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- Clinician Information:
Cortef Patient Information including How Should I Take
In this Article
- What is hydrocortisone (Cortef)?
- What are the possible side effects of hydrocortisone (Cortef)?
- What is the most important information I should know about hydrocortisone (Cortef)?
- What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking hydrocortisone (Cortef)?
- How should I take hydrocortisone (Cortef)?
- What happens if I miss a dose (Cortef)?
- What happens if I overdose (Cortef)?
- What should I avoid while taking hydrocortisone (Cortef)?
- What other drugs will affect hydrocortisone (Cortef)?
- Where can I get more information?
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking hydrocortisone (Cortef)?
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to hydrocortisone, or if you have a fungal infection anywhere in your body.
Steroid medication can weaken your immune system, making it easier for you to get an infection. Steroids can also worsen an infection you already have, or reactivate an infection you recently had. Before taking this medication, tell your doctor about any illness or infection you have had within the past several weeks.
If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take hydrocortisone:
- liver disease (such as cirrhosis);
- kidney disease;
- a thyroid disorder;
- a history of malaria;
- a muscle disorder such as myasthenia gravis;
- glaucoma or cataracts;
- herpes infection of the eyes;
- stomach ulcers, ulcerative colitis, or diverticulitis;
- depression or mental illness;
- congestive heart failure; or
- high blood pressure
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether hydrocortisone is harmful to an unborn baby. Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
Hydrocortisone can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Steroids can affect growth in children. Talk with your doctor if you think your child is not growing at a normal rate while using this medication.
How should I take hydrocortisone (Cortef)?
Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from this medication.
Your steroid medication needs may change if you have unusual stress such as a serious illness, fever or infection, or if you have surgery or a medical emergency. Tell your doctor about any such situation that affects you.
This medication can cause you to have unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using hydrocortisone.
Do not stop using hydrocortisone suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Talk to your doctor about how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when stopping the medication.
Carry an ID card or wear a medical alert bracelet stating that you are taking a steroid, in case of emergency. Any doctor, dentist, or emergency medical care provider who treats you should know that you are taking steroid medication.
Store hydrocortisone at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Additional Cortef Information
- Cortef Drug Interactions Center: hydrocortisone oral
- Cortef Side Effects Center
- Cortef FDA Approved Prescribing Information including Dosage
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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