Hydrocortisone, also known as cortisol is a hormone and a prescribed drug used to treat symptoms of adrenocortical deficiency, adrenogenital syndrome, elevated blood calcium levels. Also, it is meant to treat a plethora of skin conditions. It belongs to a category of drugs known as a corticosteroid. This drug is a mild corticosteroid. It is available in the market by the brand name Aquanil.
Which ailments does Corticosteroid help treat?
• Adrenocortical insufficiency
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
• High blood calcium levels
• Adrenogenital syndrome
What are the side-effects?
Some of the common side-effects include-
• Dryness, or redness at the affected site
• Unusual hair growth,
• "Hair bumps" (folliculitis),
• Skin discolouration
• Stretch marks
• Swelling of face and limbs
• Skin Rash
• Severe dizziness
Dosage of Medication
• The drug is available in the regular tablet form, powder form for injection and in cream/gel form for topical application. Their dosage strength of tablet includes-5mg, 10mg and 20 mg and powder form is available in 100mg, 250mg, 500mg and 1g respectively.
• For Inflammation, the recommended dosage is 20-240mg PO/day and 100-500mg/dose IV at time intervals of 2 hr., 4 hr. and 6 hr. respectively
• For a condition like Status Asthmatics, 1-2mg/kg IV 6 hourly initially for 24 hours followed by a maintenance dosage of 0.5-1mg/kg at 6 hourly is the recommended dosage regimen.
• In the case of acute adrenal insufficiency, 100mg IV bolus followed by 200mg over a time period of 24 hours by continuous infusion divided at a time interval of 6 hourly. 100mg over 24 hours the following day is the recommended dosage regime
• Once the patient is stabilised the taper down the dosage as 50mgPO at 8 hours for 6 doses followed by 30-50mg/day in allocated doses
• In case of chronic adrenal insufficiency, 15-25mg/day per hourly divided at 8-12 hourly time interval is the recommended dosage
• For the topical application of this medicament, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Gently apply a thin layer of the cream and rub to evenly spread the drug on the affected site usually four times a day. After application, again wash your hands to avoid cross-contamination
• Dosage of a drug depends upon your body weight and the severity of the condition being treated
• Do not use it more often than prescribed
• Even after feeling Euphoria, do not discontinue the drug at your own without seeking your doctor’s consultation.
Warnings and Precautions
• Do inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to hydrocortisone or any other corticosteroid. Since this drug comprises of some active ingredients which may interfere with your present condition
• This drug has a tendency to interact with several other drugs such as mifepristone. Therefore, it is strongly advised to consult your doctor before taking this drug
• Store this prescribed drug out of the reach of the children
• Do not overdose, take exactly as prescribed. In the case of overdose, contact Poison Control Centre immediately
• Give your complete past medical history to your treating doctor
• Do not take this drug in case of serious infections like septic shock or tubercular meningitis, idiopathic thrombocytopenia, purpura, hypersensitivity and Intrathecal administration
• This drug is absolutely contraindicated in case you are taking live or attenuated vaccines.
• In case of problems like external itching of the female genital organ accompanied by white discharge, immediately consult your doctor before starting this medication
• Do not apply this medicament on sore site
• Before giving this medication to kids, consult your doctor as children are more sensitive to this drug
• Avoid this drug during pregnancy
• Since the tendency of this drug to pass into breast milk is unclear, consult your doctor in case you are breastfeeding.
How does it help in the treatment?
This drug elicits mild mineralocorticosteroid activity and a moderate level of inflammatory action. Prevents inflammation by controlling protein synthesis process and suppressing PMN (polymorphonuclear leukocytes) and other entities like fibroblasts.
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