Generic name: acetic acid and hydrocortisone (otic) [ as-SEET-ik-AS-sid-and-HYE-droe-KOR-ti-sone ]
Brand names:  Acetasol HC ,  Vosol HC , Vasotate HC, Earsol-HC, Oticot HC
Dosage form: otic solution (2%-1%)
Drug class:  Otic steroids with anti-infectives

What is acetic acid and hydrocortisone otic?

Acetic acid  is an  antibiotic  that treats infections caused by bacteria or fungus.

Hydrocortisone  is a steroid. It reduces the actions of chemicals in the body that cause inflammation.

Acetic acid  and  hydrocortisone  otic (for the ear) is a combination medicine used to treat infections in the ear canal, and to relieve the symptoms of redness, itching, or swelling. acetic acid and hydrocortisone will not treat an inner ear infection (also called  otitis media ).

Acetic acid and hydrocortisone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.


You should not use acetic acid and hydrocortisone if you have a hole in your ear drum (ruptured ear drum).

Before taking this medicine

You should not use acetic acid and hydrocortisone if you are allergic to it, or if you have a hole in your ear drum (ruptured ear drum).

To make sure acetic acid and hydrocortisone is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • severe ear pain;
  • hearing problems; or
  • fever.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breast-feeding a baby.

Acetic acid and hydrocortisone should not be used on a child younger than 3 years old.

How should I use acetic acid and hydrocortisone otic?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

For best results, remove any ear wax or other debris before using this medicine. Ask your doctor about safe methods of  ear wax removal .

To use the ear drops:

  • Soak a small piece of cotton with several drops of this medicine and then insert it into your ear. Or you may insert the cotton into your ear first and then drop in enough medicine to soak the cotton inside the ear canal.
  • Leave the cotton in your ear for at least 24 hours, and keep it moist by adding 3 to 5 drops of the medicine to the cotton every 4 to 6 hours.
  • After removing the cotton, you may then place the drops directly into your ear 3 or 4 times daily. Use only the number of drops your doctor has prescribed.
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions about how long to keep using acetic acid and hydrocortisone ear drops.

Do not touch the dropper tip or place it directly in your ear. It may become contaminated. Wipe the tip with a clean tissue but do not wash with water or soap.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of acetic acid and hydrocortisone is not expected to be dangerous. Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if anyone has accidentally swallowed the medication.

What should I avoid while using acetic acid and hydrocortisone otic?

This medicine is for use only in the ears. Avoid getting the medicine in your eyes, mouth, and nose, or on your lips. Rinse with water if this medicine gets in or on these areas.

Do not use other ear medications unless your doctor tells you to.

Acetic acid and hydrocortisone otic side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction:  hives ; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using acetic acid and hydrocortisone and call your doctor at once if you have severe burning or other irritation after using the ear drops.

Common side effects may include mild stinging or burning with the first use.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Acetic acid / hydrocortisone otic side effects  (more detail)

What other drugs will affect acetic acid and hydrocortisone otic?

It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on acetic acid and hydrocortisone used in the ears. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines,  vitamins , and  herbal products .

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