Treats inflammation and many other medical problems. This medicine is a corticosteroid.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have ever had an allergic reaction to hydrocortisone or sulfites, or if you have a fungal infection.
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin, into a muscle, into a vein, or into a joint such as a knee or shoulder.
- A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
- You may be taught how to give your medicine at home. Make sure you understand all instructions before giving yourself an injection. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- You will be shown the body areas where this shot can be given. Use a different body area each time you give yourself a shot. Keep track of where you give each shot to make sure you rotate body areas.
- Use a new needle and syringe each time you inject your medicine.
If a dose is missed:
- It is very important to use this medicine on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.
- If you store this medicine at home, keep it at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
- Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are also taking blood thinners (Coumadin®), diuretics (water pills), ephedrine, insulin, phenobarbital, phenytoin (Dilantin®), or rifampin.
- Talk to your doctor before getting flu shots or other vaccines while using hydrocortisone. Vaccines may not work as well while you are using this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk with your doctor before using this medicine.
- This medicine may cause problems if you have certain medical conditions. Make sure your doctor knows about any allergies, medical problems, or mental conditions you now have or have had in the past.
- Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to use less and less before stopping it completely.
- Let your doctor know if you have any events causing unusual stress or anxiety in your life. Your dose of this medicine may need to be changed.
- It may be easier for you to get an infection while you are receiving hydrocortisone. Avoid people who are sick or have infections. If you are exposed to chickenpox or measles, tell your doctor right away.
- Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using hydrocortisone.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, sudden swelling in face or hands, swelling or tingling in the mouth or throat, tightness in chest, trouble breathing
- Black or tarry stools
- Convulsions (seizures)
- Headache or blurred vision
- Increased urination or thirst
- Muscle weakness or cramps
- Pain or swelling in stomach or abdomen
- Unexplained fever, sore throat
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Easy bruising, small purple spots on your skin
- Increased hair growth
- Increased sweating
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Mood changes or trouble sleeping
- Redness of the face
- Swelling in hands, arms, legs, or feet
- Thinning skin
- Weight gain
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
- Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013
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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013