1. About hydrocortisone buccal tablets

    Hydrocortisone buccal tablets are small white pellets which stick gently to the inside of your mouth and release hydrocortisone as they dissolve.

    Hydrocortisone is a type of medicine known as a corticosteroid or 'steroid'. Corticosteroids are not the same as anabolic steroids.

    Hydrocortisone buccal tablets relieve the soreness of mouth ulcers and speed up healing.

    This medicine is available on prescription. You can also buy hydrocortisone buccal tablets from pharmacies.

    Other types of hydrocortisone

    There are different types of hydrocortisone, including skin creams, injections and foam. 

    Find out more about other ways you can use hydrocortisone to treat different health problems.

  2. Key facts

    • You put hydrocortisone buccal tablets directly on top of the mouth ulcer. It's usual to use 4 hydrocortisone buccal tablets a day for up to 5 days.
    • Leave the tablet to dissolve slowly against the mouth ulcer. If you swallow or suck buccal tablets they won't work.
    • If you have more than 1 mouth ulcer, move the tablet around your mouth between them. Don't use more than 1 tablet at a time or use more than 4 in a day.
    • Don't use buccal tablets for mouth ulcers which are caused by dentures (false teeth), an injury or an infection - they could make these ulcers worse.
    • Hydrocortisone buccal tablets are also called by the brand name Corlan tablets.
  3. Who can and can't use hydrocortisone buccal tablets

    Hydrocortisone buccal tablets can be used by adults and children more than 1 month old. 

    Children under 12 years old should only use these tablets if their doctor prescribes them.

    Hydrocortisone buccal tablets aren't suitable for some people. Tell your doctor before starting the medicine if you:

    • have ever had an allergic reaction to hydrocortisone or any other medicine
    • are intolerant to lactose
    • have a mouth infection or injury
    • wear dentures (false teeth)
    • keep getting mouth ulcers or they get worse
    • have ulcers on other parts of your body
    • are pregnant or trying to get pregnant

    If your dentures are making your mouth sore or you think you might have a mouth injury or infection, don't use hydrocortisone buccal tablets. They could make the problem worse. It's best to see a doctor or dentist.

  4. How and when to use them

    Each hydrocortisone buccal tablet contains 2.5mg of hydrocortisone.

    It's usual to use 4 tablets a day for up to 5 days. Try to leave 3 to 4 hours between tablets.

    If the ulcer heals before 5 days you can stop using the tablets.

    If the ulcer hasn't healed after 5 days, or if it heals but comes back again, see your doctor.

    How to use buccal tablets

    Put the buccal tablet in your mouth against the ulcer and let it dissolve there.

    Don't chew or swallow the tablet. If this happens, it won't work and you may get unpleasant side effects.

    If you have more than 1 mouth ulcer, move the tablet around your mouth between them. Don't use more than 1 tablet at a time or use more than 4 in a day.

    What if I forget a tablet?

    If you forget a tablet, use it as soon as you remember. If you don't remember until you're within an hour or so of when the next tablet is due, don't worry - just skip the missed dose and go back to the normal routine.

    What if I use too many?

    Buccal tablets contain a very low dose of hydrocortisone - so using too many by accident is unlikely to harm you. Talk to a pharmacist if you're worried.

  5. Side effects

    Most people don't have any side effects when they use hydrocortisone buccal tablets for a few days.

    Some people feel a sharp pain for a few minutes while the tablet dissolves on the ulcer. This should stop happening after you've been using the tablets for a few days.

    Serious side effects

    Buccal tablets contain a very small dose of hydrocortisone so it's rare to have a serious side effect.

    Side effects in the mouth

    If you have a mouth infection, using hydrocortisone buccal tablets can make it worse and cause it to spread.

    The tablets can also occasionally cause oral thrush. This is a fungal infection which causes soreness and white patches in the mouth. To help prevent oral thrush, rinse your mouth out with cold water or a mouthwash after the buccal tablet has fully dissolved.

    Tell your doctor straight away if:

    • your mouth becomes red and sore or if you develop white furry patches on your tongue or inside your mouth - these can be signs of a mouth infection

    Side effects in the rest of the body

    Occasionally, hydrocortisone from buccal tablets gets into the bloodstream and can cause side effects in other parts of your body.

    Tell your doctor straight away if you get:

    • a very upset stomach or vomiting, very bad dizziness or passing out, muscle weakness, feeling very tired, mood changes, loss of appetite and weight loss - these can be signs of adrenal gland problems
    • confused, sleepy, more hungry or thirsty than usual, passing lots of urine, flushing, breathing quickly or having breath that smells like fruit - these can be signs of high blood sugar

    Serious allergic reaction

    It's extremely rare to have an allergic reaction to a hydrocortisone buccal tablet but if this happens to you, contact a doctor straight away. 

    A serious allergic reaction is an emergency. Contact a doctor straight away if you think you or someone around you is having a serious allergic reaction.

    The warning signs of a serious allergic reaction are:

    • getting a skin rash that may include itchy, red, swollen, blistered or peeling skin
    • wheezing
    • tightness in the chest or throat
    • having trouble breathing or talking
    • swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat

    These are not all the side effects of hydrocortisone buccal tablets. For a full list see the leaflet inside your medicine packet.

    You can report any suspected side effect to the UK safety scheme.

  6. How to cope with side effects

    What to do about

    • pain while the tablet dissolves - this pain usually only lasts a few minutes after you put the tablet on the ulcer. It should stop happening after you've been using the tablets for a few days. It may help if you avoid spicy, salty foods and acidic drinks while you're using this medicine. It may also help if you drink cold drinks through a straw. Don't use a straw for hot drinks as you could burn yourself.
  7. Pregnancy and breastfeeding

    Hydrocortisone buccal tablets are generally safe to use in pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

    For safety, tell your pharmacist or doctor if you're trying to get pregnant, are already pregnant or if you're breastfeeding.

  8. Cautions with other medicines

    Other medicines - either prescribed or ones you buy from a pharmacy or shop - will not interfere with the way hydrocortisone buccal tablets work.

  9. Common questions

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