Cortef

Last reviewed on RxList: 10/15/2020
Cortef Side Effects Center

What Is Cortef?

Cortef (hydrocortisone) Tablets is a steroid used to treat many different conditions such as allergic disorders, skin conditions, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, or breathing disorders. Cortef is available in generic form.

What Are Side Effects of Cortef?

Common side effects of Cortef 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,
  • heartburn,
  • bloating,
  • menstrual period changes,
  • changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and waist),
  • high blood pressure,
  • muscle weakness,
  • osteoporosis,
  • convulsions, and
  • glaucoma.

Dosage for Cortef

The initial dosage of Cortef Tablets varies from 20 mg to 240 mg per day depending on the disease being treated.

What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Cortef?

Cortef may interact with aspirin, diuretics (water pills), blood thinners, cyclosporine, insulin or oral diabetes medications, ketoconazole, rifampin, or seizure medications. Many other medicines can interact with steroids. Tell your doctor all medications you use.

Cortef During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

During pregnancy, Cortef should be used only when prescribed. It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Additional Information

Our Cortef (hydrocortisone) Tablets Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

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.

SLIDESHOW

Hyperthyroidism Symptoms and Treatment See Slideshow
Cortef Consumer Information

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

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights;
  • muscle weakness, loss of muscle mass;
  • new or unusual pain in your joints, bones, or muscles;
  • severe headaches, ringing in your ears, pain behind your eyes;
  • unusual changes in mood or behavior;
  • a seizure;
  • fluid retention--shortness of breath (even while lying down), swelling, rapid weight gain (especially in your face and midsection);
  • new signs of infection--such as fever, chills, cough, trouble breathing, sores in your mouth or on your skin, diarrhea, or burning when you urinate;
  • increased adrenal gland hormones--slow wound healing, skin discoloration, thinning skin, increased body hair, tiredness, menstrual changes, sexual changes; or
  • decreased adrenal gland hormones--weakness, tiredness, diarrhea, nausea, menstrual changes, skin discoloration, craving salty foods, and feeling light-headed.

Hydrocortisone can affect growth in children. Tell your doctor if your child is not growing at a normal rate while using this medicine.

Common side effects may include:

  • thinning skin, bruising or discoloration;
  • increased sweating;
  • stomach bloating;
  • changes in your menstrual periods;
  • increased appetite, weight gain;
  • headache, dizziness; or
  • trouble sleeping.

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 entire detailed patient monograph for Cortef (Hydrocortisone Tablet)

QUESTION

Where is the thyroid gland located? See Answer
Cortef Professional Information

SIDE EFFECTS

Fluid And Electrolyte Disturbances

Sodium retention
Fluid retention
Congestive heart failure in susceptible patients
Potassium loss
Hypokalemic alkalosis
Hypertension

Musculoskeletal

Muscle weakness
Steroid myopathy
Loss of muscle mass
Osteoporosis
Tendon rupture, particularly of the Achilles tendon
Vertebral compression fractures
Aseptic necrosis of femoral and humeral heads
Pathologic fracture of long bones

Gastrointestinal

Peptic ulcer with possible perforation and hemorrhage
Pancreatitis
Abdominal distention
Ulcerative esophagitis
Increases in alanine transaminase (ALT, SGPT), aspartate transaminase (AST, SGOT) and alkaline phosphatase have been observed following corticosteroid treatment. These changes are usually small, not associated with any clinical syndrome and are reversible upon discontinuation.

Dermatologic

Impaired wound healing
Thin fragile skin
Petechiae and ecchymoses
Facial erythema
Increased sweating
May suppress reactions to skin tests

Neurological

Increased intracranial pressure with papilledema (pseudotumor cerebri) usually after treatment
Convulsions
Vertigo
Headache
Epidural lipomatosis

Endocrine

Development of Cushingoid state
Suppression of growth in children
Secondary adrenocortical and pituitary unresponsiveness, particularly in times of stress, as in trauma, surgery or illness
Menstrual irregularities
Decreased carbohydrate tolerance
Manifestations of latent diabetes mellitus
Increased requirements for insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents in diabetics

Ophthalmic

Central serous chorioretinopathy
Posterior subcapsular cataracts
Increased intraocular pressure
Glaucoma Exophthalmos

Metabolic

Negative nitrogen balance due to protein catabolism

Blood And Lymphatic System Disorders

Leukocytosis

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Cortef (Hydrocortisone Tablet)

© Cortef Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Cortef Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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