the first time, I started thinking of surgery as applicable to me.

Because I understood that mesalamine enemas help with urgency, I focused on those, which seemed to make the issue worse. I thought that they probably just needed more time to have effect, but then I started bleeding again, more than I had in a few weeks, so I revised my game plan.

I decided to switch between the hydrocortisone enemas and mesalamine enemas every other night. Sunday, I started the program with hydrocortisone. I was SO much better yesterday -- so little urgency, so little blood -- that I decided to just go with them for a little while.

Today, after just two nights of hydrocortisone enemas, I have improved dramatically. No blood, some urgency, but not like last week, and some formed stool.

This is great. I'm so pleased. Everyone, please send me positive energy to continue to heal. I really want to get back to my workout regimen. That's the thing that makes me feel best, mentally and physically, and I feel like if I continue as I have for the last couple of days, I could go back to it within a week or two.


Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 151
   Posted 12/20/2011 10:09 AM (GMT -7)   
That is great to hear, hopefully it continues to work for you. I may have to try something like that, but hydrocortisone enemas is something I know nothing about, so I'll have to do some google reading. Is it a steroid? And if so, does it get absorbed and have any side effect?
"Victory is always possible for the person who refuses to stop fighting."
-Napoleon Hill

Diagnosed: Moderately Severe UC in September '11
Medication: Lialda 4x once daily
Other: Anti-inflammatory diet, fish oil (3g), BCQ, Curcumin (2g), L-glutamine (8g)

Current UC Remission Status (1 Bad, 5 Perfect): 1 2 3 4 5

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 746
   Posted 12/20/2011 11:50 AM (GMT -7)   
It is indeed a corticosteroid. I have only used them intermittently, but I have not had the side effects with them that I did with oral prednisone. In my last flare, when I was tapering off prednisone, every time I would lower the dose, I would start bleeding again. These enemas were the thing that did the trick and allowed me to finally stop taking prednisone.

I'm sure that there are risks and side effects that are similar to those associated with prednisone, but it looks to me like they're a faster route out of a flare, which would mean, ultimately, less exposure to the drug.

With oral prednisone this time, I got *every* side effect. Last time, all I got was some anger. This time, everything. So if the steroid enemas can cause problems, I'll probably get them this time. I'll keep you posted :-)
dx April 2009 (1 week before a breast cancer dx) with "Mild to Moderate" UC.
4.2 g Lialda
Corticosteroid enemas as needed
mesalamine enemas as needed
Renew Life Ultimate Flora 80 billion
Psyllium Husk caps (9/day); Bromelain; Turmeric
other digestive enzymes, fish oil, cal/mag, multi vitamin
levoxyl for thyroiditis; buspar, wellbutrin; lexapro

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 768
   Posted 12/20/2011 1:12 PM (GMT -7)   
They are certainly less innocuous (to the system) than prednisone.
The foam even less so.   
There are a few caveats to consider though.  I used a cortisteroid enema (Hycort)  and after a few months it got me off the pred that was proving impossible to taper below 10mg.  Without a doubt I was very pleased with that aspect.   Now that was finally off the dreaded pred, all I had to do was gradually wean myself off the comparitively harmless steroid enemas, easy-peasy eh?  Well, not quite.   I found myself becoming more and more dependant on the enemas, as every time I tried to cut back/stop my symptoms (mainly bleeding) would recur.
After about a year I was able to temper it by alternating with cortifoam.
I'm currently in a similar regimen and down to 7.5 mg of pred.
I find the foam much much easier to use but you have to be aware that it doesn't have as far a reach as the enema.  With the cortenema you may find in times of severe inflammation or even high flatulance, the can be very difficult to retain for more than a few minutes.   You can learn a few tricks searching this forum on how to deal that.
Good luck!
68m Dx'd may'06 (prob had since'04)
150mg azathioprine-stopped jul28-11
Just started 15mg pred sept 14-11 will taper over next few weeks--appt with GI oct 3-
.05mg Lorazapan occasionaly to help sleep
on and off pred over past 5 yrs
Prob start remicade in month or so

Supplements: tsp turmeric powder in tbsp olive oil am
2000mg vit D daily
800mg calcium daily
Slip. elm daily, tried Vsl3-3x

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 3995
   Posted 12/20/2011 1:19 PM (GMT -7)   
I too get some increased bleeding after 3-4 night of mesalamine enemas, and my GI recommended alternating with the hydrocort. I currently do a 50/50 mix of the two.

Some improvement in the 1st week, then a plateau,with some night difficult to retain. Then after 10 weeks, more improvement. Small plateau, with some constipation at 16 weeks, but more improvement without any erius constipation in the last two weeks.

These meds have worked for me. I do find them a bother though.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 15701
   Posted 12/20/2011 1:22 PM (GMT -7)   
I am so happy to hear you're seeing improvement. :)
Co-moderator: Ulcerative Colitis
Diagnosed with Pancolitis, Laryngopharyngeal Reflux & Migraines. Battling Extreme Exhaustion.
Currently: Asacol (2400mg) + 6mp (50mg) + Pristiq (50mg) + Canasa (1g PM) + cerazette

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1613
   Posted 12/20/2011 1:47 PM (GMT -7)   
The Hydrocort enemas, put me into remission. Love them
Diagnosed July 2005 with Pancolitis
IBD related arthritis
sulfasalazine 4 a day, methotrexate 15mg once a week
Pro-Bio, multivitamin, lisinopril, Lialda 4 a day
hydrocortisone enema
Humira once a week

puffed rice
Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 495
   Posted 12/20/2011 4:25 PM (GMT -7)   
I love the hycort enemas, I use to use the salofalk(mesalamine) ones years ago but they took so long to get things under control.  Then the GI gave me hycort and I never went back.
Hycort does not carry the same side effects as predisone, it goes right to the inflammation which is great.  Treats higher up in the colon and used in the evening.
Cortifoam is great for inflammation in the rectum and good for day time use.
Mezavant tablets 4 once daily 4.8g
hycort enemas when needed/vitamin E enema
Cortifoam when needed
BIo-k and UltimateFlora Critical care Probiotics daily
metamucil nightly
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