Hydrocortisone is an adrenal cortex hormone (the main glucocorticoid) secreted by the adrenal cortex. It is active in carbohydrate and protein metabolism. Its synthetic counterpart is used as an anti-inflammatory agent for the treatment of various allergic and inflammatory disorders, including those of the skin, endocrine system, gastrointestinal, lung, rheumatic, blood, and management of adrenocorticoid insufficiency. 2

This drug decreases inflammation by suppressing inflammation; it also can suppress the immune system.

Topical formulations containing hydrocortisone and antibiotics are indicated for treating acute otitis externa and, to a lesser degree, chronic otitis externa; these formulations are also effective in treatment of ear canker and other inflammatory conditions of the external ear canal, summer eczema and atopic dermatitis in dogs and cats. 3

Topical formulations containing hydrocortisone and antibiotics are also effective for use in dogs in the following conditions associated with bacterial infections caused by organisms susceptible to one or both antibiotics: Acute otitis externa, furunculosis, folliculitis, pruritus, anal gland infections, erythema, decubital ulcer, superficial wounds, and superficial abscesses. 3

Hydrocortisone Acetate

Hydrocortisone acetate is used in combination with antimicrobial agents in veterinary ophthalmic ointments, such as TriOptic-S® which consists of three antibiotics (bacitracin zinc, neomycin sulfate, and polymyxin B sulfate) and hydrocortisone acetate. The overlapping spectra of these 3 antibiotics provide effective bactericidal action against most commonly occurring gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria associated with infections of the eyes. The range of bactericidal activity encompasses many bacteria which are, or have become, resistant to other antibiotics, notably Pseudomonas and Staphylococcus. The combined anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activity of bacitracin, neomycin, polymyxin, hydrocortisone acetate 1% veterinary ophthalmic ointment permits effective management of many disorders of the anterior segment of the eye in which combined activity is needed.4