Cortef (Hydrocortisone) Medication

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Cortef (Hydrocortisone)

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Description

Indications  

Cortef is a prescribed medication for treating adrenal gland diseases (such as Addison’s disease and adrenocortical insufficiency) characterized by low cortisol levels. 

Cortef is also indicated for the treatment of various conditions such as arthritis, blood/hormone/immune system disorders, skin and eye conditions, respiratory problems, cancer, and severe allergies. 

Cortef belongs to the class of drugs known as corticosteroids, serving as a synthetic counterpart to the natural hormone cortisol produced by the adrenal gland. It works by substituting the steroids that the body typically generates and addresses various conditions by mitigating inflammation, reducing redness, and modulating the immune system’s function. 

Uses and Dosage 

Before taking Cortef and with every prescription refill, thoroughly review its medication guide and patient information leaflet. For any questions or concerns, consult your physician or pharmacist. 

The dosage and length of treatment with Cortef are individualized based on the patient’s medical condition and response to the treatment. 

Doctors usually recommend taking this medication either 1 to 4 times daily or once every other day. To prevent stomach discomfort, it can be taken with food or milk. 

Adhere strictly to the prescribed dosage instructions of Cortef. Refrain from taking more or less of it or exceeding the recommended frequency as directed by your doctor. 

Consult your doctor before discontinuing this medication. Abruptly stopping the treatment may worsen certain conditions. Your doctor may advise gradually reducing the dosage if necessary. 

Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens. 

Side Effects 

Listed below are the potential adverse effects that may arise from taking Cortef. Promptly inform your doctor if any of them persist or worsen. 

Common Side Effects 

  • Thinning skin, bruising, or discoloration 
  • Increased sweating 
  • Stomach bloating 
  • Changes in menstrual periods 
  • Increased appetite, weight gain 
  • Headache, dizziness 
  • Trouble sleeping 

Serious Side Effects 

  • Blurred vision, eye pain, or redness, seeing halos around lights 
  • Muscle weakness, loss of muscle mass 
  • New or unusual pain in joints, bones, or muscles 
  • Severe headaches, ringing in ears, pain behind eyes 
  • Unusual changes in mood or behavior 
  • Seizure 
  • Fluid retention: 
    • Shortness of breath (even while lying down) 
    • Swelling 
    • Rapid weight gain (especially in the face and midsection) 
  • New signs of infection: 
    • Fever 
    • Chills 
    • Cough 
    • Trouble breathing 
    • Sores in the mouth or skin 
    • Diarrhea 
    • Burning when urinating 
  • Increased adrenal gland hormones: 
    • Slow wound healing 
    • Skin discoloration 
    • Thinning skin 
    • Increased body hair 
    • Tiredness 
    • Menstrual changes 
    • Sexual changes 
  • Decreased adrenal gland hormones: 
    • Weakness 
    • Tiredness 
    • Diarrhea 
    • Nausea 
    • Menstrual changes 
    • Skin discoloration 
    • Craving salty foods 
    • Feeling light-headed 

Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the severe side effects listed above. 

Allergic Reactions 

Severe allergic reactions to Cortef are uncommon; however, seek immediate medical attention if you experience symptoms such as: 

  • Rash 
  • Face, tongue, or throat swelling or itching 
  • Severe dizziness 
  • Trouble breathing 

This list does not contain all the potential side effects of Cortef. If you experience any unlisted effects, inform your doctor right away. 

Cautions 

Before starting treatment with Cortef, inform your doctor and pharmacist if you have any known hypersensitivities, especially to hydrocortisone, any other medications, or any of the ingredients present in Cortef tablets. 

To ensure Cortef is safe for you, disclose to your physician your medical background, specifically if you have a history of: 

  • Eye disease (e.g., cataracts, glaucoma) 
  • Heart problems (e.g., heart failure, recent heart attack) 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Liver disease 
  • Kidney disease 
  • Thyroid problems 
  • Diabetes 
  • Stomach/intestinal problems (e.g., diverticulitis, ulcer) 
  • Brittle bones (osteoporosis) 
  • Current/past infections (e.g., tuberculosis, positive tuberculosis test, herpes, fungal) 
  • Bleeding problems 
  • Blood clots 
  • Mental/mood conditions (e.g., psychosis, anxiety, depression) 
  • Low salts in the blood (e.g., low potassium or calcium) 
  • Seizures 

Inform your doctor and pharmacist about all your medicines, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, other dietary supplements, and herbal products, to lower the risk of potential drug interactions. 

Some products that may interact with Cortef include: 

  • Aldesleukin 
  • Mifepristone 
  • Other drugs that can cause bleeding/bruising (e.g., antiplatelet drugs like clopidogrel, NSAIDs like ibuprofen/naproxen, and “blood thinners” like warfarin/dabigatran) 

Taking aspirin with Cortef can increase bleeding risk, but low-dose aspirin for heart attack or stroke prevention should still be taken unless instructed otherwise by a doctor. 

Cortef can potentially affect specific laboratory tests, including skin tests, leading to inaccurate results. Inform laboratory personnel and all your doctors about your use of this medication. 

Long-term use of corticosteroids like Cortef reduces your body’s ability to respond to physical stress. Inform your doctors and carry a warning card if you use it for a long time. Report extreme tiredness or weight loss to your doctor immediately. 

The use of Cortef can conceal infection symptoms and increase the risk of contracting or worsening infections. Avoid contact with individuals with highly contagious infections like chickenpox, COVID-19, measles, or flu. Consult your doctor if you have been exposed to an infection or need further information. 

Inform your healthcare provider of your use of Cortef before receiving any immunizations. Refrain from interacting with individuals who have recently received live vaccines, such as the nasal flu vaccine. 

Extended use of Cortef can impede a child’s growth. Seek further advice from your physician or pharmacist and ensure regular check-ups to monitor your child’s height and development. 

Geriatric patients may experience heightened sensitivity to Cortef’s adverse reactions, notably bone loss pain, stomach and intestinal bleeding, and mental mood alterations (such as confusion). 

The potential harm of Cortef on a fetus is uncertain. Yet, administering this medication while pregnant may lead to hormone insufficiency in the infant. Inform your physician of your pregnancy status or intentions. 

The transfer of hydrocortisone into breast milk is uncertain. Nevertheless, it is unlikely to cause harm to a nursing infant. Prior to breastfeeding, consult with your doctor for guidance. 

Additional information

Generic name:

Hydrocortisone

Formulation:

Scored Tablet, Tablet

Strength(s):

5mg, 10mg, 20mg

Quantities Available:

100

Quality Prescription Drugs has provided information from third parties intended to increase awareness and does not contain all the information about Cortef (Hydrocortisone). Talk to your doctor or a qualified medical practitioner for medical attention, advice, or if you have any concerns about Cortef (Hydrocortisone).