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Cortef is a steroid tablet made up of hydrocortisone. This medication is available in 10mg and 20mg in the brand name Cortef.
Cortef is used in the treatment of a variety of different conditions, this includes allergic disorders, skin conditions, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, lung disease and can also be used to make up for missing steroids caused by adrenal insufficiency. Another use of this medication is to treat certain blood disorders (like anemia) as well as treating certain kinds of cancer (like leukemia). There are other conditions that this medication is used for that have not been listed.
Cortef works by having a reducing effect on the response given by the body from the medical disease which reduces pain, swelling and allergic-type reactions.
This medication is taken by mouth. You can take it with food or milk to reduce the chance of an upset stomach, however your doctor directs you to take it.
Unless your doctor says otherwise, swallow the pill whole with a full glass of water.
Ensure you do not miss a dose by using a pillbox or setting a reminder on your Smartphone/calendar.
Consult your doctor before you stop taking this medication. Doses should be gradually decreased; never suddenly.
Make sure to tell your doctor about all known drug allergies you have, especially an allergy towards hydrocortisone.
Important diseases/conditions to tell your doctor consists of: eye disease (such as cataracts, glaucoma), heart problems (such as heart failure, recent heart attack), high blood pressure, liver disease, kidney disease, thyroid problems, diabetes, stomach/intestinal problems (such as diverticulitis, ulcer), brittle bones (osteoporosis), current/past infections (such as tuberculosis, positive tuberculosis test, herpes, fungal), bleeding problems, blood clots, mental/mood conditions (such as psychosis, anxiety, depression), low salts in the blood (such as low potassium or calcium), seizures.
This medication may cause one to become dizzy. Make sure you full understand how this medication affects you before continuing to drive or participate in any activity that requires you to be alert.
This medication can possibly cause stomach bleeding. This chance is increased if you are a regular alcohol consumer. Speak to your doctor if this applies to you.
Tell your doctor before having surgery that you are on Cortef and any other medications you may be on.
If you will be using this medication for a long time, it is suggested you carry around a medical ID bracelet or something similar. This medication can make it difficult for your body to respond to physical stress.
Using Cortef could mask the signs of infections. It can not only increase the chance of infection but also make them worse should they arise.
This medication could lower effectiveness in vaccines. Do not have your vaccine shots done while on this medication.
This medication should only be used when absolutely necessary while pregnant. Cortef passes into breast milk but not enough to harm the baby (in vast majority of cases).
Side effects are not always present in everyone. Others are more sensitive to side effects while they could be mild for others. If side effects ever become too much to handle, contact your doctor right away.
Common side effects of Cortef may include:
Serious side effects of Cortef may include:
Signs to watch for:
fluid retention--shortness of breath (even while lying down), swelling, rapid weight gain (especially in your face and midsection);
new signs of infection--such as fever, chills, cough, trouble breathing, sores in your mouth or on your skin, diarrhea, or burning when you urinate;
increased adrenal gland hormones--slow wound healing, skin discoloration, thinning skin, increased body hair, tiredness, menstrual changes, sexual changes; or
decreased adrenal gland hormones--weakness, tiredness, diarrhea, nausea, menstrual changes, skin discoloration, craving salty foods, and feeling light-headed.
How should I store Cortef?
Do not store this medication in the bathroom as it risks getting wet there. Keep in a dry place at room temperature.
What if I miss a dose?
Never double up on your dose, only take the missed dose if your next scheduled dose is still a while away. If it is approaching, just skip the missed dose and continue your next one as normal.
Can children use this medication?
Yes it is safe for kids however it can sometimes stunt their growth slightly. Ask your doctor about the risks and benefits of children taking Cortef.
What else should I know about Cortef?
Cortef can sometimes cause bone problems. To ensure this risk is not high, eat healthy, exercise and try to maintain a healthy lifestyle style over all.
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