Does "HC" mean "hydrophilic cream"?

Published Online: Saturday, March 1, 2003
A Portuguese pharmacy received the following US prescription: Ketoconazole/HC 2.5% - cream #120. Can you provide a formula for this prescription or help in its interpretation? Does ?HC? mean ?hydrophilic cream??
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The convention in the United States (and it is only a convention) is that ?HC? means ?hydrocortisone USP.? If that is what is intended here, the concentration of hydrocortisone USP would be 2.5%. Ketoconazole potency is not specified. The #120 probably indicates 120 g total final weight. Nizoral cream and shampoo (Janssen) contain 2% ketoconazole in the aqueous vehicle and the aqueous suspension, respectively. It is possible that the prescriber intended the addition of hydrocortisone USP 2.5% to ketoconazole 2% cream, but the prescriber must be consulted.

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