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Cortisone

Pronunciation

Generic Name: cortisone (KOR-ti-sone)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.

Cortisone is used for:

Treating severe allergies, arthritis, asthma, multiple sclerosis, and skin conditions. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Cortisone is a corticosteroid. It works by decreasing or preventing tissues from responding to inflammation. It also modifies the body's response to certain immune stimulation.

Do NOT use cortisone if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in cortisone
  • you have a systemic fungal infection
  • you are taking mifepristone

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: 2014 Update - First Time Brand-to-Generic Switches

Before using cortisone:

Some medical conditions may interact with cortisone. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you are scheduled for a vaccination with a live virus vaccine (eg, smallpox)
  • if you have a history of an underactive thyroid, liver or kidney problems, heart problems or heart attack, diabetes, high blood pressure, inflammation of the esophagus, stomach problems (eg, ulcers), bowel blockage or other bowel problems (eg, ulcerative colitis or gravis), or mental or mood problems (eg, depression)
  • if you have measles, chickenpox, herpes infection of the eye, or any other type of bacterial, fungal, parasitic, or viral infection
  • if you have recently had tuberculosis (TB) or have had a positive skin test for TB

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with cortisone. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Aprepitant because side effects of cortisone may be increased
  • Barbiturates (eg, phenobarbital), carbamazepine, hydantoins (eg, phenytoin), or rifampin because the effectiveness of cortisone may be decreased
  • Clarithromycin, azole antifungals (eg, ketoconazole), steroidal contraceptives (eg, desogestrel), or troleandomycin because side effects, such as weakness, confusion, muscle aches, joint pain, or low blood sugar, may occur
  • Methotrexate or ritodrine because the actions and side effects of these medicines may be increased
  • Hydantoins (eg, phenytoin),mifepristone, or live vaccines because the effectiveness of these medicines may be decreased
  • Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin) or aspirin because the actions and side effects of these medicines may be increased or decreased

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if cortisone may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use cortisone:

Use cortisone as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Cortisone may be taken with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
  • If cortisone needs to be stopped (or if a different medicine is added to therapy) by your doctor, this will be done gradually. The risk of side effects may be increased if cortisone is suddenly stopped.
  • If you miss a dose of cortisone, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use cortisone.

Important safety information:

  • Cortisone may cause dizziness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to cortisone. Using cortisone alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • Cortisone may lower your body's ability to fight infection, especially if taken over a longer period of time. Prevent infection by avoiding contact with people with colds or other infections. Notify your doctor of any signs of infection, including fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
  • If you have not had chickenpox or measles, avoid contact with anyone who has any of these diseases. If you are exposed to anyone with chickenpox or measles, contact your doctor right away.
  • Carry an identification card at all times that says you are taking cortisone.
  • Before you have any medical or dental treatments, emergency care, or surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using cortisone.
  • Long-term use may cause cataracts, glaucoma, and eye infections. Contact your doctor right away if you develop any unusual changes in your vision.
  • Cortisone may cause an increase in blood pressure, salt and water retention, and calcium and potassium loss. Talk with your doctor to see if you need to decrease the amount of salt in your diet or take a calcium or vitamin D supplement.
  • Avoid vaccinations with live virus vaccines (eg, measles, mumps, oral polio) while you are taking cortisone. Vaccinations may be less effective.
  • Diabetes patients - Cortisone may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely and ask your doctor before adjusting the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • LAB TESTS, including blood electrolytes, blood calcium levels, blood pressure, and vision tests may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Caution is advised when using cortisone in CHILDREN because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Corticosteroids may affect the growth rate in CHILDREN and adolescents in some instances. Your child's growth may need to be checked regularly while using cortisone.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant while taking cortisone, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using cortisone during pregnancy. It is unknown if cortisone is excreted in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using cortisone, check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of cortisone:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Difficulty sleeping; dizziness or lightheadedness; headache; increased appetite; increased sweating; indigestion; nervousness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); black, tarry stools; changes in menstrual periods; chest pain; eye pain or increased pressure in the eye; fever, chills, or sore throat; joint or bone pain; mood or mental changes (eg, depression); muscle pain or weakness; seizures; severe or persistent nausea or vomiting; stomach pain or bloating; swelling of feet or legs; unusual weight gain or loss; vision changes; vomiting material that looks like coffee grounds.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of cortisone:

Store cortisone at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep cortisone out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about cortisone, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Cortisone is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take cortisone or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about cortisone. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to cortisone. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using cortisone.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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