What Is Cortef (Oral)?
Cortef (hydrocortisone) is an orally administered prescription treatment used to cut back irritation within the physique and to lift the degrees of steroid hormones in individuals with sure medical situations, comparable to tuberculosis or rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Cortef belongs to a category of medicine known as corticosteroids, also called glucocorticoids, or steroids. Corticosteroids work by altering your physique’s immune response and decreasing irritation.
Sometimes, the physique’s adrenal gland naturally produces cortisol, a steroid hormone concerned with quite a few physique capabilities. Nevertheless, the physique’s cortisol stage of cortisol may be affected by numerous ailments, situations, or medicines. Cortisol ranges which can be too excessive or too low can adversely have an effect on an individual’s well being.
For instance, in individuals with adrenal insufficiency, additionally known as Addison’s disease, the physique doesn’t make sufficient cortisol. This lack of cortisol results in signs comparable to fatigue, weight reduction, joint or muscle ache, and pores and skin pigmentation modifications.
Cortef works by mimicking the results of cortisol, serving to to cut back or forestall associated signs.
Cortef accommodates the energetic ingredient hydrocortisone and is run by way of oral tablets.
Nevertheless, hydrocortisone is on the market as a generic drug administered within the type of oral tablets.
Moreover, different orally administered, brand-name medicines include the energetic ingredient hydrocortisone, comparable to Alkindi Sprinkle.
Generic Identify: Hydrocortisone
Model Identify(s): Cortef, Alkindi Sprinkle
Drug Availability: Prescription
Administration Route: Oral
Therapeutic Classification: Corticosteroid
Accessible Generically: Sure
Managed Substance: N/A
Energetic Ingredient: Hydrocortisone
Dosage Type(s): Pill, granular
What Is Cortef Used For?
The Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorised Cortef to deal with a wide range of medical situations, comparable to:
This isn’t an entire checklist of the big variety of situations that Cortef could also be prescribed to deal with. Subsequently, seek the advice of your healthcare supplier when you have questions concerning why you might have been prescribed Cortef.
Methods to Take Cortef
Cortef must be taken by mouth in keeping with the instructions out of your healthcare supplier. Typically, Cortef is beneficial two to 3 occasions every day.
Your supplier might have you ever take a better dose within the morning and a decrease dose within the afternoon and/or night. This dosing schedule might assist restrict or keep away from insomnia (hassle falling asleep or staying asleep), a doable facet impact of Cortef.
Through the first few weeks of Cortef therapy, modifications in dose are frequent till your supplier finds the correct dose for you.
You shouldn’t cease taking Cortef with out speaking to a healthcare supplier. In case your supplier decides to have you ever cease taking Cortef, they’ll have you ever lower or taper your dose slowly versus a sudden cease.
Cortef might trigger abdomen upset when taken on an empty abdomen. Subsequently, it is best to take every dose with meals or milk.
Cortef tablets must be saved at room temperature (68 F to 77 F), and out of attain of kids and pets. You’ll need to retailer the drug away from areas which may fluctuate in temperature (e.g., by a window) or areas prone to excessive ranges of moisture, comparable to the toilet.
How Lengthy Does Cortef Take to Work?
Cortef begins to take impact inside half-hour of taking the treatment. Through the first few weeks of Cortef therapy, modifications in dose are frequent till your supplier finds the correct dose for you.
Due to these dose changes, you could not expertise symptom enchancment instantly. Speak together with your supplier about what to anticipate whereas taking Cortef on your particular situation.
What Are the Facet Results of Cortef?
This isn’t an entire checklist of negative effects, and others might happen. A healthcare supplier can advise you on negative effects. In the event you expertise different results, contact your pharmacist or a healthcare supplier. You might report negative effects to the FDA at www.fda.gov/medwatch or 800-FDA-1088.
Frequent Facet Results
Frequent negative effects of Cortef might embody:
Extreme Facet Results
In uncommon circumstances, Cortef might trigger extreme negative effects.
In the event you expertise any of the next, contact your healthcare supplier instantly or name 911 for those who suppose you are having an emergency:
- Adrenal gland suppression: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, or fatigue.
- Eye issues, comparable to cataracts or glaucoma: Blurred imaginative and prescient, modifications in imaginative and prescient, or ache within the eye space.
- Severely high blood pressure: Intense complications, chest ache, or shortness of breath.
- Elevated threat of significant infections: Fever, chills, physique aches, fatigue, cough, congestion, or sore throat.
- Osteoporosis, which can not trigger signs, however can improve the danger of bone fracture.
- Anaphylaxis (extreme, systemic allergic response): Swelling of the face or throat, extreme rash, urticaria (hives), or itching, or problem swallowing or respiration.
Lengthy-Time period Facet Results
Taking Cortef for an prolonged time period, particularly in excessive doses, might result in modifications in your metabolism in addition to Cushing’s syndrome.
Cushing’s syndrome is a situation attributable to extra steroid hormones (corticosteroids) within the physique. Signs embody weight acquire, elevated sweating, bruising or bleeding, pores and skin atrophy (thinning), and “moon face” (rounding of the face).
Cushing’s syndrome usually goes away inside a 12 months of stopping Cortef.
Dosage: How A lot Cortef Ought to I Take?
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The dose of this medication can be completely different for various sufferers. Comply with your physician’s orders or the instructions on the label. The next info consists of solely the typical doses of this medication. In case your dose is completely different, don’t change it until your physician tells you to take action.
The quantity of drugs that you just take relies on the energy of the medication. Additionally, the variety of doses you are taking every day, the time allowed between doses, and the size of time you are taking the medication rely upon the medical drawback for which you might be utilizing the medication.
For oral dosage type (tablets):
Dose relies on medical situation:
- Adults—At first, 20 to 240 milligrams (mg) per day. Your physician might alter your dose as wanted.
- Youngsters—Use and dose should be decided by your physician.
- Dose relies on medical situation:
For oral dosage type (granules):
For adrenal issues:
- Youngsters—Dose relies on physique floor space and should be decided by your physician. Your physician might alter the dose relying on the age and signs. Dose is often 0.5 to 1 milligram (mg) divided in 3 doses and given 3 occasions a day. Some sufferers might have their dose divided in 2 doses and given 2 occasions a day.
- For adrenal issues:
Potential customers ought to be aware the next earlier than beginning therapy with Cortef:
Extreme allergic response: Keep away from utilizing Cortef when you have a identified allergy to it or any of its elements. Ask your healthcare supplier for an entire checklist of the elements for those who’re uncertain.
Being pregnant: Since ample human copy research haven’t been carried out with corticosteroids, we do not know sufficient concerning the security and effectiveness of Cortef in pregnant individuals and the unborn fetus. Subsequently, talk about together with your healthcare supplier for those who plan to change into pregnant or are pregnant. They are going to assist you to weigh the advantages and dangers of Cortef throughout your pregnancy.
Infants born of people that have obtained corticosteroids throughout being pregnant must be noticed for indicators of Addison’s illness.
Breastfeeding: It is unlikely for Cortef to negatively have an effect on nursing infants because of short-term breastfeeding, as steroids comparable to Cortef usually are not closely expelled by breast milk.
Nonetheless, you could discuss together with your healthcare supplier for those who plan to breastfeed. They are going to assist you to weigh the advantages and harms of Cortef whereas nursing. They will additionally talk about the other ways out there to feed your child.
Older adults over 65: Older and youthful adults are unlikely to expertise any security and effectiveness variations when utilizing Cortef.
However basically, older adults with a number of medical situations or who’re taking a number of medicines ought to use warning with Cortef. Older adults are usually extra delicate to negative effects from medicines.
In the event you miss a dose of Cortef, take it as quickly as you bear in mind it. Nevertheless, in case you are about to take your subsequent dose, skip the missed dose of Cortef. Don’t take two doses directly to make up for a missed dose as this might result in severe negative effects.
Overdose: What Occurs If I Take Too A lot Cortef?
Taking an excessive amount of Cortef might end in adrenal suppression.
Adrenal suppression happens when your adrenal glands don’t make sufficient steroid hormones. Particularly, signs related to adrenal suppression embody nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, muscle weak point, fatigue, and darkening of pores and skin colour.
What Occurs If I Overdose on Cortef?
In the event you suppose you or another person might have overdosed on Cortef, name a healthcare supplier or the Poison Management Heart (800-222-1222).
If somebody collapses or is not respiration after taking Cortef, name 911 instantly.
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If you can be taking this medication for a very long time, it is rather essential that your physician verify you at common visits for any negative effects which may be attributable to this medication. Blood or urine assessments could also be wanted to verify for negative effects.
Not giving sufficient or stopping Alkindi® Sprinkle, or switching from different hydrocortisone medication might trigger severe adrenal gland issues (eg, adrenal disaster). Test together with your physician instantly when you have darkening of the pores and skin, diarrhea, dizziness, fainting, joint ache, lack of urge for food, psychological despair, nausea, pores and skin rash, uncommon tiredness or weak point, or vomiting.
Utilizing an excessive amount of of this medication or utilizing it for a very long time might improve your threat of getting adrenal gland issues (eg, Cushing’s syndrome). Speak to your physician instantly when you have blurred imaginative and prescient, dizziness or fainting, a quick, irregular, or pounding heartbeat, elevated thirst or urination, irritability, or uncommon tiredness or weak point.
If you’re utilizing this medication for a very long time, inform your physician about any further stress or anxiousness in your life, together with different well being considerations and emotional stress. Your dose of this medication would possibly have to be modified for a short while when you have further stress.
This medication might trigger you to get extra infections than normal. Keep away from people who find themselves sick or have infections and wash your fingers usually. If you’re uncovered to chickenpox or measles, inform your physician instantly. In the event you begin to have a fever, chills, sore throat, or some other signal of an an infection, name your physician instantly.
Test together with your physician instantly if blurred imaginative and prescient, problem in studying, eye ache, or some other change in imaginative and prescient happens throughout or after therapy. These could also be signs of eye or imaginative and prescient issues (eg, cataracts, glaucoma, central serous chorioretinopathy). Your physician might want you to have your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist (eye physician).
While you’re being handled with hydrocortisone, do not need any immunizations (vaccines) with out your physician’s approval. Hydrocortisone might decrease your physique’s resistance and the vaccine might not work as effectively otherwise you would possibly get the an infection the vaccine is supposed to stop. As well as, you shouldn’t be round different individuals residing in your family who obtain reside virus vaccines as a result of there’s a probability they may move the virus on to you. Some examples of reside vaccines embody measles, mumps, influenza (nasal flu vaccine), poliovirus (oral type), rotavirus, and rubella. Don’t get near them and don’t stay in the identical room with them for very lengthy. When you have questions on this, discuss to your physician.
This medication might trigger modifications in temper or conduct for some sufferers. Inform your physician instantly when you have despair, temper swings, a false or uncommon sense of well-being, hassle with sleeping, or character modifications whereas taking this medication.
This medication would possibly trigger thinning of the bones (osteoporosis) or sluggish development in youngsters if used for a very long time. Inform your physician when you have any bone ache or when you have an elevated threat for osteoporosis. In case your little one is utilizing this medication, inform the physician for those who suppose your little one shouldn’t be rising correctly.
Ensure any physician or dentist who treats you is aware of that you’re utilizing this medication. This medication might have an effect on the outcomes of sure pores and skin assessments.
Don’t take different medicines until they’ve been mentioned together with your physician. This consists of prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and natural or vitamin dietary supplements.
What Are Causes I Shouldn’t Take Cortef?
Cortef shouldn’t be proper for everybody. You shouldn’t take Cortef if:
- You might have a fungal infection, as Cortef will weaken your physique’s skill to combat the an infection.
- You might have had an allergic response to Cortef or hydrocortisone prior to now.
What Different Medicines Work together With Cortef?
Drug interactions happen when one drug impacts how one other drug works. Some interactions could also be safely managed utilizing dose changes by your healthcare supplier, whereas others must be averted.
Cortef is damaged down within the liver earlier than it’s eradicated from the physique. Medicines that improve the exercise of liver enzymes might lower the physique’s publicity to Cortef, comparable to Rifadin (rifampin), Dilantin (phenytoin), and Donnatal (belladonna/phenobarbital).
Consequently, a healthcare supplier might have to regulate the dosage of Cortef to handle drug interactions comparable to these.
Blood thinning medications, comparable to Durlaza (aspirin) and Jantoven (warfarin), might work together with Cortef. If you must take a blood thinner whereas taking Cortef, your healthcare supplier might monitor you extra carefully.
As well as, live vaccines usually are not beneficial whereas taking Cortef because the vaccine gained’t be totally efficient.
Different drug interactions are doable. Throughout Cortef therapy, discuss to your supplier about your whole present medicines, together with prescribed drugs, over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, nutritional vitamins, herbs, and different dietary dietary supplements.
What Medicines Are Related?
Cortef is a sort of steroid.
Examples of different medicine on this class embody:
- Prednisone has related results as Cortef, however its results last more within the physique. Prednisolone is one other steroid possibility that’s similar to prednisone. Cortef, nonetheless, is the popular therapy for adrenal insufficiency as a result of Cortef causes much less extreme negative effects than prednisone and prednisolone.
- Dexamethasone is another choice inside this drug class. It’s thought-about stronger and longer-lasting than prednisone or prednisolone. Nevertheless, suppliers don’t often prescribe dexamethasone to deal with adrenal insufficiency due to the drug’s larger threat of Cushing’s syndrome.
- Prednisone, prednisolone, or dexamethasone shouldn’t be taken similtaneously Cortef. When taken collectively, these brokers might result in extra hydrocortisone ranges within the physique, inflicting hostile results.
Incessantly Requested Questions
What’s Cortef used for?
Cortef is used to deal with numerous problems comparable to RA, psoriasis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and ulcerative colitis.
Cortef can also be used to deal with adrenal insufficiency, a situation wherein your adrenal glands can’t make sufficient cortisol.
How does Cortef work?
Cortef serves as substitute remedy when the physique doesn’t naturally produce sufficient cortisol.
Cortef works by regulating the immune system response and decreasing irritation all through the physique.
Are there any withdrawal negative effects after stopping Cortef?
Stopping Cortef abruptly might end in sudden adrenal insufficiency, with signs of nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and headache, amongst others. It’s essential to not cease the drug until you seek the advice of together with your healthcare supplier first.
To keep away from withdrawal, they’ll information you on progressively lowering your dose of Cortef earlier than stopping it fully. Using a sluggish taper, no withdrawal negative effects ought to happen.
How Can I Keep Wholesome Whereas Taking Cortef?
Digestive negative effects like nausea, vomiting, indigestion, and diarrhea are frequent when beginning Cortef therapy. The excellent news is that taking every dose with a meal can forestall or reduce these signs.
In the event you expertise different bothersome negative effects or have indicators of an an infection whereas taking Cortef, inform your healthcare supplier instantly. It’s essential to not cease therapy or scale back the dose by yourself. Doing so might result in extreme withdrawal results.
Negative effects are sometimes responsible when somebody stops taking their treatment. Open communication together with your supplier and taking steps to handle negative effects are key steps to profitable therapy.
Verywell Well being’s drug info is supposed for instructional functions solely and isn’t supposed to exchange medical recommendation, prognosis, or therapy from a healthcare supplier. Seek the advice of your healthcare supplier earlier than taking any new treatment(s). IBM Watson Micromedex supplies a few of the drug content material, as indicated on the web page.