Kenalog is a brand-name injectable liquid suspension that’s prescribed for inflammatory conditions. Kenalog contains the active ingredient triamcinolone and belongs to the corticosteroid drug class.
Kenalog is FDA-approved to treat many inflammatory conditions in adults and children ages 1 month and older. A few examples include:
- certain skin conditions, such as discoid lupus and lichen planus
- certain joint conditions, such as gout and rheumatoid arthritis
- certain digestive system conditions, such as ulcerative colitis
Kenalog has many other approved uses. For details, see the “Kenalog uses” section below.
You’ll find key information about Kenalog below.
- Drug form: Kenalog-10, Kenalog-40, and Kenalog-80* liquid suspension, given as an intramuscular injection or injection into a joint or affected area of skin
- Generic available? yes†
- Prescription required? yes
- Controlled substance? no
- Year of FDA approval: 1960
* Throughout this article, we use the term “Kenalog” to describe all brand-name forms of the drug.
† Kenalog-40 is available in both brand-name and generic forms. Kenalog-10 and Kenalog-80 are only available as brand-name medications.
Kenalog-10, Kenalog-40, and Kenalog-80 are brand-name drugs that contain the active ingredient triamcinolone. The active ingredient in Kenalog-40 is also available as a generic medication. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active ingredient in a brand-name medication.
The generic is considered to be as safe and effective as the original drug. Generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.
If you’re interested in the generic form of Kenalog-40, talk with your doctor. They can tell you whether it comes in forms and strengths that can be prescribed for your condition.
The Kenalog dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:
- the type and severity of the condition Kenalog is treating
- the type of Kenalog injection you receive
- your age
- other medications you may be taking
- in children, body weight in kilograms (kg)*
The following information describes dosages that are commonly prescribed or recommended. However, your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
* For reference, 1 kg is about 2.2 pounds (lb).
Drug form and strengths
Kenalog comes as a liquid suspension in a multiple-dose vial. The drug is available in the following strengths:
- Kenalog-10: 10 milligrams per milliliter of liquid suspension (mg/mL)
- Kenalog-40: 40 mg/mL
- Kenalog-80: 80 mg/mL
A healthcare professional will give your Kenalog injections in a doctor’s office or clinic.
Note that the information below does not include dosages for all the conditions Kenalog is approved to treat. For more information, you can view the prescribing information for Kenalog-10, Kenalog-40, and Kenalog-80. You can also talk with your doctor.
Dosage for certain skin conditions
For this use, Kenalog may be injected into an affected area of your skin. The typical dosage of Kenalog for skin conditions varies. Your doctor will recommend the exact dosage needed to treat your condition.
Dosage for certain joint conditions
For this use, Kenalog may be injected into an affected joint. The typical Kenalog dosage for this purpose varies based on the joint size and specific condition.
The typical starting dose of Kenalog for smaller joints is 2.5–5 mg for each injection. For larger joints, the typical starting dose is 5–15 mg for each injection. Your doctor will recommend the exact dose and the number of Kenalog injections needed to treat your condition.
Dosage for certain digestive system conditions
Kenalog is prescribed to treat certain digestive system conditions in adults. A few examples include ulcerative colitis and enteritis (inflammation of parts of the digestive system). For more details, see the “Kenalog uses” section below.
For this use, Kenalog may be injected into a muscle in your buttocks. The typical starting dose for this purpose is 60 mg for each injection. Your doctor will decide the exact dose of Kenalog and how often you’ll receive it.
Dosage for other inflammatory conditions
Kenalog is also prescribed to treat many other inflammatory conditions in adults. A few examples include multiple sclerosis, sarcoidosis, and uveitis. For more details, see the “Kenalog uses” section below.
For these uses, Kenalog may be injected into a muscle in your buttocks. The typical starting dose is 60 mg for each injection. Your doctor will recommend the exact dose of Kenalog and how often you’ll receive it.
For these uses, Kenalog may be injected into a child’s muscle, joint, or affected area of skin. The typical Kenalog dosage may vary based on the specific condition and the child’s body weight in kilograms (kg).*
The typical starting dose of Kenalog for children is 0.11–1.6 mg per kg of body weight. For example, a child weighing 45 kg (about 99 lb) would be given a total dose ranging from 5–64 mg. The dose would likely be divided into three or four injections given in 1 day.
Your child’s doctor will recommend the right Kenalog dose and injection schedule needed to treat their condition.
* For reference, 1 kg is about 2.2 pounds (lb).
About receiving Kenalog
Below you’ll find information about key dosage issues.
- When to receive: Your doctor will recommend when and how often to receive Kenalog injections for your condition.
- If you miss a dose: If you miss an appointment for your Kenalog injection, call your doctor’s office right away to reschedule.
- Length of treatment: Kenalog may be a short-term or long-term treatment. Your doctor can advise on how long you’ll need to receive Kenalog based on your specific condition.
- Length of time to work: Kenalog starts working as soon as you receive it. However, it may take several hours or days for the symptoms of your condition to ease after each injection.
Kenalog can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur during Kenalog treatment. These lists do not include all possible side effects.
For more information about the possible side effects of Kenalog, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to manage any side effects that may be concerning or bothersome.
Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Kenalog, you can do so through MedWatch.
Mild side effects
Below is a partial list of mild side effects of Kenalog. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist or view the prescribing information for Kenalog-10, Kenalog-40, and Kenalog-80.
Mild side effects of Kenalog can include:
Most of these side effects may go away within a few days to a couple of weeks. However, if they become more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
* For more information about allergic reaction and Kenalog, see “Allergic reaction” below.
Serious side effects
Serious side effects from Kenalog aren’t common, but they can occur. They may be more likely with long-term Kenalog treatment. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.
Serious side effects and their symptoms can include:
- Joint damage. Symptoms can include:
- Changes in mood or personality. Symptoms can include:
- euphoria (feeling extremely happy or excited)
- Osteoporosis. Symptoms can include:
- bone fractures
- changes in height or posture
- Eye problems, including cataracts and glaucoma. Symptoms can include:
- blurred vision or vision loss
- sensitivity to light
- eye pain
- Increased risk of infection. Symptoms can vary depending on the infection but may include:
- fever or chills
- sore throat
- Adrenal insufficiency (low adrenal gland function). Symptoms can include:
- loss of appetite
- abdominal pain
- Low blood potassium level. Symptoms can include:
- muscle cramps or weakness
- excessive thirst
- High blood pressure, which doesn’t typically cause symptoms.
- Severe allergic reaction.*
* For details about allergic reaction and Kenalog, see “Allergic reaction” below.
Side effects in children
Most side effects of Kenalog in children are expected to be the same as those in adults. (For lists of possible side effects, see “Mild side effects” and “Serious side effects” above.)
In addition, long-term treatment with Kenalog may delay growth in children. This side effect wasn’t reported in clinical trials of Kenalog-10, Kenalog-40, or Kenalog-80. However, long-term use of corticosteroids is associated with this side effect. (Kenalog is a corticosteroid.)
Due to this risk, your child’s doctor will prescribe Kenalog for the shortest amount of time needed to treat their condition.
If your child receives Kenalog long term, their doctor may check their height and weight during treatment. If they find signs of delayed growth, they may switch them to a treatment other than Kenalog.
If you have questions about how Kenalog may affect your child, talk with their doctor.
Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:
A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:
- swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
- swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
- difficulty breathing
Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Kenalog, as the reaction could become severe. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Kenalog.
How does Kenalog-10 compare with Kenalog-40?
Kenalog-10 and Kenalog-40 are both liquid suspensions that are given as an injection. Both contain triamcinolone as the active ingredient. The numbers “10” and “40” after each drug name refer to their strengths.
Specifically, Kenalog-10 comes in a strength of 10 milligrams per milliliter of liquid suspension (mg/mL). Kenalog-40 comes in a strength of 40 mg/mL. Both drugs are prescribed for inflammatory conditions in adults and children.* However, doctors may prescribe one strength instead of the other based on your specific condition.
If you have other questions about how Kenalog-10 compares with Kenalog-40, talk with your doctor.
* For details about Kenalog’s approved uses, see “Kenalog uses” above.
How does Kenalog work?
Kenalog is a corticosteroid. It’s prescribed to treat many inflammatory conditions.
Inflammation signals the immune system to fight against infection, injury, or other processes that could be harmful to the body. In some cases, inflammation happens when the immune system attacks healthy tissues.
Kenalog works by reducing the activity of the immune system. This helps ease the symptoms of inflammatory conditions.
If you have other questions about how Kenalog works, talk with your doctor.
Does Kenalog cause long-term side effects?
It’s possible. Long-term side effects were not specifically reported in clinical trials of Kenalog-10, Kenalog-40, or Kenalog-80. However, long-term use of corticosteroids is associated with certain side effects. (Kenalog is a corticosteroid.)
A few examples of long-term side effects include:
- increased risk of infection
- adrenal insufficiency (inability of the adrenal glands to produce certain hormones)
- delayed growth in children
Doctors typically prescribe Kenalog as a short-term treatment. However, they may prescribe it long term in certain situations. If you’re concerned about side effects from long-term Kenalog treatment, talk with your doctor. You can also refer to the “Kenalog side effects” section above.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Kenalog to treat certain conditions. Kenalog may also be prescribed off-label for other conditions. Off-label drug use is when an FDA-approved drug is prescribed for a purpose other than what it’s approved for.
Kenalog is prescribed to treat many types of inflammatory conditions, which are summarized below. To learn about others, you can view the prescribing information for Kenalog-10, Kenalog-40, and Kenalog-80.
Kenalog for certain skin conditions
Kenalog is approved to treat certain skin conditions in adults. Examples include:
- discoid lupus
- lichen planus
- alopecia areata
- necrobiosis lipoidica (a rare condition that may cause skin ulcers)
Symptoms can vary depending on the specific skin condition. These may include hair loss or skin that’s discolored, itchy, or dry.
Kenalog for certain joint conditions
Kenalog is approved to treat certain joint conditions in adults. Examples of these conditions include:
Symptoms can vary depending on the specific joint condition. These may include pain, stiffness, or swelling in the affected joints.
Kenalog for certain digestive system conditions
Kenalog is prescribed to treat certain digestive system conditions in adults. Examples of these conditions include:
Symptoms can vary depending on the specific condition. These may include abdominal pain, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.
Kenalog for other inflammatory conditions
Kenalog is also prescribed to treat many other inflammatory conditions in adults. Examples of these conditions include:
- eye conditions, such as uveitis
- allergic conditions, such as seasonal allergies
- endocrine conditions, such as congenital adrenal hyperplasia
- kidney conditions, such as protein in the urine
- nervous system conditions, such as multiple sclerosis
- lung conditions, such as sarcoidosis
- blood conditions, such as autoimmune hemolytic anemia
Symptoms can vary depending on the specific condition. Your doctor can recommend whether Kenalog is the right treatment option for you.
Kenalog and children
Kenalog is prescribed to treat many inflammatory conditions in children ages 1 month and older. Examples of these conditions and possible symptoms are listed in the sections above.
Your child’s doctor can tell you more about the conditions Kenalog is prescribed for in children.
As with all medications, the cost of Kenalog can vary. The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan and your location. For more information, talk with your doctor or personnel at the clinic where you receive Kenalog injections.
Drug coupons: You can visit Optum Perks for price estimates of Kenalog-10, Kenalog-40, and Kenalog-80. These estimates are based on the use of Optum Perks coupons. Note: Optum Perks coupons cannot be used with any insurance copays or benefits.
Financial and insurance assistance: If you need financial support to pay for Kenalog or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available.
To learn more about saving money on prescriptions, check out this article.
Generic version: Kenalog-10 and Kenalog-80 aren’t available in generic forms, but Kenalog-40 is available in a generic form called triamcinolone. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active ingredient in a brand-name medication. The generic is considered to be as safe and effective as the original drug. And generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs. To find out how the cost of triamcinolone compares with the cost of Kenalog-40, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
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Retail price refers to the manufacturer’s published list price and is up to date as of 3/2023. Retail and discounted prices are U.S.-only and can vary based on region and pharmacy. We cannot guarantee that the discounted price listed here will exactly match the price at your pharmacy. Please contact your pharmacy for the exact price.
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Kenalog can interact with several other medications. It’s not known to interact with supplements or foods.
Before starting Kenalog, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also, tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.
Interactions with medications
Below is a list of medications that can interact with Kenalog. This list does not contain all drugs that may interact with Kenalog. If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
|Medications that can interact with Kenalog
|• nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
• birth control pills that contain estrogen, such as ethinyl estradiol/norgestimate (Sprintec, Tri-Sprintec, others)
• certain antibiotics, such as clarithromycin
• certain antifungals, such as ketoconazole
• certain seizure drugs, such as phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek)
• diabetes drugs, such as insulin or glipizide (Glucotrol XL)
• warfarin (Jantoven)
• cyclosporine (Gengraf, others)
• digoxin (Lanoxin)
|Lab tests or vaccines that can interact with Kenalog
|• skin tests, such as certain allergy tests
• live vaccines such as the chickenpox vaccine (Varivax) or measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine
Alcohol is not known to interact with Kenalog. It’s likely safe to consume alcohol while receiving Kenalog. If you have questions about how much alcohol is safe to drink during Kenalog treatment, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Other drugs are available that can treat your condition. Some may be a better fit for you than others. If you’re interested in finding an alternative to Kenalog, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that may work well for you.
Kenalog belongs to the corticosteroid drug class. The following drugs are similar to Kenalog:
If you can become pregnant, consider the following information about pregnancy, birth control, and breastfeeding.
Kenalog and pregnancy
It’s not known whether Kenalog should be received during pregnancy. If you’re planning a pregnancy or can become pregnant, talk with your doctor before receiving Kenalog injections. (A healthcare professional will administer your Kenalog injections in a doctor’s office or clinic.)
Kenalog and birth control
It’s not known whether Kenalog treatment is safe during pregnancy. If you’re sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while you’re receiving Kenalog.
Keep in mind that Kenalog may interact with birth control pills that contain estrogen. Your doctor can recommend a birth control option that doesn’t interact with Kenalog. (To learn about other possible interactions with Kenalog, see the “Kenalog interactions” section above.)
Kenalog and breastfeeding
It’s not known whether Kenalog should be received while breastfeeding. If you’re currently breastfeeding or planning to do so, talk with your doctor before starting Kenalog injections.
This drug comes with several precautions.
Before starting Kenalog, discuss your health history with your doctor. Kenalog may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. Be sure to talk with your doctor if any of the following apply to you:
- high blood pressure
- overactive or underactive thyroid
- digestive system problems, such as stomach ulcers
- heart problems, such as heart failure or a recent heart attack
- kidney problems, such as kidney failure
- liver problems, such as cirrhosis
- eye problems, such as glaucoma
- nervous system problems, such as myasthenia gravis
- mental health conditions, such as depression
- infection, such as tuberculosis (TB)
- factors that increase the risk of osteoporosis, such as having gone through menopause
- recent exposure to chickenpox or measles
- past allergic reaction to this or a similar drug
Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of Kenalog, see the “Kenalog side effects” section above.
Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.