Solu-Cortef

Generic Name: Hydrocortisone

  • What is Solu-Cortef?

    Solu-Cortef is a synthetic corticosteroid medicine. Solu-Cortef is used when your adrenal glands do not make enough hormones that help your body respond to stress or regulate your blood pressure and water and salt intake. Solu-Cortef can also be used for conditions affecting many different parts of your body, including your skin, stomach or intestines, blood, nervous system, eyes, kidneys, lungs, or glands. In addition, this medication can be used to treat severe allergies, sudden worsening of multiple sclerosis, arthritis, edema (swelling), or certain cancers. Solu-Cortef can be administered intravenously (through a vein in your arm) or intramuscularly (injected into the muscle).

  • What is the most important information I should know about Solu-Cortef?

    Solu-Cortef can cause increased blood pressure, holding onto salt and water in your body, or decreased blood potassium levels. Your doctor will check your blood pressure and electrolyte levels (chemicals that are important for the cells in your body to function, such as sodium and potassium) while you are receiving Solu-Cortef.

    Solu-Cortef can mask some signs of infection, making it difficult for your doctor to diagnose it. Also, Solu-Cortef can lower your resistance to infections and make them harder to treat. Tell your doctor if you develop fever or other signs of infection.

    Do not expose yourself to chickenpox or measles while you are receiving Solu-Cortef. This can be very serious and even fatal in children and adults who have not had chickenpox or measles. Also, Solu-Cortef can reactivate an inactive case of tuberculosis (a bacterial infection that affects the lungs).

    Cataracts (clouding of the eye's lens), glaucoma (high pressure in the eye), other eye problems, or eye infections can occur while you are receiving Solu-Cortef.

    Solu-Cortef may contain benzyl alcohol as a preservative. Benzyl alcohol can cause toxicity in your newborn baby. This should not be used in premature babies. Your doctor can administer the Solu-Cortef that contains no preservatives or benzyl alcohol.

  • Who should not take Solu-Cortef?

    Your doctor will not administer Solu-Cortef to you if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients, or if you have a fungal infection.

    Your doctor will not administer Solu-Cortef intramuscularly if you have idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (a bleeding disorder due to an abnormally low level of platelets [type of blood cells that form clots to help stop bleeding]).

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Solu-Cortef?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Solu-Cortef. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have any infections, cataracts, glaucoma, certain eye infections, tuberculosis, heart problems, high blood pressure, kidney or liver problems, thyroid problems, psychiatric conditions, ulcerative colitis (inflammatory disease of the large intestine), other intestinal problems, stomach ulcers, osteoporosis (thin, weak bones), myasthenia gravis (a disease characterized by long-lasting fatigue and muscle weakness), traumatic brain injury, diabetes, or stress (such as trauma, surgery, or severe illness).

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Adults and children: Your doctor will administer the appropriate dose for you based on your condition and response.

  • How should I take Solu-Cortef?

    Your doctor will administer Solu-Cortef to you.

  • What should I avoid while taking Solu-Cortef?

    Do not miss your scheduled follow-up appointments with your doctor. It is important to check your progress.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Solu-Cortef?

    If Solu-Cortef is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following prior to treatment with Solu-Cortef: aminoglutethimide, amphotericin B, antidiabetic medications (such as glipizide, insulin, or metformin), aspirin, barbiturates (such as phenobarbital), birth control pills, blood thinners (such as warfarin), carbamazepine, certain antibiotics (such as erythromycin or troleandomycin), cholestyramine, cyclosporine, digoxin, diuretics (water pills) (such as ethacrynic acid or furosemide), estrogen, isoniazid, ketoconazole, phenytoin, rifampin, or vaccines (such as smallpox vaccine).

  • What are the possible side effects of Solu-Cortef?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: acne (pimples), allergic reactions, decrease in blood potassium levels, depression, eye problems, headache, heart problems, high blood sugar levels, impaired wound healing, increase in blood pressure, injection-site reactions, intestinal or stomach problems, muscle weakness, nausea, osteoporosis, rash, seizures, swelling, weight gain

  • Can I receive Solu-Cortef if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Solu-Cortef during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Solu-Cortef can be found in your breast milk if you receive it while breastfeeding. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Solu-Cortef?

    Solu-Cortef should be given under special circumstances determined by your doctor.

  • How should I store Solu-Cortef?

    Your doctor will store this medication for you.