hydrocortisone oral, Hydrocortone, Cortef
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:
GENERIC NAME: hydrocortisone, oral
BRAND NAMES: Cortef, Hydrocortone (Discontinued)
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Hydrocortisone is a naturally-occurring corticosteroid produced by the adrenal glands. Corticosteroids have potent anti-inflammatory properties and are used in a wide variety of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, colitis, asthma, bronchitis, certain skin rashes, and allergic or inflammatory conditions of the nose and eyes.
There are numerous preparations of corticosteroids including oral tablets, capsules, liquids, topical creams and gels, inhalers and eye drops, and injectable and intravenous solutions. Hydrocortisone that is prescribed in oral, tablet and liquid forms is addressed in this article.
Dosage requirements of corticosteroids vary among individuals and the diseases being treated. In general, the lowest possible effective dose is used. Corticosteroids given in multiple doses throughout the day are more effective but also more toxic than if the same total dose is given once daily or every other day. The FDA approved hydrocortisone in December 1952.
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 5, 10 and 20 mg; Oral Suspension: 10 mg/5 ml.
STORAGE: Hydrocortisone should be stored at room temperature at 20-25 C (68-77 F) in a sealed container.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Hydrocortisone is used to achieve prompt suppression of inflammation in many inflammatory and allergic conditions. Examples of such inflammatory conditions include rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, acute gouty arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn's disease.
Severe allergic conditions that fail conventional treatment also may respond to hydrocortisone. Examples include bronchial asthma, allergic rhinitis, drug-induced dermatitis, and contact and atopic dermatitis.
Chronic allergic and inflammatory conditions of the uvea, iris, conjunctiva and optic nerves of the eyes also are treated with hydrocortisone.
Blood diseases involving destruction of platelets by the body's own immune cells (idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura) and destruction of red blood cells by immune cells (autoimmune hemolytic anemia) also can be treated with hydrocortisone.
Hydrocortisone also is used as a replacement for the naturally occurring hormone in patients whose adrenal glands are unable to produce sufficient amounts of corticosteroids.
DOSING: Hydrocortisone should be taken with food. The recommended dosage range is 10 mg to 300 mg per day depending on the disease administered in 3 to 4 divided doses.
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