hydrocortisone (generic name)

It is commonly used to treat inflammation of the skin, joints, lungs, and other organs
(hye droe KOR ti sone)
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What is this medicine?

HYDROCORTISONE (hye droe KOR ti sone) is a corticosteroid. It is commonly used to treat inflammation of the skin, joints, lungs, and other organs. Common conditions treated include asthma, allergies, and arthritis. It is also used for other conditions, such as blood disorders and diseases of the adrenal glands.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • Cushing's syndrome
  • diabetes
  • glaucoma
  • heart problems or disease
  • high blood pressure
  • infection like herpes, measles, tuberculosis, or chickenpox
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • mental problems
  • myasthenia gravis
  • osteoporosis
  • previous heart attack
  • seizures
  • stomach, ulcer or intestine disease including colitis and diverticulitis
  • thyroid problem
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to hydrocortisone, corticosteroids, benzyl alcohol, other medicines, lactose, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is for injection or infusion into a vein, or for injection into a muscle. It is given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • mifepristone, RU-486
  • vaccines

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • antibiotics like clarithromycin, erythromycin, and troleandomycin
  • aspirin and aspirin-like drugs
  • barbiturates like phenobarbital
  • ketoconazole
  • phenytoin
  • rifampin
  • warfarin

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. If you are taking this medicine over a prolonged period, carry an identification card with your name and address, the type and dose of your medicine, and your doctor's name and address.

This medicine may increase your risk of getting an infection. Stay away from people who are sick. Tell your doctor or health care professional if you are around anyone with measles or chickenpox.

If you are going to have surgery, tell your doctor or health care professional that you have taken this medicine within the last twelve months.

Ask your doctor or health care professional about your diet. You may need to lower the amount of salt you eat.

The medicine can increase your blood sugar. If you are a diabetic check with your doctor if you need help adjusting the dose of your diabetic medicine.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • bloody or black, tarry stools
  • changes in vision
  • fever, sore throat, sneezing, cough, or other signs of infection, wounds that will not heal
  • frequent passing of urine
  • increased thirst
  • mental depression, mood swings, mistaken feelings of self importance or of being mistreated
  • pain in hips, back, ribs, arms, shoulders, or legs
  • severe stomach pain
  • swelling of feet or lower legs
  • unusually weak or tired
  • vomiting

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • headache
  • increased appetite
  • nausea
  • skin problems, acne, thin and shiny skin

Where should I keep my medicine?

This drug is given in a hospital or clinic and will not be stored at home.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Last Updated: May 01, 2009
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