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- Clinician Information:
Cortef Patient Information Including Side Effects
Brand Names: Cortef, Hydrocortone
Generic Name: hydrocortisone (oral) (Pronunciation: hye droe KOR ti sone)
- 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 is hydrocortisone (Cortef)?
Hydrocortisone is in a class of drugs called steroids. Hydrocortisone prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation.
Hydrocortisone is used to treat many different conditions such as allergic disorders, skin conditions, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, or breathing disorders.
Hydrocortisone may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Cortef 10 mg
round, white, imprinted with CORTEF 10
Cortef 5 mg
round, white, imprinted with CORTEF 5
Hydrocortisone 20 mg-MAJ
round, white, imprinted with West-Ward 254
What are the possible side effects of hydrocortisone (Cortef)?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- problems with your vision;
- swelling, rapid weight gain, feeling short of breath;
- severe depression, unusual thoughts or behavior, seizure (convulsions);
- bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood;
- pancreatitis (severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate);
- low potassium (confusion, uneven heart rate, extreme thirst, increased urination, leg discomfort, muscle weakness or limp feeling); or
- dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure).
Less serious side effects may include:
- sleep problems (insomnia), mood changes;
- acne, dry skin, thinning skin, bruising or discoloration;
- slow wound healing;
- increased sweating;
- headache, dizziness, spinning sensation;
- nausea, stomach pain, bloating; or
- changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and waist).
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.
Read the Cortef (hydrocortisone tablet) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects
What is the most important information I should know about 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.
Before taking hydrocortisone, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions, and about all other medicines you are using. There are many other diseases that can be affected by steroid use, and many other medicines that can interact with steroids.
Your steroid medication needs may change if you have any 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 during treatment.
Steroid medication can weaken your immune system, making it easier for you to get an infection or worsening an infection you already have or have recently had. Tell your doctor about any illness or infection you have had within the past several weeks.
Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Call your doctor for preventive treatment if you are exposed to chicken pox or measles. These conditions can be serious or even fatal in people who are using steroid medication.
Do not receive a "live" vaccine while you are taking hydrocortisone. Vaccines may not work as well while you are taking a steroid.
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.
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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