CORTEF (Hydrocortisone)
CORTEF (Hydrocortisone)
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CORTEF (Hydrocortisone)

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Shipped from Canada.


What is this medication?

Hydrocortisone, Cortef
Systemic Corticosteroid

Endocrine Disorders: Primary and secondary adrenocortical insufficiency, congenital adrenal hyperplasia

Rheumatic Disorders: Psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, acute and subacute bursitis, acute non-specific tenosynovitis, acute gouty arthritis, post-traumatic osteoarthritis, synovitis of osteoarthritis, epicondylitis. 

Collagen Diseases: Systemic lupus erythematosus, acute rheumatic carditis, systemic dermatomyositis (polymyositis). 

Dermatologic Diseases: pemphigus, bullous dermatitis herpetiformis, severe erythema multiforme (Stevens-Johnson syndrome), exfoliative dermatitis, mycosis fungoides, severe psoriasis and severe seborrheic dermatitis. 

Allergic States: Control of severe or incapacitating allergic seasonal or perennial allergic rhinitis, bronchial asthma, contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, serum sickness and drug hypersensitivity reactions. 

Ophthalmic Diseases: Severe acute and chronic allergic and inflammatory processes involving the eye such as allergic conjunctivitis, keratitis, allergic corneal marginal ulcers, 3 herpes zoster ophthalmicus, iritis and iridocyclitis, chorioretinitis, anterior segment inflammation, diffuse posterior uveitis and choroiditis, optic neuritis, sympathetic ophthalmia. 

Respiratory Diseases: Symptomatic sarcoidosis, Löffler’s syndrome not manageable by other means, berylliosis, fulminating or disseminated pulmonary tuberculosis when used concurrently with appropriate antituberculosis chemotherapy, aspiration pneumonitis. 

Hematologic Disorders: Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura in adults, secondary thrombocytopenia in adults, acquired (autoimmune) hemolytic anemia, erythroblastopenia (RBC anemia), congenital (erythroid) hypoplastic anemia.

How does this medication work? 

Cortef/Hydrocortisone is a naturally occurring adrenal steroid hormone with glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid activity.  Cortef/Hydrocortisone is a short-acting corticosteroid that can reduce inflammation by suppressing the migration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes and reversing the increase permeability of capillaries.

How should I take this medication? 

Asthma, Acute Exacerbation (Off-Label)
Oral: Take 200mg in divided doses for 5 to 7 days.

Oral: Take 20mg to 240mg daily.

Adrenal Insufficiency
Oral: Take 15mg to 25mg daily in 2 to 3 divided doses.   Administer the highest dose in the morning upon awakening, followed by the next dose around lunch, followed by the last dose in the afternoon/evening no later than 4 to 6 hours before bedtime.

* Adjust the dosage of Cortef/Hydrocortisone upon the condition being treated and the response to therapy.  Always use the lowest therapeutic dose to manage the medical condition, when dose reduction is possible start gradually reducing the dose.

How to Take: Take Cortef/Hydrocortisone with food or milk to decrease gastrointestinal upset.  Higher dosages are typically taken with breakfast in the morning with lower doses in the mid-day and evening.  Take the medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor at the same time each day.

Can You Take Hydrocortisone, Cortef If Pregnant: Studies have linked first trimester use of systemic corticosteroids to adverse events such as oral clefts and decrease birth weight.  When treating women during pregnancy, Cortef/hydrocortisone is the preferred corticosteroid.  The doses can be adjusted as the pregnancy progresses while the pregnant woman undergoes routine monitoring.

What should I watch for while using this medication? 

Use with caution if using higher doses for prolonged periods because hypercortisolemia can suppress the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis
Prolonged use can cause immunosuppression and increase the risk of a secondary infection, mask an acute infection, prolong, or exacerbate viral infection
Prolonged use has been associated with the development of Kaposi sarcoma
May cause psychiatric disturbances including euphoria, insomnia, mood swings, depression, and other psychotic manifestations
Use with caution in patients with cardiovascular disease
Use with caution in patients with diabetes mellitus
Use with caution in patients with gastrointestinal disease due to perforation risk
Use with caution patients with hepatic and/or renal impairment
Use with caution in patients with myasthenia gravis
Use with caution in patients with cataracts and/or glaucoma
Use with caution in patients with osteoporosis
Use with caution in patients with a history of a seizure disorder
Use with caution in patients with systemic sclerosis

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, make sure to take it as soon as possible.  However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular schedule.

How should I store this medication?

Keep out of the reach of children at all times. Store at room temperature, 59 to 86° F (15 to 30° C). Protect from light. Keep the container tightly closed. Properly dispose of any unused medication after the expiration date.

What are the possible side effects of using this medication?
The list of side effects/adverse reactions is extensive for all systemic corticosteroids and has not been included in this document.