Generic name: Hydrocortisone Tablets [ hye-droe-KOR-ti-sone ]
Brand name: Cortef
Drug class: Glucocorticoids
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Mar 7, 2023.
Uses of Hydrocortisone Tablets:
- It is used for many health problems like allergy signs, asthma, adrenal gland problems, blood problems, skin rashes, or swelling problems. This is not a list of all health problems that this medicine (hydrocortisone tablets) may be used for. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Hydrocortisone Tablets?
- If you have an allergy to hydrocortisone or any other part of this medicine (hydrocortisone tablets).
- If you are allergic to this medicine (hydrocortisone tablets); any part of this medicine (hydrocortisone tablets); or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
- If you have any of these health problems: A fungal infection or malaria infection in the brain.
- If you have a herpes infection of the eye.
- If you have nerve problems in the eye.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this medicine (hydrocortisone tablets).
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this medicine (hydrocortisone tablets) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Hydrocortisone Tablets?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take this medicine (hydrocortisone tablets). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- You may have more of a chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infections, colds, or flu. Some infections have been very bad and even deadly.
- Call your doctor right away if you have any signs of infection like fever, chills, flu-like signs, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or a wound that will not heal.
- Chickenpox and measles can be very bad or even deadly in some people taking steroid drugs like this medicine (hydrocortisone tablets). Avoid being near anyone with chickenpox or measles if you have not had these health problems before. If you have been exposed to chickenpox or measles, talk with your doctor.
- Long-term use may raise the chance of cataracts or glaucoma. Talk with the doctor.
- Have your eye pressure checked if you are on this medicine (hydrocortisone tablets) for a long time. Talk with your doctor.
- This medicine may cause weak bones (osteoporosis) with long-term use. Talk with your doctor to see if you have a higher chance of weak bones or if you have any questions.
- Have a bone density test as you have been told by your doctor. Talk with your doctor.
- Talk with your doctor before getting any vaccines. Use of some vaccines with this medicine (hydrocortisone tablets) may either raise the chance of an infection or make the vaccine not work as well.
- If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), you will need to watch your blood sugar closely. Tell your doctor if you get signs of high blood sugar like confusion, feeling sleepy, more thirst, more hungry, passing urine more often, flushing, fast breathing, or breath that smells like fruit.
- Talk with your doctor before you drink alcohol.
- You may need to lower how much salt is in your diet and take extra potassium. Talk with your doctor.
- If you are 65 or older, use this medicine (hydrocortisone tablets) with care. You could have more side effects.
- This medicine may affect growth in children and teens in some cases. They may need regular growth checks. Talk with the doctor.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to you and the baby.
- If you used this medicine (hydrocortisone tablets) when you were pregnant, tell your baby's doctor.
How is this medicine (Hydrocortisone Tablets) best taken?
Use this medicine (hydrocortisone tablets) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Take tablet with food.
- Keep taking this medicine (hydrocortisone tablets) as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
- If you have been taking this medicine (hydrocortisone tablets) for many weeks, talk with your doctor before stopping. You may want to slowly stop this medicine (hydrocortisone tablets).
- This medicine may lower how much natural steroid is in your body. If you have a fever, an infection, surgery, or you are hurt, talk with your doctor. You may need extra doses of oral steroids. These extra steroids will help your body deal with these stresses. Carry a warning card saying that there may be times when you need extra steroids.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of a weak adrenal gland like a very bad upset stomach or throwing up, very bad dizziness or passing out, muscle weakness, feeling very tired, mood changes, not hungry, or weight loss.
- Signs of low potassium levels like muscle pain or weakness, muscle cramps, or a heartbeat that does not feel normal.
- Signs of a pancreas problem (pancreatitis) like very bad stomach pain, very bad back pain, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up.
- Signs of high blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, or change in eyesight.
- Signs of Cushing's disease like weight gain in the upper back or belly, moon face, very bad headache, or slow healing.
- Feeling very tired, weak, or touchy; trembling; having a fast heartbeat, confusion, sweating, or dizziness if you missed a dose or recently stopped this medicine (hydrocortisone tablets).
- Shortness of breath, a big weight gain, or swelling in the arms or legs.
- Skin changes (pimples, stretch marks, slow healing, hair growth).
- Bone or joint pain.
- Period (menstrual) changes.
- Chest pain or pressure.
- Change in eyesight, eye pain, or very bad eye irritation.
- Change in the way you act.
- Depression or other mood changes.
- Any unexplained bruising or bleeding.
- Very bad belly pain.
- Black, tarry, or bloody stools.
- Throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds.
- If you have or may have a condition called pheochromocytoma, talk with your doctor. Very bad and sometimes deadly effects have been seen in patients with this condition who use this type of drug.
What are some other side effects of Hydrocortisone Tablets?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Sweating a lot.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Hydrocortisone Tablets?
- Store at room temperature.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about this medicine (hydrocortisone tablets), please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Frequently asked questions
- Can I use hydrocortisone cream on shingles rash?
- Can you put hydrocortisone cream on hemorrhoids?
- What is the difference between hydrocortisone and cortisone?
- Can hydrocortisone cream be used on sunburn?
- How long does it take for neomycin, polymyxin b and hydrocortisone ear drops to work?
- Can you use hydrocortisone cream on babies?
- Does hydrocortisone cream stop itching?
More about hydrocortisone
- Check interactions
- Compare alternatives
- Pricing & coupons
- Reviews (26)
- Drug images
- Side effects
- Dosage information
- During pregnancy
- Support group
- Drug class: glucocorticoids
- Drug Information
- Hydrocortisone injection
- Hydrocortisone rectal foam, enema
- Hydrocortisone (Injection) (Advanced Reading)
- Hydrocortisone (Oral) (Advanced Reading)
Cortef, Solu-Cortef, Cortifoam, A-Hydrocort, ... +3 more
Related treatment guides
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.