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Hydrocortisone (Injection)

Hydrocortisone (hye-droe-KOR-ti-sone)

Treats inflammation and many other medical problems. This medicine is a corticosteroid.

Brand Name(s):

A-Hydrocort, Solu-CORTEF

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. You should not receive it if you had an allergic reaction to hydrocortisone or if you have a fungus infection.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin, into a muscle, into a vein, or into a joint.
  • A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine.
  • Missed dose:Call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines and foods can affect how hydrocortisone works. Tell you doctor if you are also using any of the following:
    • Amphotericin B, aminoglutethimide, carbamazepine, cholestyramine, cyclosporine, digitalis, isoniazid, ketoconazole, or phenytoin
    • Antibiotic, including azithromycin, clarithromycin, erythromycin, troleandomycin, or rifampin
    • Blood thinner, including warfarin
    • Diuretic (water pill)
    • Estrogen, including oral contraceptive
    • Insulin or other diabetes medicine
    • NSAID, including aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen, or celecoxib
  • This medicine may interfere with vaccines. Ask your doctor before you get a flu shot or any other vaccines.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, of if you have heart problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, cirrhosis, osteoporosis, thyroid problems, or myasthenia gravis. Tell your doctor if you have digestive problems, including ulcer, colitis, or diverticulitis.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Cataracts or glaucoma
    • High blood pressure
    • Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels)
    • Increased risk for osteoporosis
    • Adrenal gland problems
  • This medicine may cause you to get infections more easily. Tell your doctor if you have any type of infection before you start treatment. Avoid people who are sick or have infections. If you are exposed to chickenpox or measles, tell your doctor right away.
  • This medicine may delay growth in children. If you think your child is not growing properly while using this medicine, talk with your doctor.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Depression, mood swings, trouble sleeping, usual thoughts, feelings, or behavior
  • Dry mouth, increased thirst, muscle cramps, nausea or vomiting, uneven heartbeat
  • Eye pain, vision changes
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, body aches
  • Rapid weight gain, swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Changes in menstrual periods
  • Depression under the skin where the shot was given
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain or weakness
  • Nausea, bloating
  • Weight gain around your neck, upper back, breast, face or waist

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 11/18/2015

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