East Central Indiana
01/17/2019

Kenalog

Kenalog

Medications Information: Kenalog

How does it work?

Kenalog intramuscular injection contains the active ingredient Triamcinolone, which is a type of medicine known as a corticosteroid. Corticosteroids are hormones that are produced naturally by the adrenal glands. They have many important functions in the body, including control of inflammatory responses. Corticosteroid medicines are man-made derivatives of the natural hormones. They are often simply called steroids, but it should be noted that they are very different from another group of steroids, called anabolic steroids, which have gained notoriety because of their abuse by some athletes and body builders.

Triamcinolone decreases 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. By decreasing the release of these chemicals in a particular area, inflammation is reduced.

What are the possible side effects?

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 regular or high dose use of this medicine. When this medicine is only occasionally used, the side effects listed are very rare. Just because a side effect is stated here does not mean that all people using this medication will experience that or any side effect.

  • Raised blood sugar level.
  • Increased appetite and weight gain.
  • Increased susceptibility to infections and increased severity of infections.
  • Effects on the gut, such as indigestion or abdominal bloating, nausea, ulceration in the stomach or intestine, inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis).
  • Ulceration or thrush infection in the throat.
  • Muscle weakness or wasting.
  • Thinning of the bones (osteoporosis) and increased risk of breaking a bone.
  • Effects on the skin, such as skin thinning, impaired healing, acne, bruising, stretch marks, increased sweating, change in pigmentation, increased hair growth (hirsutism).
  • Psychiatric reactions, such as mood changes (including irritability, depression and suicidal thoughts), psychotic reactions (including mania, delusions and hallucinations), anxiety, confusion, memory loss, sleep disturbances (see warning above).
  • Cushing’s syndrome, characterized by a moon-shaped face
  • Menstrual disturbances.
  • Sodium and water retention.
  • Increase in blood pressure (hypertension).
  • Decrease in the level of potassium in the blood.
  • Decrease in the production of natural steroids by the adrenal glands (adrenal suppression – see warning above).
  • Effects on the eyes, such as raised pressure inside the eye (glaucoma), cataracts.
  • Slowed growth in children and adolescents.
  • Hiccups.
  • Blood clots in the blood vessels (thromboembolism).

Kenalog may increase blood sugar levels and so may oppose the blood sugar lowering effects of antidiabetic medicines. People with diabetes may need an increase in their dose of insulin or antidiabetic tablets.

Triamcinolone may decrease the body’s immune response. This means that vaccines may be less effective if given during treatment, because the body does not produce sufficient antibodies. Live vaccines may cause serious infections. Live vaccines include:  measles, mumps, rubella, MMR, BCG, chicken pox, oral polio, oral typhoid and yellow fever. These should not be given to people whose immune system is underactive due to treatment with this medication.