Hydrocortisone buccal tablets for mouth ulcers

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Use one tablet four times each day, unless you have been told otherwise.

Put the tablet as close to the ulcer as you can. It will dissolve slowly in your mouth.

If your symptoms do not improve within five days, make an appointment to see your doctor or dentist for further advice.

Type of medicineCorticosteroid
Used forMouth ulcers
Available asMuco-adhesive buccal tablets (tablets which stick to the lining of your mouth)

Mouth ulcers are painful sores which occur within the mouth. Although many mouth ulcers heal on their own without treatment, hydrocortisone buccal tablets can help mouth ulcers heal more quickly. They also help to ease the pain. Muco-adhesive buccal tablets are designed to be placed next to the ulcer, and to dissolve slowly in your mouth.

They are available on prescription from doctors and dentists, or you can buy them without a prescription at pharmacies.

To make sure this is the right treatment for you, before you start using hydrocortisone buccal tablets it is important that your doctor, dentist or pharmacist knows:

  • If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • If you think you may have a mouth infection.
  • If the treatment is intended for a child under 12 years of age. The tablets should only be given to children under 12 years on the advice of a doctor.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
  • If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The manufacturer's leaflet will give you more information about the tablets and a full list of the side-effects which you may experience.
  • Place one buccal tablet as close to the ulcer as you can. It will stick gently to the lining of your mouth, and then dissolve slowly to allow the medicine it contains to come into contact with the ulcer. Do not suck the tablet, and try not move it around your mouth.
  • Unless you have been told otherwise, use one tablet four times a day until the ulcer has healed. Space the doses out throughout the day.
  • If your symptoms do not improve within five days, make an appointment to see your doctor or dentist for further advice.
  • Do not use more than the recommended dose of one tablet four times daily. If you forget a dose, don't worry. Do not use two tablets at the same time to make up for a missed dose.
  • It is important that you let your doctor know if you have any other symptoms in addition to the mouth ulcers. For example, you should tell your doctor if you have skin ulcers or genital ulcers, or if you have any joint pain or inflammation.
  • It may help to avoid spicy foods, acidic fruit drinks, and very salty foods (such as crisps). These can all make the pain and stinging of ulcers worse.
  • Some people finds it helps to use a straw to drink with. This helps to avoid liquids from touching ulcers at the front of your mouth. Do not however use a straw to drink hot drinks, as this can cause you to burn your throat.
  • Some people have mouth ulcers that recur and feel a burning in the mouth for a day or so before an ulcer appears. This is known as the 'prodromal' phase. If you have recurrent mouth ulcers, this is the most effective time to start treatment with hydrocortisone buccal tablets.

Hydrocortisone buccal tablets can occasionally cause oral thrush. The symptoms of thrush are a sore red mouth, with white 'furry' patches on the tongue or the insides of the cheeks. If this happens to you, or if you experience any other symptoms, ask your doctor, dentist or pharmacist for further advice.

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.

Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.

This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.

If you are having an operation or any dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.

Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.

If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.

Further reading & references

  • British National Formulary; 66th Edition (September 2013) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.

Original Author:
Helen Allen
Current Version:
Peer Reviewer:
Dr Helen Huins
Document ID:
3361 (v25)
Last Checked:
Next Review:
The Information Standard - certified member

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