Top Four Facts Patients Should Know About Cortef

Here some great facts about Cortef:

1. Purpose – When your body does not make enough cortisol, conditions may arise that may make taking hydrocortisone, a corticosteroid, necessary. Cortef is a well-known brand name medication of hydrocortisone on the market today. This medication is used to relieve inflammation and treat various medical conditions such as asthma, severe allergies, certain cancers, and skin, thyroid, and intestinal disorders.

2. Drug Interactions- Medications may interact with Cortef, so it is crucial that you tell your health care provider of all medications that you are taking, including prescription and over-the-counter, dietary and herbal supplements. Known medications to increase or decrease the effectiveness of Cortef and increase side effects include the following:

• Anticoagulants

• Aprepitant

• Aspirin

• Azole antifungals

• Barbiturates 

• Carbamazepine

• Clarithromycin

• Hydantoins

• Live vaccines

• Methotrexate

• Mifepristone 

• Rifampin 

• Ritodrine 

• Steroidal contraceptives 

• Troleandomycin 

3. Prior to Taking Cortef – There are certain conditions that may interfere with your taking Cortef. You need to talk to your health care provider if any of the following medical conditions apply:

• Planning to become pregnant, pregnant, or breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your physician.

• Taking any prescription or over-the-counter medications, herbal or dietary supplements.

• Have a system fungal infection.

• Allergies to medications, particularly components within Cortef, tartrazine, aspirin, and yellow dye; other substances; or foods.

• Scheduled to have a live virus vaccination.

• History of medical conditions such as problems with mood, liver, kidneys, stomach, bowel, or heart, tuberculosis or a positive skin test, osteoporosis, heart attacks, high blood pressure, seizures, ulcers, diabetes, esophageal inflammation, myasthenia gravis, bowel blockage, herpes eye infection, or mental disorder

• Prior to any sort of surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication. Limit your alcohol intake while taking Cortef as hydrocortisone can make your gastrointestinal tract more susceptible to the effects of aspirin, arthritic medications, and alcohol. 

4. Side Effects – As with most medications, side effects can occur; however, it is important to understand the side effects prior to taking Cortef so that if you experience any of these, you are better able to determine if your side effect is severe in nature or if you are experiencing a symptom that needs reported straightaway. 

The following are severe side effects that need reported to your health care provider if they do not subside:

• Acne

• Bruises easily

• Increased hair growth

• Headache or dizziness

• Insomnia or restlessness

• Irregular or absent menstrual periods

• Mental or mood disorders, such as anxiety or depression

• Gastrointestinal problems, such as an upset stomach or vomiting

In addition, certain other symptoms may occur that need reported immediately. Call your health care provider if you experience the any of the following:

• Skin rash

• Muscle weakness

• Black or tarry stools

• Problems with vision

• Swollen face and/or lower extremities 

• Cold or infection for an extended period of time