Hydrocortisone is used as a hormone replacement therapy in children with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (a condition that affects the body's natural production of steroids).
This medicine is also used to relieve skin inflammation and allergic reactions. It may also be used to treat some types of rheumatism, asthma, eye, bowel and blood disorders.
Take Hydrocortisone exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
This medicine should be taken with food. Try to take it at the same time each day.
For replacement therapy, the daily dose of Hydrocortisone should be given in two doses. The first dose is given in the morning which is larger than the second dose in the evening.
Hydrocortisone must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it suddenly as this may worsen your condition. Your doctor will advise you about gradually reducing the dose of this medicine before stopping it completely.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Do not take Hydrocortisone if you ever had an allergic reaction (rashes, breathlessness, swollen eyes) to this medicine.
Alert your doctor if you have an infection or if you had been vaccinated with a live virus vaccine as this medicine may not be suitable for you.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- heart disease
- liver disease
- kidney disease
- eye disease such as glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye)
- thyroid disease
- stomach ulcer
- epilepsy (fits or seizures)
- tuberculosis (lung infection)
- myasthenia gravis (muscle weakness disorder)
- osteoporosis (thinning of the bones)
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Avoid those who have chickenpox or measles. Inform your doctor right away if you come into contact with those who have the said disease.
If you are going for an operation, including minor surgery or dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking Hydrocortisone.
Hydrocortisone may cause any of the following side effects: headache, nausea, vomiting, increased appetite, indigestion, sudden weight gain, changes in hair growth, swelling of legs or arms and stomach pain.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- unusual changes in mood or behaviour (being too depressed, agitated or having compulsive and impulsive behaviour)
- confusion and hallucination (seeing, hearing or feeling things that are not existent)
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- medicines for fungal infections e.g. ketoconazole, amphotericin B
- antibiotics e.g. erythromycin
- medicines for diabetes e.g. insulin
- medicines for heart disease e.g. digoxin
- medicines for water retention “water pills” e.g. acetazolamide, carbenoxolone
- birth control pills e.g. oestrogen
- medicines for TB (lung infection known as tuberculosis) e.g. rifampicin
- medicines for epilepsy (fits or seizures) e.g. phenytoin, phenobarbital, carbamazepine
- medicines for asthma e.g. bambuterol, formoterol, salbutamol
- medicines for pain and inflammation e.g. aspirin
- warfarin (a blood-thinning medicine)
- ritonavir (medicine for HIV infection)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Hydrocortisone.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.