Why Was Kenalog Taken Off The Market

Why Was Kenalog Taken Off The Market? The Truth

Kenalog injections have proven effective in alleviating symptoms of allergies, particularly severe hay fever, for numerous individuals. Nonetheless, some concerns have arisen due to associated side effects, leading to its discontinuation in certain countries.

The decision to withdraw Kenalog from the market prompts questions about the underlying reasons, primarily surrounding its side effects. This article aims to delve into the factual basis behind its removal.

What is Kenalog?

Kenalog, a topical medication, encompasses triamcinolone—a potent corticosteroid that mitigates the effects of bodily chemicals that trigger inflammation. Concurrently, triamcinolone serves as a glucocorticoid for addressing specific skin conditions, allergies, and rheumatic disorders. It is also applicable to averting the exacerbation of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Bristol-Myers Squibb is the esteemed manufacturer behind Kenalog. The administration of Kenalog varies, encompassing oral intake through tablets, intramuscular injections such as Kenalog-40, and inhalation.

Addressing Concerns Regarding Kenalog Side Effects

The UK National Health Service (NHS) no longer prescribes Kenalog-40 due to safety apprehensions. Formerly, routine Kenalog injections were recommended by the NHS for individuals with hay fever; however, current guidelines indicate that the potential risks outweigh the treatment benefits.

Similar to all steroids, Kenalog injections may induce rare side effects, particularly at the administered dose levels. What sets the issue with Kenalog apart from conventional steroids is the prolonged duration of its effects, which can last for three weeks or more. Health authorities also highlight that the injection may increase susceptibility to flu, chickenpox, and shingles.

Noteworthy severe side effects associated with Kenalog injections encompass:

  1. Facial, lip, or throat swelling
  2. Breathing problems
  3. Itching, redness, or rash on the skin
  4. Glue-filled black stools
  5. Intense stomach ache
  6. Throwing up blood

In addition to physical effects, psychological side effects have been reported post-Kenalog administration, including:

  1. Bouts of depression
  2. Cognitive issues
  3. Memory loss
  4. Elevated mood (mania)
  5. Mood swings
  6. Anxiety
  7. Sleep disturbances
  8. Suicidal thoughts
  9. Hallucinations

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Serious neurologic events linked to epidural corticosteroid injections, including spinal cord infarction, paraplegia, quadriplegia, cortical blindness, and stroke, have been reported. Instances of paralysis and even fatalities have occurred when healthcare providers administered Kenalog without adhering to manufacturer label changes.

While anaphylactic allergic reactions are exceedingly rare, one study identified the carboxymethylcellulose component of triamcinolone acetonide as a potential cause.

Given that Kenalog-40 is a suspension, intravenous administration is contraindicated. This medication should only be administered by or under the direct supervision of a medical professional.

Potential Applications Of Kenalog in COVID-19 Treatment

Nasal steroids, known for their cost-effectiveness and minimal side effects, can be safely employed in the management of patients experiencing olfactory losses, a well-documented symptom associated with COVID-19. Fortunately, a study has demonstrated the efficacy of topical triamcinolone in successfully addressing olfactory dysfunction resulting from COVID-19.

Dysgeusia refers to the persistence of a foul, salty, rancid, or metallic taste sensation in the mouth. This symptom has been reported in association with COVID-19 before it manifests in the lungs or other organs. A study revealed that the use of triamcinolone paste in the mouth significantly enhanced olfactory and taste senses in COVID-19 patients.

Current Status Of Kenalog 

Notwithstanding the controversies surrounding this medication, Kenalog maintains its official license for the treatment of severe hay fever in the UK, although it no longer enjoys the endorsement or recommendation it once did. Nevertheless, it continues to be routinely administered to patients for various purposes in most other countries across the globe.

Triamcinolone is available in the United States under several generic names, including:

  • Aristocort
  • Aristocort Forte
  • Triamcot
  • Triam-Forte
  • Triesense
  • Aristospan
  • Clinacort
  • Kenalog-10
  • Kenalog-40
  • Zilretta

Last Words

Kenalog, renowned for its robust efficacy in addressing allergies and severe hay fever, may induce moderate-to-severe side effects. Proper remediation and treatment are imperative to mitigate potential risks to one’s health. Nevertheless, notwithstanding these challenges, Kenalog retains global licensing and continues to serve as a viable treatment option, yielding sustained optimal outcomes.

Before initiating any medication regimen, it is essential to engage in thorough consultation with your healthcare provider. This ensures compatibility with your health condition and the alignment of the chosen medication with your specific health requirements. Additionally, seeking information about and evaluating alternative treatment options is encouraged.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Has Kenalog been banned in the USA?

No, Kenalog has never been banned in the USA or the UK. Although the NHS has withdrawn its recommendation for use due to the high risk of potential side effects, Kenalog is still officially licensed for treating hay fever in the UK and for various conditions worldwide.

Are there severe side effects associated with Kenalog?

Reported severe symptoms include swelling of the face, lips, or throat, breathing difficulties, abdominal pain, vomiting blood, anxiety, sleep disturbances, cognitive issues, hallucinations, and suicidal thoughts. Anaphylactic allergic reactions and rare neurological problems such as para/quadriplegia have also been reported.

Is Kenalog being used as a treatment for COVID-19?

Several studies have indicated that the use of triamcinolone has significantly improved the olfactory and taste senses among COVID-19 patients.

Is Kenalog still available on the market?

Yes, Kenalog remains available and is licensed for use worldwide. Generic versions, including Aristocort, Kenalog-10, Triamcot, and Zilretta, are also accessible. Triamcinolone is additionally available in tablet and inhalant forms.


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