Hydrocortisone is a man-made version of a natural substance (cortisol) made by the adrenal gland. This drug is used to treat low cortisol levels caused by diseases of the adrenal gland (such as Addison's disease, adrenocortical insufficiency). Hydrocortisone belongs to a class of drugs known as corticosteroids. Corticosteroids are needed in many ways for the body to function well. They are important for salt and water balance and keeping blood pressure normal.

How to use

Read the Medication Guide and Instructions for Use provided by your pharmacist before you start taking hydrocortisone and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually 2 or 3 times a day. Take it with food or milk to prevent stomach upset. This medication comes as granules inside a capsule. Do not swallow the capsules whole. Make sure not to get the capsules wet. To use this medication, open the capsule first. You may take this medication by pouring it directly on your tongue, or by pouring it on a spoon and placing the medication in your mouth, or by sprinkling the granules onto a spoonful of cold or room-temperature soft food (such as yogurt or applesauce) before taking the medication. Do not mix the granules in liquid. Do not chew or crush the granules. If taking with soft food, make sure to swallow the mixture within 5 minutes after preparing. Drink some fluids (such as water, milk) after taking the granules to make sure all the medication is swallowed.

This medication should not be given through a feeding tube.

The dosage is based on your medical condition, body size, and response to treatment.

Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when this drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.

If you suddenly stop using this medication, you may have withdrawal symptoms (such as weakness, weight loss, nausea, muscle pain, headache, tiredness, dizziness). To help prevent withdrawal, your doctor may lower your dose slowly. Withdrawal is more likely if you have used hydrocortisone for a long time or in high doses. Tell your doctor or pharmacist right away if you have withdrawal.

Tell your doctor if your condition does not get better or if it gets worse.

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.