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What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

Hydrocortisone Side Effects and Warnings

Written by FoundHealth.

What are the precautions when taking this medicine?

All forms:

• Check medicines with healthcare provider. This medicine may not mix well with other medicines.

• Tell healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.

• Tell healthcare provider if you are breast-feeding.

Oral and injection:

• If you have been taking this medicine for several weeks, talk with healthcare provider before stopping. You may want to gradually withdraw this medicine.

• Do not run out of this medicine.

• Avoid exposure to chickenpox and measles.

• Do not take antacids within 2 hours of this medicine.

• Wear disease medical alert identification.

• Talk with healthcare provider before receiving any vaccinations. Use with this medicine may either increase the risk of serious infection or make the vaccination less effective.

• If you have diabetes, talk with healthcare provider. This medicine can increase blood sugar.

• If you have glaucoma or cataracts, talk with healthcare provider.

• If you have high blood pressure, talk with healthcare provider.

• If you are being treated for any infection, talk with healthcare provider.

• If you have osteoporosis, talk with healthcare provider.

• If you have stomach ulcers, talk with healthcare provider.

• If you have tuberculosis, talk with healthcare provider.

• If you have a weakened heart, talk with healthcare provider.

• Tell dentists, surgeons, and other healthcare providers that you use this medicine.

• Avoid alcohol (includes wine, beer, and liquor).


• Do not put coverings (bandages, dressings, make-up) over the area unless told to do so by healthcare provider.

What are some possible side effects of this medicine?

Oral and injection:

• High blood sugar. Can cause diabetes mellitus while on medicine, usually reverses when stopped.

• Risk of infection. Avoid people with infections, colds, or flu.

• Belly pain.

• Nausea or vomiting. Small frequent meals, frequent mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help.

• Weight gain.

• Mood changes.

• Change in body fat distribution.

• Weakened bones with long-term use.

• Muscle weakness, especially in the thighs and upper arms.

• Skin changes (acne, stretch marks, slow healing, hair growth).

• For females, vaginal yeast infection. Report itching or discharge.

• Cataracts or glaucoma with long-term use.

Rectal and skin:

• Skin irritation.

Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately

All forms:

• If you suspect an overdose, call your local poison control center or emergency department immediately.

• Signs of a life-threatening reaction. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; fits; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.

• Signs or symptoms of infection. These include a fever of 100.5 degrees or higher, chills, severe sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, increased sputum or change in color, painful urination, mouth sores, wound that will not heal, or anal itching or pain.

• Feeling extremely tired, weak, or irritable; trembling; having a fast heartbeat, confusion, sweating, or dizziness if you missed a dose or recently stopped this medicine.

• Any rash.

• Sudden change in vision.

• No improvement in condition or feeling worse.

Oral and injection:

• Difficulty breathing.

• Severe nausea or vomiting.

• Significant weight gain.

• If exposure to chickenpox has occurred and you have not had chickenpox or been vaccinated against it.


• Severe bleeding from rectum or rectal pain.


• Severe skin irritation.



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