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  • CLASSES

    Compounding Kits Miscellaneous
    Plain Topical Corticosteroids
    Systemic Corticosteroids, Plain
    Topical Anti-hemorrhoidals with Corticosteroids

    DEA CLASS

    OTC, Rx

    DESCRIPTION

    Steroid hormone with glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid activity secreted by the adrenal cortex; a preferred corticosteroid for adrenal insufficiency; available in oral, rectal, topical, and parenteral dosage forms.

    COMMON BRAND NAMES

    A-Hydrocort, Ala-Cort, Ala-Scalp, Anucort-HC, Anumed-HC, Anusol HC, Caldecort, Cetacort, Colocort, Cortaid, Cortaid Advanced, Cortaid Intensive Therapy, Cortef, Cortenema, Corticaine, Corticool, Cortifoam, Cortizone, Cortizone-10, Cortizone-10 Cooling Relief, Cortizone-10 Intensive Healing, Cortizone-10 Plus, Dermarest Dricort, Dermarest Eczema, Encort, First - Hydrocortisone, Gly-Cort, GRx HiCort, Hemmorex-HC, Hemorrhoidal-HC, Hemril, Hycort, Hydro Skin, Hydrocortone, Hydroskin, Hytone, Instacort, Lacticare HC, Locoid, Locoid Lipocream, MiCort-HC, Monistat Complete Care Instant Itch Relief Cream, Neosporin Eczema, NuCort, Nutracort, NuZon, Pandel, Penecort, Preparation H Hydrocortisone, Procto-Kit, Procto-Med HC, Procto-Pak, Proctocort, Proctocream-HC, Proctosert HC, Proctosol-HC, Proctozone-HC, Rectacort HC, Rectasol-HC, Rederm, Sarnol-HC, Scalacort, Scalpicin Anti-Itch, Solu-Cortef, Texacort, Tucks HC, Westcort

    HOW SUPPLIED

    A-Hydrocort/Hydrocortisone/Hydrocortisone Sodium Succinate/Solu-Cortef Intramuscular Inj Pwd F/Sol: 100mg, 250mg, 500mg, 1000mg
    A-Hydrocort/Hydrocortisone/Hydrocortisone Sodium Succinate/Solu-Cortef Intravenous Inj Pwd F/Sol: 100mg, 250mg, 500mg, 1000mg
    Ala-Cort/Ala-Scalp/Cetacort/Cortaid/Cortizone-10 Intensive Healing/Dermarest Eczema/Gly-Cort/Hydro Skin/Hydrocortisone/Hydroskin/Hytone/Lacticare HC/Locoid/NuCort/Nutracort/Rederm/Sarnol-HC/Scalacort Topical Lotion: 0.1%, 1%, 2%, 2.5%
    Ala-Cort/Anusol HC/Caldecort/Cortaid/Cortaid Advanced/Cortaid Intensive Therapy/Corticaine/Cortizone/Cortizone-10/Cortizone-10 Plus/Dermarest Dricort/Hycort/Hydrocortisone/Hydrocortisone Butyrate/Hydrocortisone Valerate/Hydroskin/Hytone/Instacort/Locoid/Locoid Lipocream/MiCort-HC/Monistat Complete Care Instant Itch Relief Cream/Neosporin Eczema/Nutracort/Pandel/Penecort/Preparation H Hydrocortisone/Proctocort/Proctocream-HC/Procto-Kit/Procto-Med HC/Procto-Pak/Proctosol-HC/Proctozone-HC/Westcort Topical Cream: 0.1%, 0.2%, 0.5%, 1%, 2.5%
    Anucort-HC/Anumed-HC/Anusol HC/Encort/GRx HiCort/Hemmorex-HC/Hemorrhoidal-HC/Hemril/Hydrocortisone/Hydrocortisone Acetate/Proctocort/Proctosert HC/Proctosol-HC/Rectacort HC/Rectasol-HC Rectal Supp: 25mg, 30mg
    Colocort/Cortenema/Hydrocortisone Rectal Enema: 60mL, 100mg
    Cortaid/Cortizone/Cortizone-10/Hydrocortisone/Hydrocortisone Butyrate/Hydrocortisone Valerate/Hytone/Locoid/Tucks HC/Westcort Topical Ointment: 0.1%, 0.2%, 0.5%, 1%, 2.5%
    Cortef/Hydrocortisone/Hydrocortone Oral Tab: 5mg, 10mg, 20mg
    Corticool/Cortizone-10 Cooling Relief/Hydrocortisone/Instacort/NuZon Topical Gel: 1%, 2%
    Cortifoam Topical Foam: 10%
    First - Hydrocortisone Topical Susp: 10%
    Hydrocortisone/Hydrocortisone Butyrate/Locoid/Scalpicin Anti-Itch/Texacort Topical Sol: 0.1%, 1%, 2.5%

    DOSAGE & INDICATIONS

    For the treatment of primary adrenocortical insufficiency (e.g., Addison's Disease, congenital adrenal hyperplasia or CAH) or secondary adrenocortical insufficiency.
    For adrenal crisis prophylaxis in adult patients with known or suspected adrenal insufficiency undergoing minor surgery or with a minor illness (e.g., inguinal hernia repair, colonoscopy, mild febrile illness, gastroenteritis).
    Intravenous or Intramuscular dosage (hydrocortisone sodium succinate injection)
    Adults

    Although the manufacturer recommends 200 to 500 mg IV or IM every 2 to 6 hours starting at the beginning of the surgical procedure or the onset of the acute physiologic stressor , recommendations developed from the literature and expert opinion suggest lower doses are effective and decrease the risk of adverse effects (e.g., hyperglycemia, immunosuppression). A single dose of 25 mg IV/IM is recommended by one author , and 50 to 100 mg IV/IM is recommended by another. In the case of surgeries, the dose should be administered before the procedure. Although hydrocortisone has historically been the preferred agent, some experts recommend longer acting steroids such as methylprednisolone or dexamethasone. In addition to the supplementation doses, patients who are treated with chronic steroids should also be given their usual dose or equivalent for the acute period; patients receiving the equivalent to prednisone 5 mg/day (i.e., hydrocortisone 20 mg/day) or less do not require additional supplementation.

    For adrenal crisis prophylaxis in adult patients with known or suspected adrenal insufficiency undergoing moderate surgery or with a moderate illness (e.g., open cholecystectomy, hemicolectomy, significant febrile illness, pneumonia, severe gastroenteritis).
    Intravenous or Intramuscular dosage (hydrocortisone sodium succinate injection)
    Adults

    Although the manufacturer recommends 200 to 500 mg IV or IM every 2 to 6 hours starting at the beginning of the surgical procedure or the onset of the acute physiologic stressor , recommendations developed from the literature and expert opinion suggest lower doses are effective and decrease the risk of adverse effects (e.g., hyperglycemia, immunosuppression). One author recommends 50 to 75 mg IV/IM on the day of the procedure; then, taper to the usual dose over the next 1 to 2 days. Another author recommends 50 mg IV/IM every 6 hours during the medical or surgical stress; then, taper the dose by 50% every day until the usual dose is reached. Although hydrocortisone has historically been the preferred agent, some experts recommend longer acting steroids such as methylprednisolone or dexamethasone. In addition to the supplementation doses, patients who are treated with chronic steroids should also be given their usual dose or equivalent for the acute period; patients receiving the equivalent to prednisone 5 mg/day (i.e., hydrocortisone 20 mg/day) or less do not require additional supplementation.

    For adrenal crisis prophylaxis in adult patients with known or suspected adrenal insufficiency undergoing major surgery, or with other acute stressors (e.g., major cardiothoracic surgery, Whipple procedure, liver resection, pancreatitis, acute systemic infection, shock).
    Intravenous or Intramuscular dosage (hydrocortisone sodium succinate injection)
    Adults

    Although the manufacturer recommends 200 to 500 mg IV or IM every 2 to 6 hours starting at the beginning of surgical procedure or the onset of the acute physiologic stressor , recommendations developed from the literature and expert opinion suggest lower doses are effective and decrease the risk of adverse effects (e.g., hyperglycemia, immunosuppression). In severe illnesses or major surgeries, one author recommends 100 to 150 mg IV/IM on the day of the procedure; taper to the usual dose over the next 1 to 2 days. Another author recommends 50 mg IV/IM every 6 hours during the medical or surgical stress; then, taper the dose by 50% every day until the usual dose is reached. Although hydrocortisone has historically been the preferred agent, some experts recommend longer acting steroids such as methylprednisolone or dexamethasone. In addition to the supplementation doses, patients who are treated with chronic steroids should also be given their usual dose or equivalent for the acute period; patients receiving the equivalent to prednisone 5 mg/day (i.e., hydrocortisone 20 mg/day) or less do not require additional supplementation.

    For adrenal crisis prophylaxis in adult patients with known or suspected adrenal insufficiency and a critical illness (e.g., shock).
    Intravenous or Intramuscular dosage (hydrocortisone sodium succinate injection)
    Adults

    Although the manufacturer recommends 200 to 500 mg IV or IM every 2 to 6 hours starting at the beginning the acute physiologic stressor , recommendations developed from the literature and expert opinion suggest lower doses are effective. In critically ill patients, 50 to 100 mg IV every 6 to 8 hours or 0.18 mg/kg/hour as a continuous IV infusion until the shock is resolved has been recommended; 50 mcg/day of fludrocortisone is also recommended in this situation. Once the shock is resolved, the hydrocortisone can be gradually tapered; follow vital signs and serum sodium concentrations closely. Although, hydrocortisone has historically been the preferred agent, some experts recommend longer acting steroids such as methylprednisolone or dexamethasone. In addition to the supplementation doses, patients who are treated with chronic steroids should also be given their usual dose or equivalent for the acute period; patients receiving the equivalent to prednisone 5 mg/day (i.e., hydrocortisone 20 mg/day) or less do not require additional supplementation.

    For the treatment of acute adrenocortical insufficiency.
    Intramuscular or Intravenous dosage (hydrocortisone sodium succinate injection)
    Adults

    100 to 500 mg IM or IV. May repeat every 2 to 6 hours depending upon patient condition and response.

    Adolescents and Children

    Initially, 50 to 75 mg/m2/dose or 2 to 3 mg/kg/dose IM or IV (Max: 100 mg), followed by 50 to 75 mg/m2/day IM or IV divided every 6 hours.

    Infants and Neonates

    Initially, 50 to 75 mg/m2/dose or 2 to 3 mg/kg/dose IM or IV (Max: 100 mg), followed by 50 to 75 mg/m2/day or 4 to 20 mg/kg/day IM or IV divided every 6 hours.

    For adrenal crisis prophylaxis in pediatric patients with known or suspected adrenal insufficiency with other acute stressors (e.g., febrile illness with a temperature more than 38.5 degrees Celsius, gastroenteritis with dehydration, major trauma):.
    Intramuscular or Intravenous dosage (hydrocortisone sodium succinate injection)
    Adolescents and Children 6 years and older

    An initial dose of 50 mg/m2 IM will provide 6 to 8 hours of coverage. If the patient's condition does not improve or worsens during this time, IV stress dosing (3 to 4 times the daily maintenance dose divided every 6 hours) may need to be initiated. Alternatively, an initial dose of 100 mg IM has been recommended for patients with CAH.

    Children 1 to 5 years

    An initial dose of 50 mg/m2 IM will provide 6 to 8 hours of coverage. If the patient's condition does not improve or worsens during this time, IV stress dosing (3 to 4 times the daily maintenance dose divided every 6 hours) may need to be initiated. Alternatively, an initial dose of 50 mg IM has been recommended for patients with CAH.

    Infants and Neonates

    An initial dose of 50 mg/m2 IM will provide 6 to 8 hours of coverage. If the patient's condition does not improve or worsens during this time, IV stress dosing (3 to 4 times the daily maintenance dose divided every 6 hours) may need to be initiated. Alternatively, an initial dose of 25 mg IM has been recommended for patients with CAH.

    Oral dosage
    Adolescents, Children, Infants, and Neonates

    30 to 50 mg/m2/day PO given in 3 to 4 divided doses (approximately triple the daily maintenance dose) is commonly recommended. Varying recommendations of increases in the daily maintenance dose anywhere from 2 to 10 times have been made depending on the level of stress and the patient's individual needs.

    Rectal dosage†
    Adolescents, Children, and Infants

    100 mg/m2/dose PR every 8 hours has been recommended as an alternative to parenteral administration in patients who cannot tolerate oral administration due to illness. Due to large interindividual differences in bioavailability, higher doses (150 to 200 mg/m2/dose PR) may be required in patients who do not show an adequate response (serum cortisol concentration more than 1,000 nmol/L 3 hours after administration). It is recommended that patients response to rectal hydrocortisone be tested prior to use during illness. In a study of patients with adrenal insufficiency (n = 57, age 1 month to 17 years), 43 patients responded adequately to a dose of 100 mg/m2 rectally. Risk factors for failed response included younger age and obesity. Suppositories used in this study were compounded in a Witepsol W45 base.

    For adrenal crisis prophylaxis in pediatric patients with known or suspected adrenal insufficiency undergoing surgery accompanied by general anesthesia.
    Intramuscular or Intravenous dosage (hydrocortisone sodium succinate injection)
    Adolescents and Children 6 years and older

    50 mg/m2 IV 30 to 60 minutes prior to induction of anesthesia,with repeat doses of 50 mg/m2/dose IV every 6 hours or as a continuous infusion until the patient has recovered, has been recommended. For patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), 2 mg/kg/dose IV at induction of anesthesia with repeat doses every 4 hours or as a continuous IV infusion for prolonged procedures or recovery times has also been recommended. Alternatively, an initial stress dose of 100 mg IM followed by IV doses equivalent to 3 to 4 times the daily maintenance dose divided every 6 hours has been recommended.

    Children 1 to 5 years

    50 mg/m2 IV 30 to 60 minutes prior to induction of anesthesia, with repeat doses of 50 mg/m2/dose IV every 6 hours or as a continuous infusion until the patient has recovered, has been recommended. For patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), 2 mg/kg/dose IV at induction of anesthesia with repeat doses every 4 hours or as a continuous IV infusion for prolonged procedures or recovery times has also been recommended. Alternatively, an initial stress dose of 50 mg IM followed by IV doses equivalent to 3 to 4 times the daily maintenance dose divided every 6 hours has been recommended.

    Infants and Neonates

    50 mg/m2 IV 30 to 60 minutes prior to induction of anesthesia, with repeat doses of 50 mg/m2/dose IV every 6 hours or as a continuous infusion until the patient has recovered, has been recommended. For patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), 2 mg/kg/dose IV at induction of anesthesia with repeat doses every 4 hours or as a continuous IV infusion for prolonged procedures or recovery times has also been recommended. Alternatively, an initial stress dose of 25 mg IM followed by IV doses equivalent to 3 to 4 times the daily maintenance dose divided every 6 hours has been recommended.

    Oral dosage
    Adults

    20 to 240 mg/day PO given in 2 to 4 divided doses.

    Adolescents and Children

    Initially, 8 to 20 mg/m2/day PO given in 3 divided doses; individualize doses to minimize symptoms of adrenal insufficiency while avoiding growth retardation and Cushingoid symptoms that occur with overdosage. A usual dose of 5 to 10 mg/day PO 3 times daily has been recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Doses more than 17 mg/m2/day in adolescents have been associated with loss of height and shorter adult height. Patients with primary adrenal insufficiency may require higher initial doses then those with secondary adrenal insufficiency. Patients with classic CAH also require treatment with fludrocortisone (0.05 to 0.3 mg/day PO given in 1 to 2 divided doses).

    Infants and Neonates

    Initially, 8 to 20 mg/m2/day PO given in 3 divided doses; individualize doses to minimize symptoms of adrenal insufficiency while avoiding growth retardation and Cushingoid symptoms that occur with overdosage. A usual dose of 2.5 to 5 mg/day PO 3 times daily has been recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Doses more than 20 mg/m2/day PO have been associated with loss of height and shorter adult height. Patients with primary adrenal insufficiency may require higher initial doses then those with secondary adrenal insufficiency. Neonates and infants with classic CAH also require treatment with fludrocortisone (0.05 to 0.3 mg/day PO given in 1 to 2 divided doses) and sodium chloride supplementation (1 to 2 grams/day or 17 to 34 mEq/day PO divided and given with several feedings).

    Intramuscular or Intravenous dosage (hydrocortisone sodium succinate injection)
    Adults

    100 to 500 mg IM or IV. Repeat doses at 2, 4, or 6 hour intervals.

    For use in nonspecific proctitis, postirradiation (factitial) proctitis, cryptitis, or for other non-specific inflammatory conditions of the anorectum.
    Rectal dosage (rectal suppositories)
    Adults

    For nonspecific proctitis, insert 1 suppository PR twice per day, morning and evening, for 2 weeks. May give 1 suppository PR 3 times per day, or 2 suppositories PR twice per day, if needed. For factitial proctitis, the recommended duration of therapy is 6 to 8 weeks or less, depending on response.

    For the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis).
    For adjunctive treatment of Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis using oral or parenteral therapy.
    Oral dosage
    Adults

    20 to 240 mg (base)/day PO, given in 2 to 4 divided doses.

    Infants, Children, and Adolescents

    A general dose range of 0.56 to 8 mg/kg/day or 16 to 240 mg/m2/day PO given in 3 to 4 divided doses has been recommended. Adjust according to patient response.

    Intramuscular or Intravenous dosage (hydrocortisone sodium succinate injection)
    Adults

    100 to 500 mg IM or IV. Repeat doses at 2, 4, or 6 hour intervals.

    Infants, Children, and Adolescents

    0.56 to 8 mg/kg/day or 20 to 240 mg/m2/day IM or IV given in 3 to 4 divided dose is the FDA-approved general dosage range. Adjust according to patient response.

    For adjunctive rectal treatment of chronic ulcerative colitis, particularly if disease limited to the distal portion of the rectum.
    Rectal dosage (rectal retention enema suspension)
    Adults

    100 mg PR, as a retention enema, nightly for 21 nights or until clinical and proctological remission are achieved. Clinical symptoms usually subside promptly within 3 to 5 days. However, improvement in the appearance of the mucosa, as seen by sigmoidoscopic examination, may lag somewhat behind clinical improvement. If clinical or proctologic improvement fails to occur within 2 or 3 weeks, discontinue. Difficult but responding cases may require as long as 2 or 3 months of treatment. If treatment is continued for longer than 21 nights, therapy should be withdrawn gradually by giving the product every other night for 2 to 3 weeks, then discontinuing it.

    Rectal foam dosage (hydrocortisone acetate rectal foam)
    Adults

    One applicatorful (90 mg of hydrocortisone acetate) PR once daily or twice per day for 2 to 3 weeks, and every second day thereafter. Rectal foam formulation usually reserved for treatment of ulcerative proctitis in patients who cannot retain corticosteroid enemas.

    Rectal dosage (hydrocortisone acetate rectal suppositories)
    Adults

    Insert 1 suppository PR 2 to 3 times per day, for 2 weeks. For more severe cases may use 2 suppositories PR twice per day.

    For the relief of inflammation, pruritus ani, and swelling associated with hemorrhoids.
    External topical dosage (hydrocortisone cream)
    Adults

    Apply to the external affected area (skin outside the anus) as a thin film from 2 to 4 times daily depending on the severity of the condition. Not for rectal use.

    Rectal dosage (hydrocortisone acetate rectal suppositories)
    Adults

    Insert 1 suppository PR twice daily, morning and night, for 2 weeks.

    For the treatment of allergic disorders including anaphylaxis, anaphylactic shock, or anaphylactoid reactions, angioedema, acute noninfectious laryngeal edema, drug hypersensitivity reactions, transfusion-related reactions, serum sickness, severe perennial or seasonal allergic rhinitis, or urticaria.
    For the non-emergent treatment of hypersensitivity or allergic conditions.
    Oral dosage
    Adults

    20 to 240 mg/day PO, given in 2 to 4 divided doses.

    Adolescents, Children, and Infants

    A general dose range of 0.56 to 8 mg/kg/day or 16 to 240 mg/m2/day PO given in 3 to 4 divided doses has been recommended. Adjust according to patient response.

    For the urgent treatment of severe conditions such as anaphylaxis, angioedema, acute noninfectious laryngeal edema, or urticarial transfusion-related reactions.
    Intravenous dosage (hydrocortisone sodium succinate injection)
    Adults

    The FDA-approved general dosage range is 100 to 500 mg IV; repeat doses at 2, 4, or 6 hour intervals as indicated. However, in certain acute, life-threatening situations, higher doses (e.g., 5 to 10 mg/kg/dose IV [Max: 625 mg/dose]) may be justified according to practice parameters.

    Adolescents, Children, and Infants

    The FDA-approved general dosage range is 0.56 to 8 mg/kg/day or 20 to 240 mg/m2/day IV given in 3 to 4 divided doses. However, in certain acute, life-threatening situations, higher doses may be justified.

    For the treatment of corticosteroid-responsive dermatologic disorders (e.g., alopecia areata, atopic dermatitis, bullous dermatitis herpetiformis, contact dermatitis including Rhus dermatitis due to poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac, discoid lupus erythematosus, eczema, exfoliative dermatitis, insect bites or stings, granuloma annulare, keloids, lichen striatus, lichen planus, lichen simplex, necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum, pemphigus, pityriasis rosea, polymorphous light eruption, pompholyx (dyshidrosis), pruritus, psoriasis, sarcoidosis, seborrheic dermatitis, urticaria, xerosis).
    For mild-to-moderate corticosteroid responsive dermatoses.
    Topical dosage (hydrocortisone or hydrocortisone acetate)
    Adults, Adolescents, Children 2 years and older

    Apply topically and sparingly to affected areas 2 to 4 times per day. Follow the directions on the specific product labeling. Occlusive dressings may be used for the management of psoriasis or refractory conditions; however, occlusive dressings can increase absorption as much as 10 to 100 times which may increase the risk of systemic adverse reactions. Avoid the use of tight-fitting diapers or plastic pants in patients being treated in the diaper area as these may act as an occlusive dressing. For self-medication, apply a 0.5% or 1% non-prescription topical product to affected areas not more than 3 to 4 times per day. If condition worsens, or if symptoms persist for more than 7 days or clear up and occur again within a few days, discontinue therapy.

    Infants and Children up to 2 years

    Only for use with a prescriber's prescription. Apply topically and sparingly to affected areas 2 to 4 times per day. Follow the directions on the specific product labeling. Occlusive dressings may be used for the management of psoriasis or refractory conditions; however, occlusive dressings can increase absorption as much as 10 to 100 times which may increase the risk of systemic adverse reactions. Avoid the use of tight-fitting diapers or plastic pants in patients being treated in the diaper area as these may act as an occlusive dressing.

    Topical dosage (hydrocortisone valerate)
    Adults

    Apply a thin film to the affected areas 2 or 3 times daily, depending on severity of the condition. If no improvement observed after 2 weeks, reassess diagnosis.

    Topical dosage (hydrocortisone butyrate cream, ointment, and topical solution)
    Adults, Adolescents, Children, and Infants

    Apply sparingly to affected areas 2 to 3 times per day. Follow the directions on the specific product labeling. Occlusive dressings may be used for the management of psoriasis or refractory conditions; however, occlusive dressings can increase absorption as much as 10 to 100 times which may increase the risk of systemic adverse reactions. When used in small children, advise caregivers to avoid the use of tight-fitting diapers or plastic pants in patients being treated in the diaper area as these may act as an occlusive dressing.

    Topical dosage (hydrocortisone butyrate lipocream)
    Adults

     Apply a thin film to the affected areas 2 or 3 times daily, depending on severity of the condition.

    Topical dosage (hydrocortisone probutate cream)
    Adults

    Apply thin film to affected areas 1 or 2 times daily; if no improvement after 2 weeks, reassess diagnosis.

    For mild to moderate atopic dermatitis.
    Topical dosage (hydrocortisone butyrate lotion)
    Adults

    Apply sparingly to affected areas twice daily; if no improvement after 2 weeks, reassess diagnosis. Safety and efficacy have not been established beyond 4 weeks of therapy.

    Infants 3 months and older, Children, and Adolscents

    Apply sparingly to affected areas twice daily; if no improvement after 2 weeks, reassess diagnosis. Safety and efficacy have not been established beyond 4 weeks of therapy.

    Topical dosage (hydrocortisone butyrate lipocream)
    Adults

    Apply sparingly to affected areas twice daily; if no improvement after 2 weeks, reassess diagnosis. Safety and efficacy have not been established beyond 4 weeks of therapy.

    Infants 3 months and older, Children, and Adolescents

    Apply sparingly to affected areas twice daily; if no improvement after 2 weeks, reassess diagnosis. Safety and efficacy have not been established beyond 4 weeks of therapy.

    For the systemic treatment of severe inflammatory dermatoses, like severe exfoliative dermatitis, erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, or psoriasis unresponsive to topical treatment.
    Oral dosage
    Adults

    20 to 240 mg/day PO, given in 2 to 4 divided doses.

    Adolescents, Children, and Infants

    A general dose range of 0.56 to 8 mg/kg/day or 16 to 240 mg/m2/day PO given in 3 to 4 divided doses has been recommended. Adjust according to patient response.

    Intramuscular or Intravenous dosage (hydrocortisone sodium succinate injection)
    Adults

    100 to 500 mg IM or IV. Repeat doses at 2, 4, or 6 hour intervals.

    Adolescents, Children, and Infants

    0.56 to 8 mg/kg/day or 20 to 240 mg/m2/day IM or IV given in 3 to 4 divided dose is the FDA-approved general dosage range. Adjust according to patient response.

    For adjunctive therapy in the treatment of rheumatic disorders including acute gouty arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA)/juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), post-traumatic osteoarthritis, pseudogout†, or psoriatic arthritis.
    Oral dosage
    Adults

    20 to 240 mg/day PO, given in 2 to 4 divided doses.

    Adolescents, Children, and Infants

    A general dose range of 0.56 to 8 mg/kg/day or 16 to 240 mg/m2/day PO given in 3 to 4 divided doses has been recommended. Adjust according to patient response.

    Intramuscular or Intravenous dosage (hydrocortisone sodium succinate injection)
    Adults

    100 to 500 mg IM or IV. Repeat doses at 2, 4, or 6 hour intervals.

    Adolescents, Children, and Infants

    0.56 to 8 mg/kg/day or 20 to 240 mg/m2/day IM or IV given in 3 to 4 divided dose is the FDA-approved general dosage range. Adjust according to patient response.

    For the treatment of acute episodes or exacerbation of non-rheumatic inflammation including acute and subacute bursitis, epicondylitis, and acute non-specific tenosynovitis.
    Oral dosage
    Adults

    20 to 240 mg/day PO, given in 2 to 4 divided doses.

    Adolescents, Children, and Infants

    A general dose range of 0.56 to 8 mg/kg/day or 16 to 240 mg/m2/day PO given in 3 to 4 divided doses has been recommended. Adjust according to patient response.

    For the short-term treatment of hypercalcemia associated with neoplastic disease.
    Intravenous or Intramuscular dosage (hydrocortisone sodium succinate injection)
    Adults

    200 to 300 mg IV once per day for 3 to 5 days has been recommended.

    Adolescents, Children, and Infants

    0.56 to 8 mg/kg/day or 20 to 240 mg/m2/day IM or IV given in 3 to 4 divided dose is the FDA-approved general dosage range. Adjust according to patient response.

    For the treatment of complicated or disseminated pulmonary tuberculosis infection (i.e., tuberculous meningitis and pericarditis) as adjunctive therapy in combination with antituberculous therapy.
    Oral dosage
    Adults

    The FDA-labeled dose is 20 to 240 mg/day PO, depending upon the disease being treated. Adjunctive corticosteroid therapy has been shown to improve survival for patients with tuberculosis involving the CNS and pericardium, but has not been universally recommended by guidelines for all forms of tuberculosis. Initial doses in clinical trials for tuberculosis in general have used IV doses of either 4 mg/kg IV every 24 hours or 150 to 250 mg IV daily; many trials were prior to the use of rifampin, which may decrease bioavailability and increase plasma clearance of corticosteroids. A meta-analysis suggests that steroid use may reduce mortality in all forms of tuberculosis which may be influenced by genetic variation at the LTA4H gene.

    Adolescents, Children, and Infants

    A general dose range of 0.56 to 8 mg/kg/day or 16 to 240 mg/m2/day PO given in 3 to 4 divided doses has been recommended. Adjust according to patient response.

    Intramuscular or Intravenous dosage (hydrocortisone sodium succinate injection)
    Adults

    100 to 500 mg IM or IV; doses may be repeated at 2, 4, or 6 hour intervals. Adjunctive corticosteroid therapy has been shown to improve survival for patients with tuberculosis involving the CNS and pericardium, but has not been universally recommended by guidelines for all forms of tuberculosis. Clinical trials for tuberculosis in general have used IV doses of either 4 mg/kg IV every 24 hours or 150 to 250 mg IV daily; many trials were prior to the use of rifampin, which may decrease bioavailability and increase plasma clearance of corticosteroids. A meta-analysis suggests that steroid use may reduce mortality in all forms of tuberculosis which may be influenced by genetic variation at the LTA4H gene.

    Adolescents, Children, and Infants

    0.56 to 8 mg/kg/day or 20 to 240 mg/m2/day IM or IV given in 3 to 4 divided dose is the FDA-approved general dosage range. Adjust according to patient response.

    For the management of nephrotic syndrome to induce diuresis or decrease proteinuria.
    Oral dosage
    Adults

    20 to 240 mg/day PO, given in 2 to 4 divided doses.

    Infants, Children, and Adolescents

    A general dose range of 0.56 to 8 mg/kg/day or 16 to 240 mg/m2/day PO given in 3 to 4 divided doses has been recommended. Adjust according to patient response.

    Intramuscular or Intravenous dosage (hydrocortisone sodium succinate injection)
    Adults

    100 mg to 500 mg IM or IV. Repeat doses at 2, 4, or 6 hour intervals.

    Infants, Children, and Adolescents

    0.56 to 8 mg/kg/day or 20 to 240 mg/m2/day IM or IV given in 3 to 4 divided dose is the FDA-approved general dosage range. Adjust according to patient response.

    For the treatment of neurologic or myocardial involvement associated with trichinosis.
    Oral dosage
    Adults

    20 to 240 mg (base)/day PO, given in 2 to 4 divided doses.

    Adolescents, Children, and Infants

    A general dose range of 0.56 to 8 mg/kg/day or 16 to 240 mg/m2/day PO given in 3 to 4 divided doses has been recommended. Adjust according to patient response.

    Intramuscular or Intravenous dosage (hydrocortisone sodium succinate injection)
    Adults

    100 mg to 500 mg IM or IV. Repeat doses at 2, 4, or 6 hour intervals.

    Adolescents, Children, and Infants

    0.56 to 8 mg/kg/day or 20 to 240 mg/m2/day IM or IV given in 3 to 4 divided dose is the FDA-approved general dosage range. Adjust according to patient response.

    For the treatment of nonsuppurative thyroiditis.
    Oral dosage
    Adults

    20 to 240 mg (base)/day PO, given in 2 to 4 divided doses.

    Adolescents, Children, and Infants

    A general dose range of 0.56 to 8 mg/kg/day or 16 to 240 mg/m2/day PO given in 3 to 4 divided doses has been recommended. Adjust according to patient response.

    Intramuscular or Intravenous dosage (hydrocortisone sodium succinate injection)
    Adults

    100 to 500 mg IM or IV. Repeat doses at 2, 4, or 6 hour intervals.

    Adolescents, Children, and Infants

    0.56 to 8 mg/kg/day or 20 to 240 mg/m2/day IM or IV given in 3 to 4 divided dose is the FDA-approved general dosage range. Adjust according to patient response.

    For rheumatic and related disorders such as acute rheumatic carditis, systemic dermatomyositis (polymyositis), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), temporal arteritis, Churg-Strauss syndrome†, mixed connective tissue disease†, polyarteritis nodosa†, relapsing polychondritis†, polymyalgia rheumatica†, symptomatic sarcoidosis, vasculitis†, or Wegener's granulomatosis†.
    Oral dosage
    Adults

    20 to 240 mg/day PO, given in 2 to 4 divided doses.

    Adolescents, Children, and Infants

    A general dose range of 0.56 to 8 mg/kg/day or 16 to 240 mg/m2/day PO given in 3 to 4 divided doses has been recommended. Adjust according to patient response.

    Intramuscular or Intravenous dosage (hydrocortisone sodium succinate injection)
    Adults

    100 to 500 mg IM or IV. Repeat doses at 2, 4, or 6 hour intervals.

    Infants, Children, and Adolescents

    0.56 to 8 mg/kg/day or 20 to 240 mg/m2/day IM or IV given in 3 to 4 divided dose is the FDA-approved general dosage range. Adjust according to patient response.

    For the treatment of corticosteroid-responsive hematologic disorders, like immune thrombocytopenia/idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), secondary thrombocytopenia in adults, acquired (autoimmune) hemolytic anemia, erythroblastopenia, and congenital hypoplastic anemia; OR for the palliative treatment of neoplastic disease in adults and acute leukemias of childhood including acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), Hodgkin's disease, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) (aka mycosis fungoides), or multiple myeloma† .
    Oral dosage
    Adults

    20 to 240 mg/day PO, given in 2 to 4 divided doses.

    Adolescents, Children, and Infants

    A general dose range of 0.56 to 8 mg/kg/day or 16 to 240 mg/m2/day PO given in 3 to 4 divided doses has been recommended. Adjust according to patient response.

    Intramuscular or Intravenous dosage (hydrocortisone sodium succinate injection)
    Adults

    100 to 500 mg IM or IV. Repeat doses at 2, 4, or 6 hour intervals.

    Adolescents, Children, and Infants

    0.56 to 8 mg/kg/day or 20 to 240 mg/m2/day IM or IV given in 3 to 4 divided dose is the FDA-approved general dosage range. Adjust according to patient response.

    For the treatment of respiratory inflammatory conditions including bronchial asthma, aspiration pneumonitis, berylliosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Loeffler's syndrome, or noncardiogenic pulmonary edema†.
    Oral dosage
    Adults

    20 to 240 mg/day PO, given in 2 to 4 divided doses. Although the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program guidelines recommend prednisone, prednisolone, or methylprednisolone as the systemic corticosteroids of choice for the management of moderate to severe asthma exacerbations, they state that other corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone, given in equipotent daily doses are likely to be as effective. Administer hydrocortisone IV or IM initially for the treatment of severe respiratory conditions or those compromising the airway.

    Adolescents, Children, and Infants

    A general dose range of 0.56 to 8 mg/kg/day or 16 to 240 mg/m2/day PO given in 3 to 4 divided doses has been recommended. Adjust according to patient response. Although the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program guidelines recommend prednisone, prednisolone, or methylprednisolone as the systemic corticosteroids of choice for the management of moderate to severe asthma exacerbations, they state that other corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone, given in equipotent daily doses are likely to be as effective. Administer hydrocortisone IV or IM initially for the treatment of severe respiratory conditions or those compromising the airway.

    Intramuscular or Intravenous dosage (hydrocortisone sodium succinate injection)
    Adults

    100 to 500 mg IM or IV. Repeat doses at 2, 4, or 6 hour intervals. Although the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program guidelines recommend prednisone, prednisolone, or methylprednisolone as the systemic corticosteroids of choice for the management of moderate to severe asthma exacerbations, they state that other corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone, given in equipotent daily doses are likely to be as effective.

    Adolescents, Children, and Infants

    0.56 to 8 mg/kg/day or 20 to 240 mg/m2/day IM or IV given in 3 to 4 divided dose is the FDA-approved general dosage range. Adjust according to patient response. An initial dose of 6 mg/kg IV followed by 8 to 10 mg/kg/day IV given in 4 divided doses for 1 to 2 days was used in 2 studies (combined n = 85, age 2 months to 11 years) of patients with acute asthma. Although 1 study found improvements in patients receiving hydrocortisone compared to placebo, another study comparing hydrocortisone to dexamethasone found a significantly shorter duration of hospital stay in patients receiving dexamethasone. The National Asthma Education and Prevention Program guidelines recommend prednisone, prednisolone, or methylprednisolone as the systemic corticosteroids of choice for the management of moderate to severe asthma exacerbations; however, the guidelines state that other corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone, given in equipotent daily doses are likely to be as effective.

    For the treatment of septic shock† and/or hypotension† in patients whose blood pressure is poorly responsive to adequate fluid resuscitation and vasopressor therapy.
    Intravenous dosage (hydrocortisone sodium succinate injection)
    Adults

    200 mg/day IV continuous infusion if adequate fluid resuscitation and vasopressor therapy are unable to restore hemodynamic stability. Taper dose once vasopressors are no longer required. Hydrocortisone should not be administered in sepsis in the absence of shock. The adrenocorticotropic hormone stimulation test is not recommended to identify patients with septic shock who should receive hydrocortisone.

    Infants, Children, and Adolescents

    An initial dose of 2 mg/kg/day IV or 50 mg/m2/day IV given in divided doses or as a continuous infusion and titrated to resolution of shock to doses as high as 50 mg/kg/day IV is recommended by the Society of Critical Care Medicine for patients with suspected or proven absolute adrenal insufficiency (peak cortisol concentration after corticotropin stimulation less than 18 mcg/dL) or adrenal-pituitary axis failure and catecholamine resistant shock. An initial dose of 100 mg/m2 IV (Max: 200 mg) followed by 25 mg/m2/dose IV every 6 hours (Max: 50 mg/dose) was used in a study of patients with systemic inflammatory response syndrome with hypotension requiring fluid resuscitation and vasopressors (n = 97, age 0.5 months to 24 years). A portion of patients (n = 60) also received fludrocortisone (50 mcg/day PO for patients weighing less than 35 kg and 100 mcg/day PO for patients weighing 35 kg or more).

    Neonates

    1 mg/kg IV every 8 to 12 hours for 1 to 5 days has been studied in premature and term neonates (combined n from 3 studies = 89, gestational age 23 to 40 weeks). An initial loading dose of 2 mg/kg IV was used in 1 retrospective study and another prospective, observational study used a higher maintenance dose of 3 to 6 mg/kg/day IV divided 2 to 4 times daily in a small number of patients (n = 5) with severe capillary leak syndrome and/or previous steroid treatment. In the largest prospective, randomized, placebo controlled study (n = 48, gestational age 25.2 to 29.9 weeks), patients receiving hydrocortisone 1 mg/kg IV every 8 hours for 5 days required significantly less vasopressor support (lower doses of dopamine and dobutamine, shorter duration of vasopressor therapy, and fewer patients requiring more than 1 vasopressor) compared to patients receiving placebo. The trend of the average mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) was also significantly higher in patients receiving hydrocortisone compared to patients receiving placebo.

    For the prevention of chronic lung disease (CLD)† in mechanically ventilated patients.
    Intravenous dosage (hydrocortisone sodium succinate injection)
    Premature neonates

    0.5 mg/kg/dose IV every 12 hours for 9 to 12 days followed by 0.25 mg/kg/day IV every 12 hours for 3 days, started within the first 48 hours of life, has been studied (combined n from 3 studies = 450, birth weight 500 to 1,249 grams). The rate of survival without chronic lung disease (CLD) was significantly increased in 2 studies in patients receiving hydrocortisone compared to those receiving placebo. Although the largest study (n = 360) did not find a significantly increased rate of survival without CLD in the overall study group, the rate of survival without CLD was significantly improved in a subset of patients receiving hydrocortisone who were exposed to chorioamnionitis. This study was terminated early due to a higher incidence of intestinal perforation in patients receiving hydrocortisone and indomethacin (vs. indomethacin plus placebo). The American Academy of Pediatrics states that hydrocortisone at a dose of 1 mg/kg/day IV given for the first 2 weeks of life may increase the rate of survival without CLD, especially in neonates delivered in a setting of prenatal inflammation, without adverse effects on neurodevelopment.

    For the treatment of refractory neonatal hypoglycemia†.
    Intravenous dosage (hydrocortisone sodium succinate injection)
    Neonates

    5 mg/kg/day IV given in 2 divided doses has been recommended in neonates not responding to glucose infusions of 12 to 15 mg/kg/minute.

    Oral dosage
    Neonates

    5 mg/kg/day PO given in 2 divided doses has been recommended in neonates not responding to glucose infusions of 12 to 15 mg/kg/minute.

    For the treatment of corticosteroid-responsive ophthalmic disorders, including allergic conjunctivitis (not controlled topically), allergic marginal corneal ulcer, anterior segment inflammation, chorioretinitis, endophthalmitis†, Graves' ophthalmopathy, herpes zoster ocular infection (herpes zoster ophthalmicus), iritis, keratitis, postoperative ocular inflammation, optic neuritis, diffuse posterior uveitis, or vernal keratoconjunctivitis.
    Oral dosage
    Adults

    20 to 240 mg/day PO, given in 2 to 4 divided doses.

    Adolescents, Children, and Infants

    A general dose range of 0.56 to 8 mg/kg/day or 16 to 240 mg/m2/day PO given in 3 to 4 divided doses has been recommended. Adjust according to patient response.

    Intramuscular or Intravenous dosage (hydrocortisone sodium succinate injection)
    Adults

    100 to 500 mg IM or IV. Repeat doses at 2, 4, or 6 hour intervals.

    Adolescents, Children, and Infants

    0.56 to 8 mg/kg/day or 20 to 240 mg/m2/day IM or IV given in 3 to 4 divided dose is the FDA-approved general dosage range. Adjust according to patient response.

    For adjunctive therapy in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome†.
    Local injection (hydrocortisone acetate suspension for injection)
    Adults

    25 mg as a single injection adjacent to the carpal tunnel has been effective for conservative therapy. Reassess at 6 to 8 weeks. To avoid median-nerve injury, use specialized administration techniques. Use of more than 2 or 3 repeat injections is not advised; local tendon damage may occur. The definitive treatment for median-nerve entrapment is surgery. Corticosteroids are temporary measures; patients who have intermittent pain and paresthesias without any fixed motor-sensory deficits may respond to conservative therapy.

    †Indicates off-label use

    MAXIMUM DOSAGE

    Corticosteroid dosage must be individualized and is highly variable depending on the nature and severity of the disease, and on patient response. There is no absolute maximum dosage.

    DOSING CONSIDERATIONS

    Hepatic Impairment

    Systemic dosage may need adjustment depending on the degree of hepatic insufficiency, but quantitative recommendations are not available.

    Renal Impairment

    Specific guidelines for dosage adjustments in renal impairment are not available; it appears that no dosage adjustments are needed.

    ADMINISTRATION

    Oral Administration

    Administer with meals to minimize indigestion or GI irritation. If given once daily, administer in the morning to coincide with the body's normal cortisol secretion.

    Oral Solid Formulations

    Tablets may be crushed and mixed with a small amount of liquid just prior to administration for patient's unable to swallow tablets. Crushed tablets are recommended over oral suspension in patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) due to results of a study showing hydrocortisone cypionate suspension (Cortef suspension) was not bioequivalent to the tablets.

    Oral Liquid Formulations

    Oral Suspension
    Shake well before administering. Measure dosage with calibrated measuring device.

    Extemporaneous Compounding-Oral

    Extemporaneous Compounding-Oral Suspension
    Extemporaneous 2.5 mg/ml Hydrocortisone Oral Suspension Preparation
    Dissolve 0.02 gram of methyl hydroxybenzoate, 0.08 gram of propyl hydroxybenzoate, 0.6 gram of citric acid monohydrate, and 10 mL of syrup BP in hot water to make the vehicle.
    Triturate the cooled vehicle with 1 gram of sodium carboxymethylcellulose and allow solution to stand overnight.
    Weigh out 250 mg of hydrocortisone powder or grind twelve and one-half (12.5) 20 mg hydrocortisone tablets into a fine powder in a glass mortar.
    Combine the ground tablets or the 250 mg of hydrocortisone powder with 0.5 mL of polysorbate 80 and triturate.
    Add the vehicle to the hydrocortisone powder mixture and transfer to amber plastic bottles.
    Add enough water to bring the total volume to 100 mL.
    Storage: The resulting suspension is chemically stable at 5 and 25 degrees Celsius for 90 days; however, a 30 day expiration is suggested due to the lack of antimicrobial preservative.

    Injectable Administration

    Visually inspect parenteral products for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration whenever solution and container permit. Use solution only if it is clear.

    Intravenous Administration

    Reconstitution and Preparation:
    100 mg vial: For IV injection, add 2 mL or less of Bacteriostatic Water for Injection or Bacteriostatic Sodium Chloride Injection to the contents of one vial.
    Further dilution is not necessary for direct IV injection.
    For intravenous infusion, add 2 mL or less of Bacteriostatic Water for Injection to the vial; this solution may then be added to 100 to 1000 mL of 5% Dextrose, 0.9% Sodium Chloride, or 5% Dextrose with 0.9% Sodium Chloride injection.
    ACT-O-VIAL presentations: Press down on plastic activator to force diluent into the lower compartment. Gently agitate to effect solution. Remove plastic tab covering center of stopper, and sterilize the stopper top. Insert needle squarely through center of stopper until tip is just visible. Invert vial and withdraw dose.
     Further dilution is not necessary for direct IV injection.
    For intravenous infusion, add the 100 mg solution to 100 to 1000 mL of 5% Dextrose, 0.9% Sodium Chloride, or 5% Dextrose with 0.9% Sodium Chloride injection. The 250 mg solution may be added to 250 to 1000 mL, the 500 mg solution may be added to 500 to 1000 mL, and the 1000 mg solution may be added to 1000 mL of the same diluents. Alternatively, 100 to 3000 mg may be added to 50 mL of the above diluents. Do not dilute or mix with other solutions because of possible incompatibilities. The resulting solutions are stable for at least 4 hours.
     
    Direct IV injection administration:
    Inject the reconstituted solution over a period of 30 seconds (e.g., 100 mg) to 10 minutes (e.g., 500 mg or more).
     
    Continuous IV infusion administration:
    Reconstituted isolutions may be administered by IV piggyback, but do not dilute or mix with solutions other than 5% Dextrose, 0.9% Sodium Chloride, or 5% Dextrose and 0.9% Sodium Chloride because of possible incompatibilities.

    Intramuscular Administration

    Reconstitution and Administration
    100 mg vial: Add 2 mL or less of Bacteriostatic Water for Injection or Bacteriostatic 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection to the contents of 1 vial.
    ACT-O-VIAL (100mg, 250 mg, 500 mg, 1000 mg): Press down on plastic activator to force diluent into the lower compartment. Gently agitate to effect solution. Remove plastic tab covering center of stopper. Sterilize top of stopper with a suitable germicide. Insert needle squarely through center of stopper until tip is just visible. Invert vial and withdraw dose. Further dilution is not necessary for IM injection.
    Do NOT administer hydrocortisone IM into the deltoid muscle as subcutaneous atrophy occurs with high frequency after such use.

    Topical Administration
    Cream/Ointment/Lotion Formulations

    Cream, lotion, or ointment: Apply sparingly in a thin film and rub gently into the cleansed affected area. Occlusive dressings may be necessary for severe conditions.

    Other Topical Formulations

    Solution or gel: Apply sparingly in a thin film and rub gently into the cleansed affected area. Occlusive dressings may be necessary for severe conditions.
    Aerosol spray: Shake container gently once or twice each time before using. Spray each four square inch area for about 1 to 2 seconds from a distance of about 15 cm.

    Rectal Administration

    Aerosol Rectal Foam:
    Wash hands before and after application.
    Place cap on top of container and shake the container vigorously for 5 to 10 seconds before each use; cap should not be removed during use.
    Hold container upright on a level surface and gently place the tip of the applicator onto the nose of the container cap. Container must be held upright to obtain proper flow of medication.
    Pull applicator plunger past the fill line on the applicator barrel.
    To fill the applicator barrel, press down firmly on cap flanges, hold for 1 to 2 seconds, and release. Allow 5 to 10 seconds for foam to expand in the applicator barrel. Repeat until the foam reaches the fill line. Remove applicator from container cap. A burst of air may be released from container with the first pump.
    Hold applicator firmly by barrel, making sure thumb and middle finger are positioned securely underneath and resting against barrel wings. Place index finger over the plunger. Gently insert tip into anus. Once in place, push plunger to expel foam, then withdraw applicator. Apply to anus only with the applicator provided with the foam. Do not insert any part of the applicator past the anus into the rectum. Fingers or any other mechanical device should not be used to administer the aerosol foam. Do not insert any part of the aerosol container directly into the anus.
    The container and cap should be disassembled and rinsed with warm water after each use. The applicator parts should be pulled apart for thorough cleaning with warm water after each use.
     
    Rectal Retention Enema:
    Instruct patient to lie down on left side during administration and for 30 minutes afterwards to allow the medication to distribute throughout the colon. Encourage patient to retain enema for at least 1 hour or, preferably, all night before expelling.
     
    Rectal Suppository:
    Instruct patient on proper use of suppository. Unwrap the suppository prior to insertion. Moisten the suppository with water prior to insertion. If suppository is too soft because of storage in a warm place, chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or run cold water over it before removing wrapper.
     
    Topical Cream for hemorrhoids:
    Apply as a thin film to the cleansed affected area around the anus. Do not insert rectally.

    STORAGE

    A-Hydrocort:
    - Discard product if it contains particulate matter, is cloudy, or discolored
    - Discard reconstituted product if not used within 3 days
    - Protect from light
    - Reconstituted product may be stored at controlled room temperature (68 to 77 degrees F)
    - Store unreconstituted product at 68 to 77 degrees F
    Ala-Cort:
    - Store at controlled room temperature (between 68 and 77 degrees F)
    Ala-Scalp:
    - Avoid exposure to heat
    - Protect from light
    - Protect from moisture
    - Store at room temperature (between 59 to 86 degrees F)
    Anucort-HC:
    - Avoid exposure to heat
    - Protect from freezing
    - Store between 59 to 77 degrees F, excursions permitted to 59 to 86 degrees F
    Anumed-HC:
    - Avoid exposure to heat
    - Protect from freezing
    - Store between 59 to 77 degrees F, excursions permitted to 59 to 86 degrees F
    Anusol HC:
    - Store at controlled room temperature (between 68 and 77 degrees F)
    Balneol for Her:
    - Protect from moisture
    - Store at controlled room temperature (between 68 and 77 degrees F)
    Caldecort :
    - Store between 68 to 77 degrees F
    Cetacort:
    - Store at controlled room temperature (between 68 and 77 degrees F)
    Colocort :
    - Store at controlled room temperature (between 68 and 77 degrees F)
    Cortaid:
    - Store at controlled room temperature (between 68 and 77 degrees F)
    Cortaid Advanced:
    - Store between 68 to 77 degrees F
    Cortaid Intensive Therapy:
    - Store between 68 to 77 degrees F
    CortAlo:
    - Store at room temperature (between 59 to 86 degrees F)
    Cortef:
    - Store at controlled room temperature (between 68 and 77 degrees F)
    Cortenema:
    - Store at controlled room temperature (between 68 and 77 degrees F)
    Corticaine:
    - Store between 68 to 77 degrees F
    Corticool:
    - Store at controlled room temperature (between 68 and 77 degrees F)
    Cortifoam:
    - Do not refrigerate
    - Do Not Store at Temperatures Above 120 degrees F (49 degrees C)
    - Store at controlled room temperature (between 68 and 77 degrees F)
    Cortizone:
    - Store between 68 to 77 degrees F
    Cortizone-10:
    - Store between 68 to 77 degrees F
    Cortizone-10 Cooling Relief:
    - Store at controlled room temperature (between 68 and 77 degrees F)
    Cortizone-10 Intensive Healing:
    - Store at controlled room temperature (between 68 and 77 degrees F)
    Cortizone-10 Plus:
    - Store between 68 to 77 degrees F
    Dermarest Dricort:
    - Store between 68 to 77 degrees F
    Dermarest Eczema:
    - Store at controlled room temperature (between 68 and 77 degrees F)
    Encort:
    - Store at room temperature (between 59 to 86 degrees F)
    First - Hydrocortisone:
    - Store at room temperature (between 59 to 86 degrees F)
    Gly-Cort :
    - Store at controlled room temperature (between 68 and 77 degrees F)
    GRx HiCort:
    - Avoid exposure to heat
    - Protect from freezing
    - Store between 59 to 77 degrees F, excursions permitted to 59 to 86 degrees F
    Hemmorex-HC:
    - Avoid exposure to heat
    - Protect from freezing
    - Store between 59 to 77 degrees F, excursions permitted to 59 to 86 degrees F
    Hemorrhoidal-HC:
    - Avoid exposure to heat
    - Protect from freezing
    - Store between 59 to 77 degrees F, excursions permitted to 59 to 86 degrees F
    Hemril :
    - Store at room temperature (between 59 to 86 degrees F)
    Hycort:
    - Store between 68 to 77 degrees F
    Hydro Skin:
    - Store at controlled room temperature (between 68 and 77 degrees F)
    Hydrocortone:
    - Store at controlled room temperature (between 68 and 77 degrees F)
    Hydroskin :
    - Store at controlled room temperature (between 68 and 77 degrees F)
    Hytone:
    - Store at controlled room temperature (between 68 and 77 degrees F)
    Instacort:
    - Store at controlled room temperature (between 68 and 77 degrees F)
    Lacticare HC:
    - Store at controlled room temperature (between 68 and 77 degrees F)
    Locoid:
    - Store between 41 to 77 degrees F
    Locoid Lipocream:
    - Protect from freezing
    - Store at 77 degrees F; excursions permitted to 59-86 degrees F
    MiCort-HC :
    - Protect from freezing
    - Store at 77 degrees F; excursions permitted to 59-86 degrees F
    Monistat Complete Care Instant Itch Relief Cream:
    - Store between 68 to 77 degrees F
    Neosporin Eczema:
    - Store between 68 to 77 degrees F
    NuCort :
    - Store at room temperature (between 59 to 86 degrees F)
    Nutracort:
    - Store at controlled room temperature (between 68 and 77 degrees F)
    NuZon:
    - Store at room temperature (between 59 to 86 degrees F)
    Pandel:
    - Store at controlled room temperature (between 68 and 77 degrees F)
    Penecort:
    - Store between 68 to 77 degrees F
    Preparation H Hydrocortisone:
    - Store between 68 to 77 degrees F
    Proctocort:
    - Store at room temperature (between 59 to 86 degrees F)
    Proctocream-HC:
    - Store at controlled room temperature (between 68 and 77 degrees F)
    Procto-Kit:
    - Store at controlled room temperature (between 68 and 77 degrees F)
    Procto-Med HC :
    - Store at controlled room temperature (between 68 and 77 degrees F)
    Procto-Pak:
    - Protect from freezing
    - Store at room temperature (between 59 to 86 degrees F)
    Proctosert HC :
    - Store at room temperature (between 59 to 86 degrees F)
    Proctosol-HC:
    - Store at controlled room temperature (between 68 and 77 degrees F)
    Proctozone-HC:
    - Store at controlled room temperature (between 68 and 77 degrees F)
    Rectacort HC:
    - Avoid exposure to heat
    - Protect from freezing
    - Store between 59 to 77 degrees F, excursions permitted to 59 to 86 degrees F
    Rectasol-HC:
    - Avoid exposure to heat
    - Protect from freezing
    - Store between 59 to 77 degrees F, excursions permitted to 59 to 86 degrees F
    Rederm:
    - Store at controlled room temperature (between 68 and 77 degrees F)
    Sarnol-HC:
    - Store at controlled room temperature (between 68 and 77 degrees F)
    Scalacort:
    - Avoid exposure to heat
    - Protect from freezing
    - Store at room temperature (between 59 to 86 degrees F)
    Scalpicin Anti-Itch:
    - Avoid excessive humidity
    - Store between 68 to 77 degrees F
    Solu-Cortef:
    - Discard reconstituted product if not used within 3 days
    - Protect from light
    - Store at controlled room temperature (between 68 and 77 degrees F)
    Texacort:
    - Store at room temperature (between 59 to 86 degrees F)
    Tucks HC:
    - Store at room temperature (between 59 to 86 degrees F)
    Westcort:
    - Store at controlled room temperature (between 68 and 77 degrees F)

    CONTRAINDICATIONS / PRECAUTIONS

    Abrupt discontinuation, Cushing's syndrome, skin abrasion

    Systemic corticosteroids can aggravate Cushing's syndrome and should be avoided in patients with Cushing's syndrome. Prolonged administration of pharmacological doses of systemic corticosteroids or topical preparations (resulting in systemic absorption) may result in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) suppression and/or manifestations of Cushing's syndrome in some patients. Acute adrenal insufficiency and even death may occur following abrupt discontinuation of prolonged systemic therapy. In addition, a withdrawal syndrome unrelated to adrenocortical insufficiency may occur following sudden discontinuation of corticosteroid therapy. These effects are thought to be due to the sudden change in glucocorticoid concentration rather than to low corticosteroid levels. Withdrawal from prolonged systemic corticosteroid therapy should be gradual. HPA suppression can last for up to 12 months following cessation of systemic therapy. Recovery of HPA axis function is generally prompt and complete upon discontinuation of the topical corticosteroid. HPA-suppressed patients may need supplemental corticosteroid treatment during periods of physiologic stress, such as surgical procedures, acute blood loss, or infection, even after the corticosteroid has been discontinued. Conditions that increase systemic absorption of topical corticosteroids include use over large surface areas, prolonged use, use in areas where the epidermal barrier is disrupted (i.e., skin abrasion), and the use of an occlusive dressing. Patients receiving large doses of hydrocortisone applied to a large surface area should be evaluated periodically for evidence of HPA axis suppression and/or manifestations of Cushing's syndrome. If these effects are noted, an attempt should be made to withdraw the drug, to reduce the frequency of application, or to substitute a less potent corticosteroid.

    Growth inhibition, increased intracranial pressure

    Chronic corticosteroid therapy in pediatric patients may interfere with growth and development. Chronic use of systemic or topical corticosteroids may cause growth inhibition (including linear growth retardation and delayed weight gain) in pediatric patients. Children and infants may absorb proportionally larger amounts of topical corticosteroids due to a larger skin surface area to body weight ratio, and therefore are more susceptible to developing systemic toxicity, especially with very-high-potency topical products. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis suppression, Cushing's syndrome, and increased intracranial pressure have been reported in children receiving corticosteroids. Administration of corticosteroids to pediatric patients should be limited to the least amount compatible with an effective therapeutic regimen. If children are being treated topically in the diaper area, tight-fitting diapers or plastic pants should be avoided as these garments may act as an occlusive dressing and increase systemic absorption of the drug.

    Immunosuppression

    Patients receiving high-dose (e.g., equivalent to 1 mg/kg or more of prednisone daily) systemic corticosteroid therapy, such as hydrocortisone, for any period of time, particularly in conjunction with corticosteroid sparing drugs (e.g., troleandomycin) are at risk to develop immunosuppression; patients receiving moderate doses of systemic corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone, for short periods or low doses for prolonged periods may also be at risk. When given in combination with other immunosuppressive agents, there is a risk of over-immunosuppression.

    Fungal infection, infection

    Systemic corticosteroid therapy, such as hydrocortisone, can mask the symptoms of infection and should not be used in patients with fungal infection or bacterial infection that are not adequately controlled with antiinfective agents. Although the manufacturers state that systemic hydrocortisone is contraindicated in patients with systemic fungal infections, in clinical use systemic corticosteroids can be administered to these patients as long as appropriate antiinfective therapy is administered simultaneously.

    Acne rosacea, acne vulgaris, herpes infection, measles, perioral dermatitis, peripheral vascular disease, tuberculosis, varicella, viral infection

    Reactivation of tuberculosis may occur in patients with latent tuberculosis or tuberculin reactivity; close observation for disease reactivation is needed if corticosteroids are indicated in such patients. Further, chemoprophylaxis is advised if prolonged corticosteroid therapy is needed. Patients receiving immunosuppressive doses of systemic corticosteroids should be advised to avoid exposure to viral infections (i.e., measles or varicella) because these diseases may be more serious or even fatal in immunosuppressed patients. If exposed to chicken pox, prophylaxis with varicella zoster immune globulin may be indicated. Pediatric patients dependent on systemic corticosteroids should undergo anti-varicella-zoster virus antibody testing. If exposed to measles, prophylaxis with pooled intramuscular immunoglobulin may be indicated. Instruct patients to avoid exposure to chicken pox and measles and to get immediate medical advice if exposure occurs. Application of topical corticosteroids to areas of infection, including tuberculosis of the skin, dermatologic fungal infection, and cutaneous or systemic viral infection (e.g., herpes infection, measles, varicella), should be initiated or continued only if the appropriate antiinfective treatment is instituted. If the infection does not respond to the antimicrobial therapy, the concurrent use of the topical corticosteroid should be discontinued until the infection is controlled. Topical corticosteroids should not be used to treat acne vulgaris, acne rosacea, or perioral dermatitis as they may exacerbate these conditions. Topical corticosteroids may delay the healing of non-infected wounds, such as venous stasis ulcers. Use topical hydrocortisone preparations with caution in patients with markedly impaired circulation or peripheral vascular disease; skin ulceration has been reported in these patients following topical corticosteroid use.

    Surgery

    If surgery is required, physicians should inquire if the patient has received systemic corticosteroid therapy, such as hydrocortisone, within the last 12 months and discuss the disease for which they were being treated. In such cases, patients should be encouraged to always carry identification cards that include disease state, type, and dose of corticosteroid that was used.

    Myocardial infarction

    Corticosteroid therapy, such as hydrocortisone, has been associated with left ventricular free-wall rupture in patients with recent myocardial infarction, and should therefore be used cautiously in these patients.

    Heart failure, hypertension

    Systemic corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone, can cause edema and weight gain. Use with caution in patients with congestive heart failure or hypertension as this can cause an exacerbation of their condition.

    Osteoporosis

    Prolonged systemic corticosteroid therapy, such as hydrocortisone, can lead to osteoporosis, vertebral compression fractures, aseptic necrosis of femoral and humoral heads, and pathologic fractures of long bones secondary to protein catabolism. Use cautiously in older (>= 65 years), debilitated, or postmenopausal patients because they are especially susceptible to these adverse effects. A high-protein diet may alleviate or prevent the adverse effects associated with protein catabolism.

    Diabetes mellitus

    Systemic corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone, may decrease glucose tolerance, produce hyperglycemia, and aggravate or precipitate diabetes mellitus. This may especially occur in patients predisposed to diabetes mellitus. When corticosteroid therapy is necessary in patients with diabetes mellitus, changes in insulin, oral antidiabetic agent dosage, and/or diet may be required. Topical corticosteroids should be used with caution in patients with diabetes mellitus. Exacerbation of diabetes may occur with systemic absorption of the topical corticosteroid. Use of topical corticosteroids may further delay healing of skin ulcers in diabetic patients.

    Diverticulitis, GI disease, GI perforation, inflammatory bowel disease, peptic ulcer disease, ulcerative colitis

    Oral corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone, can cause gastrointestinal irritation. The drugs should be used with caution in patients with GI disease, diverticulitis, nonspecific ulcerative colitis, or intestinal anastomosis (because of the possibility of perforation). While used for the short-term treatment of acute exacerbations of chronic inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, corticosteroids should not be used in patients where there is a possibility of impending GI perforation, abscess, or pyogenic infection. Some patients may require long-term corticosteroid therapy to suppress disease activity, but generally this practice is not recommended. Corticosteroids should not be used in patients with peptic ulcer disease except under life-threatening circumstances.

    Hepatic disease, hypothyroidism, psychosis, renal disease, seizure disorder

    Systemic corticosteroids should be used with extreme caution in patients with psychosis, emotional instability, renal disease, and seizure disorder because the drugs can exacerbate these conditions. Patients with hepatic disease, such as cirrhosis, or hypothyroidism can have an exaggerated response to systemic corticosteroids. Use systemic corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone, with caution in these patients.

    Myasthenia gravis

    Systemic glucocorticoids, such as hydrocortisone, should be used with caution in patients with myasthenia gravis who are being treated with anticholinesterase agents (see Drug Interactions).

    Coagulopathy, hemophilia, thromboembolic disease

    Systemic corticosteroids rarely may increase blood coagulability, causing intravascular thrombosis, thrombophlebitis, and thromboembolism. Therefore, systemic corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone, should be used with caution in patients with preexisting coagulopathy (e.g., hemophilia) or thromboembolic disease.

    Pregnancy

    There are no adequate or well controlled studies for use of systemic hydrodortisone during human pregnancy. Complications, including cleft palate, stillbirth, and premature abortion, have been reported when systemic corticosteroids were administered during pregnancy. If hydrocortisone must be used during pregnancy, the potential risks should be discussed with the patient. For example, the mother with Addison's disease may require additional monitoring to ensure adequate replacement during pregnancy; insufficient treatment of Addison's disease during pregnancy is associated with fetal risks. The usual treatments for Addison's disease are usually continued throughout pregnancy and post-partum, and the mother may require dosage adjustments for proper replacement post-partum as requirements return to pre-pregnancy levels. Infants born to mothers who have take substantial doses of corticosteroids during pregnancy should be monitored for signs of hypoadrenalism. Topical and otic corticosteroids should not be used in large amounts, on large areas, or for prolonged periods of time in pregnant women. Corticosteroids have been shown to impair fertility in male rats; the impact to human male fertility is not certain.

    Breast-feeding

    Corticosteroids distribute into breast milk, and the manufacturer of systemic hydrocortisone products states that a decision to nurse requires weighing the possible benefits of the drug against the potential hazards to the mother and infant. Hydrocortisone has not been studied during breast feeding, however (hydrocortisone) cortisol is a normal component of breast milk. While the American Academy of Pediatrics does not comment on the use of hydrocortisone during breast-feeding, it does consider other corticosteroids (prednisone and prednisolone) to be usually compatible with breast-feeding. It is not known whether topical administration of hydrocortisone could result in sufficient systemic absorption to produce detectable quantities in breast milk; however, increased blood pressure has been reported in an infant whose mother applied a topical corticosteroid ointment directly to the nipples. If applied topically, care should be used to ensure the infant will not come into direct contact with the area of application. Most authorities recommend caution when prescribing topical corticosteroids to breast-feeding women. Otic products containing hydrocortisone as a component appear to pose minimal corticosteroid risk, given the low dosage and limited area and limited duration of usual use. Consider the benefits of breast-feeding, the risk of potential infant drug exposure, and the risk of an untreated or inadequately treated condition. If a breast-feeding infant experiences an adverse effect related to a maternally ingested drug, healthcare providers are encouraged to report the adverse effect to the FDA.

    Vaccination

    Corticosteroid therapy, such as hydrocortisone, usually does not contraindicate vaccination with live-virus vaccines when such therapy is of short-term (< 2 weeks); low to moderate dose; long-term alternate day treatment with short-acting preparations; maintenance physiologic doses (replacement therapy); or administration topically (skin or eye), by aerosol, or by intra-articular, bursal or tendon injection. The immunosuppressive effects of steroid treatment differ, but many clinicians consider a dose equivalent to either 2 mg/kg/day or 20 mg/day of prednisone as sufficiently immunosuppressive to raise concern about the safety of immunization with live-virus vaccines. In general, patients with severe immunosuppression due to large doses of corticosteroids should not receive vaccination with live-virus vaccines. When cancer chemotherapy or immunosuppressive therapy is being considered (e.g., for patients with Hodgkin's disease or organ transplantation), vaccination should precede the initiation of chemotherapy or immunotherapy by >= 2 weeks. Patients vaccinated while on immunosuppressive therapy or in the 2 weeks prior to starting therapy should be considered unimmunized and should be revaccinated at least 3 months after discontinuation of therapy. In patients who have received high-dose, systemic corticosteroids for >= 2 weeks, it is recommended to wait at least 3 months after discontinuation of therapy before administering a live-virus vaccine.

    Asthma, sulfite hypersensitivity

    Some commercially available formulations of hydrocortisone may contain sulfites. Sulfites may cause allergic reactions in some people. They should be used with caution in patients with known sulfite hypersensitivity. Patients with asthma are more likely to experience this sensitivity reaction than non-asthmatic patients.

    Neonates, premature neonates

    Several commercial formulations of hydrocortisone injection are contraindicated in premature neonates because these products contain benzyl alcohol. Use these formulations of hydrocortisone with caution in neonates. Administration of benzyl alcohol to neonates can result in a 'gasping syndrome', which is a potentially fatal condition characterized by metabolic acidosis and CNS, respiratory, circulatory, and renal dysfunction; it is also characterized by high concentrations of benzyl alcohol and its metabolites in the blood and urine. While the minimum amount of benzyl alcohol at which toxicity may occur is not known, 'gasping syndrome' has been associated with benzyl alcohol dosages more than 99 mg/kg/day in neonates and low-birth-weight neonates. Additional symptoms may include gradual neurological deterioration, seizures, intracranial hemorrhage, hematologic abnormalities, skin breakdown, hepatic failure, renal failure, hypotension, bradycardia, and cardiovascular collapse. Rare cases of death, primarily in premature neonates, have been reported. Further, an increased incidence of kernicterus, especially in small, premature neonates has been reported. Practitioners administering this and other medications containing benzyl alcohol should consider the combined daily metabolic load of benzyl alcohol from all sources. Premature neonates, neonates with a low birth weight, and patients who receive a high dose may be more likely to develop toxicity.

    Benzyl alcohol hypersensitivity, corticosteroid hypersensitivity

    True corticosteroid hypersensitivity reactions are rare. While a hypersensitivity reaction could be to a specific salt of the corticosteroid (i.e., hydrocortisone sodium succinate), patients who have demonstrated a prior hypersensitivity reaction to hydrocortisone should receive any form of hydrocortisone with extreme caution. It is possible, though also rare, that such patients will display cross-hypersensitivity to other corticosteroids; there have been reports that a cross-sensitivity between hydrocortisone and methylprednisolone may exist. Rare instances of anaphylactoid reactions have occurred in patients receiving corticosteroid therapy. It is advisable that patients who have a hypersensitivity reaction to any corticosteroid undergo skin testing, which, although not a conclusive predictor, may help to determine if hypersensitivity to another corticosteroid exists. Such patients should be carefully monitored during and following the administration of any corticosteroid. Some injectable formulations of hydrocortisone contain benzyl alcohol and should be used with caution in those patients with benzyl alcohol hypersensitivity.

    Cataracts, glaucoma, ocular exposure, ocular infection, ophthalmic administration, visual disturbance

    Corticosteroids should be used cautiously in patients with glaucoma or any other visual disturbance. Corticosteroids are well known to cause cataracts and can exacerbate glaucoma during long-term administration. Patients receiving corticosteroids chronically should be periodically assessed for cataract formation. There is also an increase in the propensity for secondary ocular infection caused by fungal or viral infections. Care should be taken to avoid ocular exposure; ophthalmic administration of topical hydrocortisone preparations should be avoided. Visual impairment, ocular hypertension and worsened cataracts have been reported with ocular exposure to other high potency topical corticosteroids. Preexisting glaucoma may be aggravated if hydrocortisone is applied in the periorbital area.

    Skin atrophy

    Injection of hydrocortisone may result in dermal and/or subdermal changes forming depressions in the skin at the injection site. In order to minimize the incidence of subdermal and dermal atrophy, care must be exercised not to exceed recommended doses in injections. Injection into the deltoid muscle should be avoided because of a high incidence of subcutaneous atrophy. Topical corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone, should be used for brief periods, or under close medical supervision in patients with evidence of pre-existing skin atrophy. Use of lower potency topical corticosteroids may be necessary in some patients, such as the elderly adult. Prolonged use of a topical corticosteroid, and the application of the steroid to thin areas of skin appear to increase the risk for atrophy.

    Geriatric

    Use systemic corticosteroids with caution in the geriatric patient; the risks and benefits of therapy should be considered for any individual patient. Reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between geriatric and younger adult patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious; start at the lower end of the dosing range due to potential decreased hepatic, renal, cardiac function, or concomitant disease in geriatric patients. Prolonged systemic corticosteroid therapy, such as hydrocortisone, can lead to osteoporosis, vertebral compression fractures, aseptic necrosis of femoral and humoral heads, and pathologic fractures of long bones secondary to protein catabolism. Use cautiously in elderly or postmenopausal patients because they are especially susceptible to these adverse effects. A high-protein diet may alleviate or prevent the adverse effects associated with protein catabolism. Additionally, topical corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone, should be used for brief periods, or under close medical supervision in patients with evidence of pre-existing skin atrophy. Elderly patients may be more likely to have preexisting skin atrophy secondary to aging. According to the Beers Criteria, systemic corticosteroids are considered potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) for use in geriatric patients with delirium or at high risk for delirium and should be avoided in these patient populations due to the possibility of new-onset delirium or exacerbation of the current condition. The Beers expert panel notes that oral and parenteral corticosteroids may be required for conditions such as exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) but should be prescribed in the lowest effective dose and for the shortest possible duration. The federal Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) regulates medication use in residents of long-term care facilities. According to the OBRA guidelines, the need for continued use of a glucocorticoid, with the exception of topical or inhaled formulations, should be documented, along with monitoring for and management of adverse consequences. Intermediate or longer-term use may cause hyperglycemia, psychosis, edema, insomnia, hypertension, osteoporosis, mood lability, or depression.

    Epidural administration, intrathecal administration


    Intrathecal administration of hydrocortisone sodium succinate injection is contraindicated. Severe medical events, including arachnoiditis, meningitis, paraparesis, paraplegia, and sensory disturbances, have been reported after intrathecal administration. Epidural lipomatosis has been reported with hydrocortisone sodium succinate injection. Epidural administration of corticosteroids should be used with great caution. Rare, but serious adverse reactions, including cortical blindness, stroke, spinal cord infarction, paralysis, seizures, nerve injury, brain edema, and death have been associated with epidural administration of injectable corticosteroids. These events have been reported with and without the use of fluoroscopy. Many cases were temporally associated with the corticosteroid injection; reactions occurred within minutes to 48 hours after injection. Some cases of neurologic events were confirmed through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scan. Many patients did not recover from the reported adverse effects. Discuss the benefits and risks of epidural corticosteroid injections with the patient before treatment. If a decision is made to proceed with corticosteroid epidural administration, counsel patients to seek emergency medical attention if they experience symptoms after injection such as vision changes, tingling in the arms or legs, dizziness, severe headache, seizures, or sudden weakness or numbness of face, arm, or leg.

    Pheochromocytoma

    Use hydrocortisone with caution in patients with diagnosed or suspected pheochromocytoma. Pheochromocytoma crisis, which can be fatal, has been reported after administration of systemic corticosteroids. Consider the risk of pheochromocytoma crisis prior to administering corticosteroids in any patients with suspected pheochromocytoma.

    ADVERSE REACTIONS

    Severe

    exfoliative dermatitis / Delayed / Incidence not known
    increased intracranial pressure / Early / Incidence not known
    papilledema / Delayed / Incidence not known
    tendon rupture / Delayed / Incidence not known
    bone fractures / Delayed / Incidence not known
    avascular necrosis / Delayed / Incidence not known
    esophageal ulceration / Delayed / Incidence not known
    GI perforation / Delayed / Incidence not known
    pancreatitis / Delayed / Incidence not known
    GI bleeding / Delayed / Incidence not known
    peptic ulcer / Delayed / Incidence not known
    skin atrophy / Delayed / Incidence not known
    anaphylactoid reactions / Rapid / Incidence not known
    lupus-like symptoms / Delayed / Incidence not known
    angioedema / Rapid / Incidence not known
    heart failure / Delayed / Incidence not known
    seizures / Delayed / Incidence not known
    optic neuritis / Delayed / Incidence not known
    retinopathy / Delayed / Incidence not known
    visual impairment / Early / Incidence not known
    ocular hypertension / Delayed / Incidence not known
    cardiac arrest / Early / Incidence not known
    thrombosis / Delayed / Incidence not known
    pulmonary edema / Early / Incidence not known
    stroke / Early / Incidence not known
    bradycardia / Rapid / Incidence not known
    vasculitis / Delayed / Incidence not known
    cardiomyopathy / Delayed / Incidence not known
    myocardial infarction / Delayed / Incidence not known
    arrhythmia exacerbation / Early / Incidence not known
    thromboembolism / Delayed / Incidence not known

    Moderate

    erythema / Early / 1.0-10.0
    hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) suppression / Delayed / Incidence not known
    hypotension / Rapid / Incidence not known
    physiological dependence / Delayed / Incidence not known
    pseudotumor cerebri / Delayed / Incidence not known
    withdrawal / Early / Incidence not known
    adrenocortical insufficiency / Delayed / Incidence not known
    hypothyroidism / Delayed / Incidence not known
    Cushing's syndrome / Delayed / Incidence not known
    hyperthyroidism / Delayed / Incidence not known
    postmenopausal bleeding / Delayed / Incidence not known
    osteopenia / Delayed / Incidence not known
    myopathy / Delayed / Incidence not known
    osteoporosis / Delayed / Incidence not known
    constipation / Delayed / Incidence not known
    gastritis / Delayed / Incidence not known
    impaired wound healing / Delayed / Incidence not known
    skin ulcer / Delayed / Incidence not known
    candidiasis / Delayed / Incidence not known
    neutropenia / Delayed / Incidence not known
    immunosuppression / Delayed / Incidence not known
    hypertension / Early / Incidence not known
    hypokalemia / Delayed / Incidence not known
    hypernatremia / Delayed / Incidence not known
    hypocalcemia / Delayed / Incidence not known
    metabolic alkalosis / Delayed / Incidence not known
    edema / Delayed / Incidence not known
    fluid retention / Delayed / Incidence not known
    sodium retention / Delayed / Incidence not known
    neuritis / Delayed / Incidence not known
    psychosis / Early / Incidence not known
    memory impairment / Delayed / Incidence not known
    peripheral neuropathy / Delayed / Incidence not known
    euphoria / Early / Incidence not known
    mania / Early / Incidence not known
    delirium / Early / Incidence not known
    hallucinations / Early / Incidence not known
    EEG changes / Delayed / Incidence not known
    amnesia / Delayed / Incidence not known
    depression / Delayed / Incidence not known
    impaired cognition / Early / Incidence not known
    exophthalmos / Delayed / Incidence not known
    blurred vision / Early / Incidence not known
    ocular infection / Delayed / Incidence not known
    cataracts / Delayed / Incidence not known
    glycosuria / Early / Incidence not known
    hyperglycemia / Delayed / Incidence not known
    diabetes mellitus / Delayed / Incidence not known
    phlebitis / Rapid / Incidence not known
    hypercholesterolemia / Delayed / Incidence not known
    sinus tachycardia / Rapid / Incidence not known
    palpitations / Early / Incidence not known
    angina / Early / Incidence not known
    tolerance / Delayed / Incidence not known
    growth inhibition / Delayed / Incidence not known
    hepatomegaly / Delayed / Incidence not known
    elevated hepatic enzymes / Delayed / Incidence not known
    contact dermatitis / Delayed / Incidence not known
    anemia / Delayed / Incidence not known
    glossitis / Early / Incidence not known

    Mild

    pruritus / Rapid / 1.0-10.0
    maculopapular rash / Early / 1.0-10.0
    xerosis / Delayed / 1.0-10.0
    skin irritation / Early / 1.0-10.0
    lethargy / Early / Incidence not known
    fever / Early / Incidence not known
    dysmenorrhea / Delayed / Incidence not known
    amenorrhea / Delayed / Incidence not known
    menstrual irregularity / Delayed / Incidence not known
    arthralgia / Delayed / Incidence not known
    myalgia / Early / Incidence not known
    arthropathy / Delayed / Incidence not known
    weakness / Early / Incidence not known
    abdominal pain / Early / Incidence not known
    appetite stimulation / Delayed / Incidence not known
    nausea / Early / Incidence not known
    weight gain / Delayed / Incidence not known
    vomiting / Early / Incidence not known
    hiccups / Early / Incidence not known
    anorexia / Delayed / Incidence not known
    weight loss / Delayed / Incidence not known
    diarrhea / Early / Incidence not known
    petechiae / Delayed / Incidence not known
    urticaria / Rapid / Incidence not known
    acne vulgaris / Delayed / Incidence not known
    telangiectasia / Delayed / Incidence not known
    folliculitis / Delayed / Incidence not known
    alopecia / Delayed / Incidence not known
    skin hyperpigmentation / Delayed / Incidence not known
    acneiform rash / Delayed / Incidence not known
    hypertrichosis / Delayed / Incidence not known
    rash (unspecified) / Early / Incidence not known
    miliaria / Delayed / Incidence not known
    perineal pain / Early / Incidence not known
    diaphoresis / Early / Incidence not known
    striae / Delayed / Incidence not known
    purpura / Delayed / Incidence not known
    ecchymosis / Delayed / Incidence not known
    hirsutism / Delayed / Incidence not known
    injection site reaction / Rapid / Incidence not known
    skin hypopigmentation / Delayed / Incidence not known
    leukocytosis / Delayed / Incidence not known
    infection / Delayed / Incidence not known
    vertigo / Early / Incidence not known
    restlessness / Early / Incidence not known
    malaise / Early / Incidence not known
    irritability / Delayed / Incidence not known
    anxiety / Delayed / Incidence not known
    headache / Early / Incidence not known
    emotional lability / Early / Incidence not known
    paresthesias / Delayed / Incidence not known
    insomnia / Early / Incidence not known
    syncope / Early / Incidence not known
    dizziness / Early / Incidence not known

    DRUG INTERACTIONS

    Abatacept: (Moderate) Concomitant use of immunosuppressives, as well as long-term corticosteroids, may potentially increase the risk of serious infection in abatacept treated patients. Advise patients taking abatacept to seek immediate medical advice if they develop signs and symptoms suggestive of infection.
    Acetaminophen; Aspirin, ASA; Caffeine: (Moderate) Salicylates or NSAIDs should be used cautiously in patients receiving corticosteroids. While there is controversy regarding the ulcerogenic potential of corticosteroids alone, concomitant administration of corticosteroids with aspirin may increase the GI toxicity of aspirin and other non-acetylated salicylates. Withdrawal of corticosteroids can result in increased plasma concentrations of salicylate and possible toxicity. Concomitant use of corticosteroids may increase the risk of adverse GI events due to NSAIDs. Although some patients may need to be given corticosteroids and NSAIDs concomitantly, which can be done successfully for short periods of time without sequelae, prolonged coadministration should be avoided.
    Acetaminophen; Caffeine; Magnesium Salicylate; Phenyltoloxamine: (Moderate) Salicylates or NSAIDs should be used cautiously in patients receiving corticosteroids. While there is controversy regarding the ulcerogenic potential of corticosteroids alone, concomitant administration of corticosteroids with aspirin may increase the GI toxicity of aspirin and other non-acetylated salicylates. Withdrawal of corticosteroids can result in increased plasma concentrations of salicylate and possible toxicity. Concomitant use of corticosteroids may increase the risk of adverse GI events due to NSAIDs. Although some patients may need to be given corticosteroids and NSAIDs concomitantly, which can be done successfully for short periods of time without sequelae, prolonged coadministration should be avoided.
    Acetaminophen; Caffeine; Phenyltoloxamine; Salicylamide: (Moderate) Salicylates or NSAIDs should be used cautiously in patients receiving corticosteroids. While there is controversy regarding the ulcerogenic potential of corticosteroids alone, concomitant administration of corticosteroids with aspirin may increase the GI toxicity of aspirin and other non-acetylated salicylates. Withdrawal of corticosteroids can result in increased plasma concentrations of salicylate and possible toxicity. Concomitant use of corticosteroids may increase the risk of adverse GI events due to NSAIDs. Although some patients may need to be given corticosteroids and NSAIDs concomitantly, which can be done successfully for short periods of time without sequelae, prolonged coadministration should be avoided.
    Acetaminophen; Chlorpheniramine; Dextromethorphan; Phenylephrine: (Moderate) The therapeutic effect of phenylephrine may be increased in patient receiving corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone. Monitor patients for increased pressor effect if these agents are administered concomitantly.
    Acetaminophen; Chlorpheniramine; Phenylephrine; Phenyltoloxamine: (Moderate) The therapeutic effect of phenylephrine may be increased in patient receiving corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone. Monitor patients for increased pressor effect if these agents are administered concomitantly.
    Acetaminophen; Dextromethorphan; Guaifenesin; Phenylephrine: (Moderate) The therapeutic effect of phenylephrine may be increased in patient receiving corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone. Monitor patients for increased pressor effect if these agents are administered concomitantly.
    Acetaminophen; Dextromethorphan; Phenylephrine: (Moderate) The therapeutic effect of phenylephrine may be increased in patient receiving corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone. Monitor patients for increased pressor effect if these agents are administered concomitantly.
    Acetaminophen; Guaifenesin; Phenylephrine: (Moderate) The therapeutic effect of phenylephrine may be increased in patient receiving corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone. Monitor patients for increased pressor effect if these agents are administered concomitantly.
    Acetazolamide: (Moderate) Corticosteroids may increase the risk of hypokalemia if used concurrently with acetazolamide. Hypokalemia may be especially severe with prolonged use of corticotropin, ACTH. Monitor serum potassium levels to determine the need for potassium supplementation and/or alteration in drug therapy.
    Acetohexamide: (Moderate) Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia. When released, blood glucose concentrations rise. When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted.
    Adalimumab: (Moderate) Closely monitor for the development of signs and symptoms of infection if coadministration of a corticosteroid with adalimumab is necessary. Adalimumab treatment increases the risk for serious infections that may lead to hospitalization or death. Patients taking concomitant immunosuppressants including corticosteroids may be at greater risk of infection.
    Albiglutide: (Moderate) When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia and cause blood glucose concentrations to rise. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted.
    Aldesleukin, IL-2: (Minor) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents.
    Alemtuzumab: (Minor) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents.
    Aliskiren; Amlodipine; Hydrochlorothiazide, HCTZ: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when non-potassium sparing diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, are coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids. Monitoring serum potassium levels and cardiac function is advised, and potassium supplementation may be required.
    Aliskiren; Hydrochlorothiazide, HCTZ: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when non-potassium sparing diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, are coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids. Monitoring serum potassium levels and cardiac function is advised, and potassium supplementation may be required.
    Alogliptin: (Moderate) Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia. When released, blood glucose concentrations rise. When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted.
    Alogliptin; Metformin: (Moderate) Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia. When released, blood glucose concentrations rise. When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. In addition, blood lactate concentrations and the lactate to pyruvate ratio increase when metformin is coadministered with corticosteroids (e.g., hydrocortisone). Elevated lactic acid concentrations are associated with increased morbidity rates. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted. (Moderate) Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia. When released, blood glucose concentrations rise. When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted.
    Alogliptin; Pioglitazone: (Moderate) Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia. When released, blood glucose concentrations rise. When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted.
    Alpha-glucosidase Inhibitors: (Moderate) Systemic corticosteroids increase blood glucose levels. Because of this action, a potential pharmacodynamic interaction exists between corticosteroids and acarbose. Patients who are administered systemic corticosteroid therapy may require an adjustment in the dosing of acarbose.
    Altretamine: (Minor) Concurrent use of altretamine with other agents which cause bone marrow or immune suppression such as corticosteroids may result in additive effects.
    Ambenonium Chloride: (Minor) Corticosteroids may interact with cholinesterase inhibitors including ambenonium, neostigmine, and pyridostigmine, occasionally causing severe muscle weakness in patients with myasthenia gravis. Glucocorticoids are occasionally used therapeutically, however, in the treatment of some patients with myasthenia gravis. In such patients, it is recommended that corticosteroid therapy be initiated at low dosages and with close clinical monitoring. The dosage should be increased gradually as tolerated, with continued careful monitoring of the patient's clinical status.
    Amiloride; Hydrochlorothiazide, HCTZ: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when non-potassium sparing diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, are coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids. Monitoring serum potassium levels and cardiac function is advised, and potassium supplementation may be required.
    Aminosalicylate sodium, Aminosalicylic acid: (Moderate) Salicylates or NSAIDs should be used cautiously in patients receiving corticosteroids. While there is controversy regarding the ulcerogenic potential of corticosteroids alone, concomitant administration of corticosteroids with aspirin may increase the GI toxicity of aspirin and other non-acetylated salicylates. Withdrawal of corticosteroids can result in increased plasma concentrations of salicylate and possible toxicity. Concomitant use of corticosteroids may increase the risk of adverse GI events due to NSAIDs. Although some patients may need to be given corticosteroids and NSAIDs concomitantly, which can be done successfully for short periods of time without sequelae, prolonged coadministration should be avoided.
    Amlodipine; Hydrochlorothiazide, HCTZ; Olmesartan: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when non-potassium sparing diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, are coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids. Monitoring serum potassium levels and cardiac function is advised, and potassium supplementation may be required.
    Amlodipine; Hydrochlorothiazide, HCTZ; Valsartan: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when non-potassium sparing diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, are coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids. Monitoring serum potassium levels and cardiac function is advised, and potassium supplementation may be required.
    Amoxicillin; Clarithromycin; Lansoprazole: (Moderate) Clarithromycin inhibits CYP3A4 and has the potential to result in increased plasma concentrations of corticosteroids. Therefore, the dose of corticosteroid should be titrated to avoid steroid toxicity.
    Amoxicillin; Clarithromycin; Omeprazole: (Moderate) Clarithromycin inhibits CYP3A4 and has the potential to result in increased plasma concentrations of corticosteroids. Therefore, the dose of corticosteroid should be titrated to avoid steroid toxicity.
    Amphotericin B cholesteryl sulfate complex (ABCD): (Moderate) The potassium-wasting effects of corticosteroid therapy can be exacerbated by concomitant administration of other potassium-depleting drugs including amphotericin B. Serum potassium levels should be monitored in patients receiving these drugs concomitantly.
    Amphotericin B lipid complex (ABLC): (Moderate) The potassium-wasting effects of corticosteroid therapy can be exacerbated by concomitant administration of other potassium-depleting drugs including amphotericin B. Serum potassium levels should be monitored in patients receiving these drugs concomitantly.
    Amphotericin B liposomal (LAmB): (Moderate) The potassium-wasting effects of corticosteroid therapy can be exacerbated by concomitant administration of other potassium-depleting drugs including amphotericin B. Serum potassium levels should be monitored in patients receiving these drugs concomitantly.
    Amphotericin B: (Moderate) The potassium-wasting effects of corticosteroid therapy can be exacerbated by concomitant administration of other potassium-depleting drugs including amphotericin B. Serum potassium levels should be monitored in patients receiving these drugs concomitantly.
    Anthracyclines: (Minor) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents. Also, dexamethasone is a CYP3A4 inducer and doxorubicin is a major substrate of CYP3A4. However, these drugs are commonly used together in treatment
    Antithymocyte Globulin: (Moderate) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents.
    Antitumor antibiotics: (Minor) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents.
    Argatroban: (Moderate) Concomitant use of systemic sodium chloride, especially at high doses, and corticosteroids may result in sodium and fluid retention. Assess sodium chloride intake from all sources, including intake from sodium-containing intravenous fluids and antibiotic admixtures. Carefully monitor sodium concentrations and fluid status if sodium-containing drugs and corticosteroids must be used together.
    Arsenic Trioxide: (Major) Because electrolyte abnormalities increase the risk of QT interval prolongation and serious arrhythmias, avoid the concomitant use of arsenic trioxide with drugs that may cause electrolyte abnormalities, particularly hypokalemia and hypomagnesemia. Examples of drugs that may cause electrolyte abnormalities include corticosteroids. If concomitant drug use is unavoidable, frequently monitor serum electrolytes (and replace as necessary) and electrocardiograms.
    Asparaginase Erwinia chrysanthemi: (Moderate) Concomitant use of L-asparaginase with corticosteroids can result in additive hyperglycemia. L-Asparaginase transiently inhibits insulin production contributing to hyperglycemia seen during concurrent corticosteroid therapy. Insulin therapy may be required in some cases. Administration of L-asparaginase after rather than before corticosteroids reportedly has produced fewer hypersensitivity reactions.
    Aspirin, ASA: (Moderate) Salicylates or NSAIDs should be used cautiously in patients receiving corticosteroids. While there is controversy regarding the ulcerogenic potential of corticosteroids alone, concomitant administration of corticosteroids with aspirin may increase the GI toxicity of aspirin and other non-acetylated salicylates. Withdrawal of corticosteroids can result in increased plasma concentrations of salicylate and possible toxicity. Concomitant use of corticosteroids may increase the risk of adverse GI events due to NSAIDs. Although some patients may need to be given corticosteroids and NSAIDs concomitantly, which can be done successfully for short periods of time without sequelae, prolonged coadministration should be avoided.
    Aspirin, ASA; Butalbital; Caffeine: (Moderate) Salicylates or NSAIDs should be used cautiously in patients receiving corticosteroids. While there is controversy regarding the ulcerogenic potential of corticosteroids alone, concomitant administration of corticosteroids with aspirin may increase the GI toxicity of aspirin and other non-acetylated salicylates. Withdrawal of corticosteroids can result in increased plasma concentrations of salicylate and possible toxicity. Concomitant use of corticosteroids may increase the risk of adverse GI events due to NSAIDs. Although some patients may need to be given corticosteroids and NSAIDs concomitantly, which can be done successfully for short periods of time without sequelae, prolonged coadministration should be avoided.
    Aspirin, ASA; Butalbital; Caffeine; Codeine: (Moderate) Salicylates or NSAIDs should be used cautiously in patients receiving corticosteroids. While there is controversy regarding the ulcerogenic potential of corticosteroids alone, concomitant administration of corticosteroids with aspirin may increase the GI toxicity of aspirin and other non-acetylated salicylates. Withdrawal of corticosteroids can result in increased plasma concentrations of salicylate and possible toxicity. Concomitant use of corticosteroids may increase the risk of adverse GI events due to NSAIDs. Although some patients may need to be given corticosteroids and NSAIDs concomitantly, which can be done successfully for short periods of time without sequelae, prolonged coadministration should be avoided.
    Aspirin, ASA; Caffeine; Dihydrocodeine: (Moderate) Salicylates or NSAIDs should be used cautiously in patients receiving corticosteroids. While there is controversy regarding the ulcerogenic potential of corticosteroids alone, concomitant administration of corticosteroids with aspirin may increase the GI toxicity of aspirin and other non-acetylated salicylates. Withdrawal of corticosteroids can result in increased plasma concentrations of salicylate and possible toxicity. Concomitant use of corticosteroids may increase the risk of adverse GI events due to NSAIDs. Although some patients may need to be given corticosteroids and NSAIDs concomitantly, which can be done successfully for short periods of time without sequelae, prolonged coadministration should be avoided.
    Aspirin, ASA; Carisoprodol: (Moderate) Salicylates or NSAIDs should be used cautiously in patients receiving corticosteroids. While there is controversy regarding the ulcerogenic potential of corticosteroids alone, concomitant administration of corticosteroids with aspirin may increase the GI toxicity of aspirin and other non-acetylated salicylates. Withdrawal of corticosteroids can result in increased plasma concentrations of salicylate and possible toxicity. Concomitant use of corticosteroids may increase the risk of adverse GI events due to NSAIDs. Although some patients may need to be given corticosteroids and NSAIDs concomitantly, which can be done successfully for short periods of time without sequelae, prolonged coadministration should be avoided.
    Aspirin, ASA; Carisoprodol; Codeine: (Moderate) Salicylates or NSAIDs should be used cautiously in patients receiving corticosteroids. While there is controversy regarding the ulcerogenic potential of corticosteroids alone, concomitant administration of corticosteroids with aspirin may increase the GI toxicity of aspirin and other non-acetylated salicylates. Withdrawal of corticosteroids can result in increased plasma concentrations of salicylate and possible toxicity. Concomitant use of corticosteroids may increase the risk of adverse GI events due to NSAIDs. Although some patients may need to be given corticosteroids and NSAIDs concomitantly, which can be done successfully for short periods of time without sequelae, prolonged coadministration should be avoided.
    Aspirin, ASA; Dipyridamole: (Moderate) Salicylates or NSAIDs should be used cautiously in patients receiving corticosteroids. While there is controversy regarding the ulcerogenic potential of corticosteroids alone, concomitant administration of corticosteroids with aspirin may increase the GI toxicity of aspirin and other non-acetylated salicylates. Withdrawal of corticosteroids can result in increased plasma concentrations of salicylate and possible toxicity. Concomitant use of corticosteroids may increase the risk of adverse GI events due to NSAIDs. Although some patients may need to be given corticosteroids and NSAIDs concomitantly, which can be done successfully for short periods of time without sequelae, prolonged coadministration should be avoided.
    Aspirin, ASA; Omeprazole: (Moderate) Salicylates or NSAIDs should be used cautiously in patients receiving corticosteroids. While there is controversy regarding the ulcerogenic potential of corticosteroids alone, concomitant administration of corticosteroids with aspirin may increase the GI toxicity of aspirin and other non-acetylated salicylates. Withdrawal of corticosteroids can result in increased plasma concentrations of salicylate and possible toxicity. Concomitant use of corticosteroids may increase the risk of adverse GI events due to NSAIDs. Although some patients may need to be given corticosteroids and NSAIDs concomitantly, which can be done successfully for short periods of time without sequelae, prolonged coadministration should be avoided.
    Aspirin, ASA; Oxycodone: (Moderate) Salicylates or NSAIDs should be used cautiously in patients receiving corticosteroids. While there is controversy regarding the ulcerogenic potential of corticosteroids alone, concomitant administration of corticosteroids with aspirin may increase the GI toxicity of aspirin and other non-acetylated salicylates. Withdrawal of corticosteroids can result in increased plasma concentrations of salicylate and possible toxicity. Concomitant use of corticosteroids may increase the risk of adverse GI events due to NSAIDs. Although some patients may need to be given corticosteroids and NSAIDs concomitantly, which can be done successfully for short periods of time without sequelae, prolonged coadministration should be avoided.
    Aspirin, ASA; Pravastatin: (Moderate) Salicylates or NSAIDs should be used cautiously in patients receiving corticosteroids. While there is controversy regarding the ulcerogenic potential of corticosteroids alone, concomitant administration of corticosteroids with aspirin may increase the GI toxicity of aspirin and other non-acetylated salicylates. Withdrawal of corticosteroids can result in increased plasma concentrations of salicylate and possible toxicity. Concomitant use of corticosteroids may increase the risk of adverse GI events due to NSAIDs. Although some patients may need to be given corticosteroids and NSAIDs concomitantly, which can be done successfully for short periods of time without sequelae, prolonged coadministration should be avoided.
    Atenolol; Chlorthalidone: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when non-potassium sparing diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, are coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids. Monitoring serum potassium levels and cardiac function is advised, and potassium supplementation may be required.
    Atracurium: (Moderate) Caution and close monitoring are advised if corticosteroids and neuromuscular blockers are used together, particularly for long periods, due to enhanced neuromuscular blocking effects. In such patients, a peripheral nerve stimulator may be of value in monitoring the response. Concurrent use may increase the risk of acute myopathy. This acute myopathy is generalized, may involve ocular and respiratory muscles, and may result in quadriparesis. Elevation of creatine kinase may occur. Clinical improvement or recovery after stopping corticosteroids may require weeks to years.
    Atropine; Benzoic Acid; Hyoscyamine; Methenamine; Methylene Blue; Phenyl Salicylate: (Moderate) Salicylates or NSAIDs should be used cautiously in patients receiving corticosteroids. While there is controversy regarding the ulcerogenic potential of corticosteroids alone, concomitant administration of corticosteroids with aspirin may increase the GI toxicity of aspirin and other non-acetylated salicylates. Withdrawal of corticosteroids can result in increased plasma concentrations of salicylate and possible toxicity. Concomitant use of corticosteroids may increase the risk of adverse GI events due to NSAIDs. Although some patients may need to be given corticosteroids and NSAIDs concomitantly, which can be done successfully for short periods of time without sequelae, prolonged coadministration should be avoided.
    Azacitidine: (Minor) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents.
    Azathioprine: (Minor) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents.
    Azilsartan; Chlorthalidone: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when non-potassium sparing diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, are coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids. Monitoring serum potassium levels and cardiac function is advised, and potassium supplementation may be required.
    Bacillus Calmette-Guerin Vaccine, BCG: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system. Children who are receiving high doses of systemic corticosteroids (i.e., greater than or equal to 2 mg/kg prednisone orally per day) for 2 weeks or more may be vaccinated after steroid therapy has been discontinued for at least 3 months in accordance with general recommendations for the use of live-virus vaccines. The CDC has stated that discontinuation of steroids for 1 month prior to varicella virus vaccine live administration may be sufficient. Budesonide may affect the immunogenicity of live vaccines. An open-label study examined the immune responsiveness to varicella vaccine in 243 pediatric asthma patients who were treated with budesonide inhalation suspension 0.251 mg daily (n = 151) or non-corticosteroid asthma therapy (n = 92). The percentage of patients developing a seroprotective antibody titer of at least 5 (gpELISA value) in response to the vaccination was slightly lower in patients treated with budesonide compared to patients treated with non-corticosteroid asthma therapy (85% vs. 90%). Even though no patient treated with budesonide inhalation suspension developed chicken pox because of vaccination, live-virus vaccines should not be given to individuals who are considered to be immunocompromised until more information is available.
    Basiliximab: (Minor) Because systemically administered corticosteroids have immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives.
    Benazepril; Hydrochlorothiazide, HCTZ: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when non-potassium sparing diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, are coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids. Monitoring serum potassium levels and cardiac function is advised, and potassium supplementation may be required.
    Bendroflumethiazide; Nadolol: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when non-potassium sparing diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, are coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids. Monitoring serum potassium levels and cardiac function is advised, and potassium supplementation may be required.
    Benzoic Acid; Hyoscyamine; Methenamine; Methylene Blue; Phenyl Salicylate: (Moderate) Salicylates or NSAIDs should be used cautiously in patients receiving corticosteroids. While there is controversy regarding the ulcerogenic potential of corticosteroids alone, concomitant administration of corticosteroids with aspirin may increase the GI toxicity of aspirin and other non-acetylated salicylates. Withdrawal of corticosteroids can result in increased plasma concentrations of salicylate and possible toxicity. Concomitant use of corticosteroids may increase the risk of adverse GI events due to NSAIDs. Although some patients may need to be given corticosteroids and NSAIDs concomitantly, which can be done successfully for short periods of time without sequelae, prolonged coadministration should be avoided.
    Bepridil: (Moderate) Hypokalemia-producing agents, including corticosteroids, may increase the risk of bepridil-induced arrhythmias and should therefore be administered cautiously in patients receiving bepridil therapy.
    Bevacizumab: (Minor) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents.
    Bismuth Subsalicylate: (Moderate) Salicylates or NSAIDs should be used cautiously in patients receiving corticosteroids. While there is controversy regarding the ulcerogenic potential of corticosteroids alone, concomitant administration of corticosteroids with aspirin may increase the GI toxicity of aspirin and other non-acetylated salicylates. Withdrawal of corticosteroids can result in increased plasma concentrations of salicylate and possible toxicity. Concomitant use of corticosteroids may increase the risk of adverse GI events due to NSAIDs. Although some patients may need to be given corticosteroids and NSAIDs concomitantly, which can be done successfully for short periods of time without sequelae, prolonged coadministration should be avoided.
    Bismuth Subsalicylate; Metronidazole; Tetracycline: (Moderate) Salicylates or NSAIDs should be used cautiously in patients receiving corticosteroids. While there is controversy regarding the ulcerogenic potential of corticosteroids alone, concomitant administration of corticosteroids with aspirin may increase the GI toxicity of aspirin and other non-acetylated salicylates. Withdrawal of corticosteroids can result in increased plasma concentrations of salicylate and possible toxicity. Concomitant use of corticosteroids may increase the risk of adverse GI events due to NSAIDs. Although some patients may need to be given corticosteroids and NSAIDs concomitantly, which can be done successfully for short periods of time without sequelae, prolonged coadministration should be avoided.
    Bisoprolol; Hydrochlorothiazide, HCTZ: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when non-potassium sparing diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, are coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids. Monitoring serum potassium levels and cardiac function is advised, and potassium supplementation may be required.
    Bortezomib: (Minor) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents.
    Brompheniramine; Carbetapentane; Phenylephrine: (Moderate) The therapeutic effect of phenylephrine may be increased in patient receiving corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone. Monitor patients for increased pressor effect if these agents are administered concomitantly.
    Bupropion: (Major) Bupropion is associated with a dose-related risk of seizures. Extreme caution is recommended during concurrent use of other drugs that may lower the seizure threshold such as systemic corticosteroids. The manufacturer recommends low initial dosing and slow dosage titration if these combinations must be used; the patient should be closely monitored.
    Bupropion; Naltrexone: (Major) Bupropion is associated with a dose-related risk of seizures. Extreme caution is recommended during concurrent use of other drugs that may lower the seizure threshold such as systemic corticosteroids. The manufacturer recommends low initial dosing and slow dosage titration if these combinations must be used; the patient should be closely monitored.
    Calcium Carbonate: (Moderate) Calcium absorption is reduced when calcium carbonate is taken concomitantly with systemic corticosteroids. Systemic corticosteroids induce a negative calcium balance by inhibiting intestinal calcium absorption as well as by increasing renal calcium losses. The mechanism by which these drugs inhibit calcium absorption in the intestine is likely to involve a direct inhibition of absorptive cell function.
    Calcium Carbonate; Magnesium Hydroxide: (Moderate) Calcium absorption is reduced when calcium carbonate is taken concomitantly with systemic corticosteroids. Systemic corticosteroids induce a negative calcium balance by inhibiting intestinal calcium absorption as well as by increasing renal calcium losses. The mechanism by which these drugs inhibit calcium absorption in the intestine is likely to involve a direct inhibition of absorptive cell function.
    Calcium Carbonate; Risedronate: (Moderate) Calcium absorption is reduced when calcium carbonate is taken concomitantly with systemic corticosteroids. Systemic corticosteroids induce a negative calcium balance by inhibiting intestinal calcium absorption as well as by increasing renal calcium losses. The mechanism by which these drugs inhibit calcium absorption in the intestine is likely to involve a direct inhibition of absorptive cell function.
    Calcium; Vitamin D: (Moderate) Calcium absorption is reduced when calcium carbonate is taken concomitantly with systemic corticosteroids. Systemic corticosteroids induce a negative calcium balance by inhibiting intestinal calcium absorption as well as by increasing renal calcium losses. The mechanism by which these drugs inhibit calcium absorption in the intestine is likely to involve a direct inhibition of absorptive cell function.
    Canagliflozin: (Moderate) Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia. When released, blood glucose concentrations rise. When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted.
    Canagliflozin; Metformin: (Moderate) Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia. When released, blood glucose concentrations rise. When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. In addition, blood lactate concentrations and the lactate to pyruvate ratio increase when metformin is coadministered with corticosteroids (e.g., hydrocortisone). Elevated lactic acid concentrations are associated with increased morbidity rates. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted. (Moderate) Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia. When released, blood glucose concentrations rise. When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted.
    Candesartan; Hydrochlorothiazide, HCTZ: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when non-potassium sparing diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, are coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids. Monitoring serum potassium levels and cardiac function is advised, and potassium supplementation may be required.
    Capecitabine: (Minor) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents.
    Captopril; Hydrochlorothiazide, HCTZ: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when non-potassium sparing diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, are coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids. Monitoring serum potassium levels and cardiac function is advised, and potassium supplementation may be required.
    Carbetapentane; Chlorpheniramine; Phenylephrine: (Moderate) The therapeutic effect of phenylephrine may be increased in patient receiving corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone. Monitor patients for increased pressor effect if these agents are administered concomitantly.
    Carbetapentane; Diphenhydramine; Phenylephrine: (Moderate) The therapeutic effect of phenylephrine may be increased in patient receiving corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone. Monitor patients for increased pressor effect if these agents are administered concomitantly.
    Carbetapentane; Guaifenesin; Phenylephrine: (Moderate) The therapeutic effect of phenylephrine may be increased in patient receiving corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone. Monitor patients for increased pressor effect if these agents are administered concomitantly.
    Carbetapentane; Phenylephrine: (Moderate) The therapeutic effect of phenylephrine may be increased in patient receiving corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone. Monitor patients for increased pressor effect if these agents are administered concomitantly.
    Carbetapentane; Phenylephrine; Pyrilamine: (Moderate) The therapeutic effect of phenylephrine may be increased in patient receiving corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone. Monitor patients for increased pressor effect if these agents are administered concomitantly.
    Carbinoxamine; Hydrocodone; Phenylephrine: (Moderate) The therapeutic effect of phenylephrine may be increased in patient receiving corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone. Monitor patients for increased pressor effect if these agents are administered concomitantly.
    Carbinoxamine; Phenylephrine: (Moderate) The therapeutic effect of phenylephrine may be increased in patient receiving corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone. Monitor patients for increased pressor effect if these agents are administered concomitantly.
    Carmustine, BCNU: (Minor) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents.
    Chlophedianol; Guaifenesin; Phenylephrine: (Moderate) The therapeutic effect of phenylephrine may be increased in patient receiving corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone. Monitor patients for increased pressor effect if these agents are administered concomitantly.
    Chlorambucil: (Minor) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents.
    Chlorothiazide: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when non-potassium sparing diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, are coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids. Monitoring serum potassium levels and cardiac function is advised, and potassium supplementation may be required.
    Chlorpheniramine; Dextromethorphan; Phenylephrine: (Moderate) The therapeutic effect of phenylephrine may be increased in patient receiving corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone. Monitor patients for increased pressor effect if these agents are administered concomitantly.
    Chlorpheniramine; Dihydrocodeine; Phenylephrine: (Moderate) The therapeutic effect of phenylephrine may be increased in patient receiving corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone. Monitor patients for increased pressor effect if these agents are administered concomitantly.
    Chlorpheniramine; Hydrocodone; Phenylephrine: (Moderate) The therapeutic effect of phenylephrine may be increased in patient receiving corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone. Monitor patients for increased pressor effect if these agents are administered concomitantly.
    Chlorpheniramine; Phenylephrine: (Moderate) The therapeutic effect of phenylephrine may be increased in patient receiving corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone. Monitor patients for increased pressor effect if these agents are administered concomitantly.
    Chlorpropamide: (Moderate) Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia. When released, blood glucose concentrations rise. When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted.
    Chlorthalidone: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when non-potassium sparing diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, are coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids. Monitoring serum potassium levels and cardiac function is advised, and potassium supplementation may be required.
    Chlorthalidone; Clonidine: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when non-potassium sparing diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, are coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids. Monitoring serum potassium levels and cardiac function is advised, and potassium supplementation may be required.
    Cholestyramine: (Moderate) Cholestyramine has been shown to bind to hydrocortisone. To minimize drug interactions, the manufacturer recommends to administer other drugs at least 1 hour before or at least 4 to 6 hours after the administration of cholestyramine.
    Choline Salicylate; Magnesium Salicylate: (Moderate) Salicylates or NSAIDs should be used cautiously in patients receiving corticosteroids. While there is controversy regarding the ulcerogenic potential of corticosteroids alone, concomitant administration of corticosteroids with aspirin may increase the GI toxicity of aspirin and other non-acetylated salicylates. Withdrawal of corticosteroids can result in increased plasma concentrations of salicylate and possible toxicity. Concomitant use of corticosteroids may increase the risk of adverse GI events due to NSAIDs. Although some patients may need to be given corticosteroids and NSAIDs concomitantly, which can be done successfully for short periods of time without sequelae, prolonged coadministration should be avoided.
    Cimetidine: (Moderate) Concomitant use of systemic sodium chloride, especially at high doses, and corticosteroids may result in sodium and fluid retention. Assess sodium chloride intake from all sources, including intake from sodium-containing intravenous fluids and antibiotic admixtures. Carefully monitor sodium concentrations and fluid status if sodium-containing drugs and corticosteroids must be used together.
    Cisatracurium: (Moderate) Caution and close monitoring are advised if corticosteroids and neuromuscular blockers are used together, particularly for long periods, due to enhanced neuromuscular blocking effects. In such patients, a peripheral nerve stimulator may be of value in monitoring the response. Concurrent use may increase the risk of acute myopathy. This acute myopathy is generalized, may involve ocular and respiratory muscles, and may result in quadriparesis. Elevation of creatine kinase may occur. Clinical improvement or recovery after stopping corticosteroids may require weeks to years.
    Citalopram: (Major) Citalopram causes dose-dependent QT interval prolongation. Concurrent use of citalopram and medications known to cause electrolyte imbalance may increase the risk of developing QT prolongation. Therefore, caution is advisable during concurrent use of citalopram and corticosteroids. It should be noted that CYP3A4 is one of the isoenzymes involved in the metabolism of citalopram, and dexamethasone is an inducer of this isoenzyme. In theory, decreased efficacy of citalopram is possible during combined use with dexamethasone; however, because citalopram is metabolized by multiple enzyme systems, induction of one pathway may not appreciably increase citalopram clearance.
    Clarithromycin: (Moderate) Clarithromycin inhibits CYP3A4 and has the potential to result in increased plasma concentrations of corticosteroids. Therefore, the dose of corticosteroid should be titrated to avoid steroid toxicity.
    Clindamycin: (Moderate) Concomitant use of systemic sodium chloride, especially at high doses, and corticosteroids may result in sodium and fluid retention. Assess sodium chloride intake from all sources, including intake from sodium-containing intravenous fluids and antibiotic admixtures. Carefully monitor sodium concentrations and fluid status if sodium-containing drugs and corticosteroids must be used together.
    Clofarabine: (Minor) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents.
    Cod Liver Oil: (Minor) A relationship of functional antagonism exists between vitamin D analogs, which promote calcium absorption, and corticosteroids, which inhibit calcium absorption. Therapeutic effect of cod liver oil should be monitored when used concomitantly with corticosteroids.
    Codeine; Phenylephrine; Promethazine: (Moderate) The therapeutic effect of phenylephrine may be increased in patient receiving corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone. Monitor patients for increased pressor effect if these agents are administered concomitantly.
    Colestipol: (Moderate) The bile-acid sequestrant colestipol is well-known to cause drug interactions by binding and decreasing the oral administration of many drugs. Colestipol can bind with and possibly decrease the oral absorption of hydrocortisone. According to the manufacturer, administer other drugs at least 1 hour before or at least 4 to 6 hours after the administration of colestipol.
    Conivaptan: (Moderate) Conivaptan has been associated with hypokalemia (9.8%). Although not studied, consider the potential for additive hypokalemic effects if conivaptan is coadministered with drugs known to induce hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids.
    Cosyntropin: (Major) Patients receiving hydrocortisone should omit their pre-test doses on the day selected for testing. Patients taking inadvertent doses of hydrocortisone may exhibit abnormally high basal plasma cortisol concentrations and a decreased response to the test. A paradoxical decrease in plasma cortisol concentrations may be seen in patients receiving hydrocortisone following a stimulating dose of cosyntropin injection.
    Cytarabine, ARA-C: (Minor) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents.
    Dapagliflozin: (Moderate) Systemic corticosteroids increase blood glucose levels; a potential pharmacodynamic interaction exists between corticosteroids and all antidiabetic agents. Diabetic patients who are administered systemic corticosteroid therapy may require an adjustment in the dosing of the antidiabetic agent. Blood lactate concentrations and the lactate to pyruvate ratio increased when metformin was coadministered with corticosteroids (e.g., hydrocortisone). Elevated lactic acid concentrations are associated with an increased risk of lactic acidosis, so patients on metformin concurrently with systemic steroids should be monitored closely.
    Dapagliflozin; Metformin: (Moderate) Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia. When released, blood glucose concentrations rise. When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. In addition, blood lactate concentrations and the lactate to pyruvate ratio increase when metformin is coadministered with corticosteroids (e.g., hydrocortisone). Elevated lactic acid concentrations are associated with increased morbidity rates. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted. (Moderate) Systemic corticosteroids increase blood glucose levels; a potential pharmacodynamic interaction exists between corticosteroids and all antidiabetic agents. Diabetic patients who are administered systemic corticosteroid therapy may require an adjustment in the dosing of the antidiabetic agent. Blood lactate concentrations and the lactate to pyruvate ratio increased when metformin was coadministered with corticosteroids (e.g., hydrocortisone). Elevated lactic acid concentrations are associated with an increased risk of lactic acidosis, so patients on metformin concurrently with systemic steroids should be monitored closely.
    Dapagliflozin; Saxagliptin: (Moderate) Systemic corticosteroids increase blood glucose levels. Diabetic patients who are administered systemic corticosteroid therapy may require an adjustment in the dosing of the antidiabetic agent. (Moderate) Systemic corticosteroids increase blood glucose levels; a potential pharmacodynamic interaction exists between corticosteroids and all antidiabetic agents. Diabetic patients who are administered systemic corticosteroid therapy may require an adjustment in the dosing of the antidiabetic agent. Blood lactate concentrations and the lactate to pyruvate ratio increased when metformin was coadministered with corticosteroids (e.g., hydrocortisone). Elevated lactic acid concentrations are associated with an increased risk of lactic acidosis, so patients on metformin concurrently with systemic steroids should be monitored closely.
    Decitabine: (Minor) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents.
    Denileukin Diftitox: (Minor) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents.
    Denosumab: (Moderate) The safety and efficacy of denosumab use in patients with immunosuppression have not been evaluated. Patients receiving immunosuppressives along with denosumab may be at a greater risk of developing an infection.
    Desmopressin: (Major) Desmopressin, when used in the treatment of nocturia is contraindicated with corticosteroids because of the risk of severe hyponatremia. Desmopressin can be started or resumed 3 days or 5 half-lives after the corticosteroid is discontinued, whichever is longer.
    Dextran: (Moderate) Concomitant use of systemic sodium chloride, especially at high doses, and corticosteroids may result in sodium and fluid retention. Assess sodium chloride intake from all sources, including intake from sodium-containing intravenous fluids and antibiotic admixtures. Carefully monitor sodium concentrations and fluid status if sodium-containing drugs and corticosteroids must be used together.
    Dextromethorphan; Diphenhydramine; Phenylephrine: (Moderate) The therapeutic effect of phenylephrine may be increased in patient receiving corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone. Monitor patients for increased pressor effect if these agents are administered concomitantly.
    Dextromethorphan; Guaifenesin; Phenylephrine: (Moderate) The therapeutic effect of phenylephrine may be increased in patient receiving corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone. Monitor patients for increased pressor effect if these agents are administered concomitantly.
    Digoxin: (Moderate) Hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia, or hypercalcemia increase digoxin's effect. Corticosteroids can precipitate digoxin toxicity via their effect on electrolyte balance. It is recommended that serum potassium, magnesium, and calcium be monitored regularly in patients receiving digoxin.
    Diphenhydramine; Hydrocodone; Phenylephrine: (Moderate) The therapeutic effect of phenylephrine may be increased in patient receiving corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone. Monitor patients for increased pressor effect if these agents are administered concomitantly.
    Diphenhydramine; Phenylephrine: (Moderate) The therapeutic effect of phenylephrine may be increased in patient receiving corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone. Monitor patients for increased pressor effect if these agents are administered concomitantly.
    Dofetilide: (Major) Corticosteroids can cause increases in blood pressure, sodium and water retention, and hypokalemia, predisposing patients to interactions with certain other medications. Corticosteroid-induced hypokalemia could also enhance the proarrhythmic effects of dofetilide.
    Doxacurium: (Moderate) Caution and close monitoring are advised if corticosteroids and neuromuscular blockers are used together, particularly for long periods, due to enhanced neuromuscular blocking effects. In such patients, a peripheral nerve stimulator may be of value in monitoring the response. Concurrent use may increase the risk of acute myopathy. This acute myopathy is generalized, may involve ocular and respiratory muscles, and may result in quadriparesis. Elevation of creatine kinase may occur. Clinical improvement or recovery after stopping corticosteroids may require weeks to years.
    Droperidol: (Moderate) Caution is advised when using droperidol in combination with corticosteroids which may lead to electrolyte abnormalities, especially hypokalemia or hypomagnesemia, as such abnormalities may increase the risk for QT prolongation or cardiac arrhythmias.
    Dulaglutide: (Moderate) When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia and cause blood glucose concentrations to rise. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted.
    Echinacea: (Moderate) Echinacea possesses immunostimulatory activity and may theoretically reduce the response to immunosuppressant drugs like corticosteroids. For some patients who are using corticosteroids for serious illness, such as cancer or organ transplant, this potential interaction may result in the preferable avoidance of Echinacea. Although documentation is lacking, coadministration of echinacea with immunosuppressants is not recommended by some resources.
    Econazole: (Minor) In vitro studies indicate that corticosteroids inhibit the antifungal activity of econazole against C. albicans in a concentration-dependent manner. When the concentration of the corticosteroid was equal to or greater than that of econazole on a weight basis, the antifungal activity of econazole was substantially inhibited. When the corticosteroid concentration was one-tenth that of econazole, no inhibition of antifungal activity was observed.
    Efalizumab: (Major) Patients receiving immunosuppressives should not receive concurrent therapy with efalizumab because of the possibility of increased infections and malignancies.
    Empagliflozin: (Moderate) Systemic corticosteroids increase blood glucose levels. Because of this action, a potential pharmacodynamic interaction exists between corticosteroids and all antidiabetic agents. Diabetic patients who are administered systemic corticosteroid therapy may require an adjustment in the dosing of the antidiabetic agent.
    Empagliflozin; Linagliptin: (Moderate) Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia. When released, blood glucose concentrations rise. When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents, such as linagliptin, should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted. (Moderate) Systemic corticosteroids increase blood glucose levels. Because of this action, a potential pharmacodynamic interaction exists between corticosteroids and all antidiabetic agents. Diabetic patients who are administered systemic corticosteroid therapy may require an adjustment in the dosing of the antidiabetic agent.
    Empagliflozin; Metformin: (Moderate) Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia. When released, blood glucose concentrations rise. When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. In addition, blood lactate concentrations and the lactate to pyruvate ratio increase when metformin is coadministered with corticosteroids (e.g., hydrocortisone). Elevated lactic acid concentrations are associated with increased morbidity rates. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted. (Moderate) Systemic corticosteroids increase blood glucose levels. Because of this action, a potential pharmacodynamic interaction exists between corticosteroids and all antidiabetic agents. Diabetic patients who are administered systemic corticosteroid therapy may require an adjustment in the dosing of the antidiabetic agent.
    Enalapril; Hydrochlorothiazide, HCTZ: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when non-potassium sparing diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, are coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids. Monitoring serum potassium levels and cardiac function is advised, and potassium supplementation may be required.
    Ephedrine: (Moderate) Ephedrine may enhance the metabolic clearance of corticosteroids. Decreased blood concentrations and lessened physiologic activity may necessitate an increase in corticosteroid dosage.
    Eprosartan; Hydrochlorothiazide, HCTZ: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when non-potassium sparing diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, are coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids. Monitoring serum potassium levels and cardiac function is advised, and potassium supplementation may be required.
    Erythromycin: (Moderate) Erythromycin inhibits CYP3A4 and has the potential to result in increased plasma concentrations of corticosteroids. Therefore, the dose of corticosteroid should be titrated to avoid steroid toxicity.
    Erythromycin; Sulfisoxazole: (Moderate) Erythromycin inhibits CYP3A4 and has the potential to result in increased plasma concentrations of corticosteroids. Therefore, the dose of corticosteroid should be titrated to avoid steroid toxicity.
    Eslicarbazepine: (Moderate) In vivo studies suggest eslicarbazepine is an inducer of CYP3A4. Hydrocodone is metabolized by CYP3A4. Coadministration may cause increased clearance of hydrocodone, which could result in lack of efficacy or the development of an abstinence syndrome in a patient who had developed physical dependence to hydrocodone. Monitor the patient for reduced efficacy of hydrocodone. A higher hydrocodone dose may be needed if used with eslicarbazepine.
    Estramustine: (Minor) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents.
    Estrogens: (Moderate) Estrogens have been associated with elevated serum concentrations of corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG), leading to increased total circulating corticosteroids, although the free concentrations of these hormones may be lower; the clinical significance is not known. Estrogens are CYP3A4 substrates and dexamethasone is a CYP3A4 inducer; concomitant use may decrease the clinical efficacy of estrogens. Patients should be monitored for signs of decreased clinical effects of estrogens (e.g., breakthrough bleeding), oral contraceptives, or non-oral combination contraceptives if these drugs are used together.
    Exenatide: (Moderate) When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia and cause blood glucose concentrations to rise. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted.
    Floxuridine: (Minor) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents.
    Fluconazole: (Moderate) Concomitant use of systemic sodium chloride, especially at high doses, and corticosteroids may result in sodium and fluid retention. Assess sodium chloride intake from all sources, including intake from sodium-containing intravenous fluids and antibiotic admixtures. Carefully monitor sodium concentrations and fluid status if sodium-containing drugs and corticosteroids must be used together.
    Fluorouracil, 5-FU: (Minor) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents.
    Fluoxymesterone: (Moderate) Coadministration of corticosteroids and fluoxymesterone may increase the risk of edema, especially in patients with underlying cardiac or hepatic disease. Corticosteroids with greater mineralocorticoid activity, such as fludrocortisone, may be more likely to cause edema. Administer these drugs in combination with caution.
    Fosinopril; Hydrochlorothiazide, HCTZ: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when non-potassium sparing diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, are coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids. Monitoring serum potassium levels and cardiac function is advised, and potassium supplementation may be required.
    Gallium Ga 68 Dotatate: (Moderate) Corticosteroids may accentuate the electrolyte loss associated with diuretic therapy resulting in hypokalemia. Also, corticotropin may cause calcium loss and sodium and fluid retention. Mannitol itself can cause hypernatremia. Close monitoring of electrolytes should occur in patients receiving these drugs concomitantly.
    Gemcitabine: (Minor) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents.
    Gentamicin: (Moderate) Concomitant use of systemic sodium chloride, especially at high doses, and corticosteroids may result in sodium and fluid retention. Assess sodium chloride intake from all sources, including intake from sodium-containing intravenous fluids and antibiotic admixtures. Carefully monitor sodium concentrations and fluid status if sodium-containing drugs and corticosteroids must be used together.
    Glimepiride: (Moderate) Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia. When released, blood glucose concentrations rise. When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted.
    Glimepiride; Pioglitazone: (Moderate) Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia. When released, blood glucose concentrations rise. When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted.
    Glimepiride; Rosiglitazone: (Moderate) Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia. When released, blood glucose concentrations rise. When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted.
    Glipizide: (Moderate) Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia. When released, blood glucose concentrations rise. When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted.
    Glipizide; Metformin: (Moderate) Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia. When released, blood glucose concentrations rise. When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. In addition, blood lactate concentrations and the lactate to pyruvate ratio increase when metformin is coadministered with corticosteroids (e.g., hydrocortisone). Elevated lactic acid concentrations are associated with increased morbidity rates. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted. (Moderate) Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia. When released, blood glucose concentrations rise. When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted.
    Glyburide: (Moderate) Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia. When released, blood glucose concentrations rise. When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted.
    Glyburide; Metformin: (Moderate) Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia. When released, blood glucose concentrations rise. When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. In addition, blood lactate concentrations and the lactate to pyruvate ratio increase when metformin is coadministered with corticosteroids (e.g., hydrocortisone). Elevated lactic acid concentrations are associated with increased morbidity rates. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted. (Moderate) Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia. When released, blood glucose concentrations rise. When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted.
    Glycerol Phenylbutyrate: (Moderate) Corticosteroids may induce elevated blood ammonia concentrations. Corticosteroids should be used with caution in patients receiving glycerol phenylbutyrate. Monitor ammonia concentrations closely.
    Guaifenesin; Phenylephrine: (Moderate) The therapeutic effect of phenylephrine may be increased in patient receiving corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone. Monitor patients for increased pressor effect if these agents are administered concomitantly.
    Halofantrine: (Major) Due to the risks of cardiac toxicity of halofantrine in patients with hypokalemia and/or hypomagnesemia, the use of halofantrine should be avoided in combination with agents that may lead to electrolyte losses, such as corticosteroids.
    Haloperidol: (Major) QT prolongation has been observed during haloperidol treatment. Use of haloperidol and medications known to cause electrolyte imbalance may increase the risk of QT prolongation. Therefore, caution is advisable during concurrent use of haloperidol and corticosteroids. Topical corticosteroids are less likely to interact.
    Hemin: (Moderate) Hemin works by inhibiting aminolevulinic acid synthetase. Corticosteroids increase the activity of this enzyme should not be used with hemin.
    Heparin: (Moderate) Concomitant use of systemic sodium chloride, especially at high doses, and corticosteroids may result in sodium and fluid retention. Assess sodium chloride intake from all sources, including intake from sodium-containing intravenous fluids and antibiotic admixtures. Carefully monitor sodium concentrations and fluid status if sodium-containing drugs and corticosteroids must be used together.
    Hetastarch: (Moderate) Concomitant use of systemic sodium chloride, especially at high doses, and corticosteroids may result in sodium and fluid retention. Assess sodium chloride intake from all sources, including intake from sodium-containing intravenous fluids and antibiotic admixtures. Carefully monitor sodium concentrations and fluid status if sodium-containing drugs and corticosteroids must be used together.
    Hydralazine; Hydrochlorothiazide, HCTZ: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when non-potassium sparing diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, are coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids. Monitoring serum potassium levels and cardiac function is advised, and potassium supplementation may be required.
    Hydrochlorothiazide, HCTZ: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when non-potassium sparing diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, are coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids. Monitoring serum potassium levels and cardiac function is advised, and potassium supplementation may be required.
    Hydrochlorothiazide, HCTZ; Irbesartan: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when non-potassium sparing diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, are coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids. Monitoring serum potassium levels and cardiac function is advised, and potassium supplementation may be required.
    Hydrochlorothiazide, HCTZ; Lisinopril: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when non-potassium sparing diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, are coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids. Monitoring serum potassium levels and cardiac function is advised, and potassium supplementation may be required.
    Hydrochlorothiazide, HCTZ; Losartan: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when non-potassium sparing diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, are coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids. Monitoring serum potassium levels and cardiac function is advised, and potassium supplementation may be required.
    Hydrochlorothiazide, HCTZ; Methyldopa: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when non-potassium sparing diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, are coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids. Monitoring serum potassium levels and cardiac function is advised, and potassium supplementation may be required.
    Hydrochlorothiazide, HCTZ; Metoprolol: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when non-potassium sparing diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, are coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids. Monitoring serum potassium levels and cardiac function is advised, and potassium supplementation may be required.
    Hydrochlorothiazide, HCTZ; Moexipril: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when non-potassium sparing diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, are coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids. Monitoring serum potassium levels and cardiac function is advised, and potassium supplementation may be required.
    Hydrochlorothiazide, HCTZ; Olmesartan: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when non-potassium sparing diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, are coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids. Monitoring serum potassium levels and cardiac function is advised, and potassium supplementation may be required.
    Hydrochlorothiazide, HCTZ; Propranolol: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when non-potassium sparing diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, are coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids. Monitoring serum potassium levels and cardiac function is advised, and potassium supplementation may be required. (Moderate) Patients receiving corticosteroids during propranolol therapy may be at increased risk of hypoglycemia due to the loss of counter-regulatory cortisol response. This effect may be more pronounced in infants and young children. If concurrent use is necessary, carefully monitor vital signs and blood glucose concentrations as clinically indicated.
    Hydrochlorothiazide, HCTZ; Quinapril: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when non-potassium sparing diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, are coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids. Monitoring serum potassium levels and cardiac function is advised, and potassium supplementation may be required.
    Hydrochlorothiazide, HCTZ; Spironolactone: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when non-potassium sparing diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, are coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids. Monitoring serum potassium levels and cardiac function is advised, and potassium supplementation may be required.
    Hydrochlorothiazide, HCTZ; Telmisartan: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when non-potassium sparing diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, are coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids. Monitoring serum potassium levels and cardiac function is advised, and potassium supplementation may be required.
    Hydrochlorothiazide, HCTZ; Triamterene: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when non-potassium sparing diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, are coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids. Monitoring serum potassium levels and cardiac function is advised, and potassium supplementation may be required.
    Hydrochlorothiazide, HCTZ; Valsartan: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when non-potassium sparing diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, are coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids. Monitoring serum potassium levels and cardiac function is advised, and potassium supplementation may be required.
    Hydrocodone; Phenylephrine: (Moderate) The therapeutic effect of phenylephrine may be increased in patient receiving corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone. Monitor patients for increased pressor effect if these agents are administered concomitantly.
    Hydroxyurea: (Minor) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents.
    Hylan G-F 20: (Major) The safety and efficacy of hylan G-F 20 given concomitantly with other intra-articular injectables have not been established. Other intra-articular injections may include intra-articular steroids (betamethasone, dexamethasone, hydrocortisone, prednisolone, methylprednisolone, and triamcinolone).
    Hyoscyamine; Methenamine; Methylene Blue; Phenyl Salicylate; Sodium Biphosphate: (Moderate) Salicylates or NSAIDs should be used cautiously in patients receiving corticosteroids. While there is controversy regarding the ulcerogenic potential of corticosteroids alone, concomitant administration of corticosteroids with aspirin may increase the GI toxicity of aspirin and other non-acetylated salicylates. Withdrawal of corticosteroids can result in increased plasma concentrations of salicylate and possible toxicity. Concomitant use of corticosteroids may increase the risk of adverse GI events due to NSAIDs. Although some patients may need to be given corticosteroids and NSAIDs concomitantly, which can be done successfully for short periods of time without sequelae, prolonged coadministration should be avoided. (Moderate) Use sodium phosphate cautiously with corticosteroids, especially mineralocorticoids or corticotropin, ACTH, as concurrent use can cause hypernatremia.
    Ibritumomab Tiuxetan: (Moderate) Concomitant use of systemic sodium chloride, especially at high doses, and corticosteroids may result in sodium and fluid retention. Assess sodium chloride intake from all sources, including intake from sodium-containing intravenous fluids and antibiotic admixtures. Carefully monitor sodium concentrations and fluid status if sodium-containing drugs and corticosteroids must be used together. (Moderate) Use sodium phosphate cautiously with corticosteroids, especially mineralocorticoids or corticotropin, ACTH, as concurrent use can cause hypernatremia. (Minor) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents.
    Ifosfamide: (Minor) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents.
    Incretin Mimetics: (Moderate) When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia and cause blood glucose concentrations to rise. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted.
    Indapamide: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when indapamide is coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia such as systemic corticosteroids. Coadminister with caution and careful monitoring.
    Insulin Degludec; Liraglutide: (Moderate) When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia and cause blood glucose concentrations to rise. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted.
    Insulin Glargine; Lixisenatide: (Moderate) When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia and cause blood glucose concentrations to rise. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted.
    Insulins: (Moderate) Monitor patients receiving insulin closely for worsening glycemic control when corticosteroids are instituted and for signs of hypoglycemia when corticosteroids are discontinued. Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones are released in response to hypoglycemia. When released, blood glucose concentrations rise. When these hormones or their derivatives (e.g., corticosteroids) are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of insulin.
    Interferon Alfa-2a: (Minor) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents.
    Interferon Alfa-2b: (Minor) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents.
    Interferon Alfa-2b; Ribavirin: (Minor) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents.
    Intranasal Influenza Vaccine: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system. Children who are receiving high doses of systemic corticosteroids (i.e., greater than or equal to 2 mg/kg prednisone orally per day) for 2 weeks or more may be vaccinated after steroid therapy has been discontinued for at least 3 months in accordance with general recommendations for the use of live-virus vaccines. The CDC has stated that discontinuation of steroids for 1 month prior to varicella virus vaccine live administration may be sufficient. Budesonide may affect the immunogenicity of live vaccines. An open-label study examined the immune responsiveness to varicella vaccine in 243 pediatric asthma patients who were treated with budesonide inhalation suspension 0.251 mg daily (n = 151) or non-corticosteroid asthma therapy (n = 92). The percentage of patients developing a seroprotective antibody titer of at least 5 (gpELISA value) in response to the vaccination was slightly lower in patients treated with budesonide compared to patients treated with non-corticosteroid asthma therapy (85% vs. 90%). Even though no patient treated with budesonide inhalation suspension developed chicken pox because of vaccination, live-virus vaccines should not be given to individuals who are considered to be immunocompromised until more information is available.
    Iohexol: (Major) Serious adverse events, including death, have been observed during intrathecal administration of both corticosteroids (i.e., hydrocortisone) and radiopaque contrast agents (i.e., iohexol); therefore, concurrent use of these medications via the intrathecal route is contraindicated. Cases of cortical blindness, stroke, spinal cord infarction, paralysis, seizures, nerve injury, brain edema, and death have been temporally associated (i.e., within minutes to 48 hours after injection) with epidural administration of injectable corticosteroids. In addition, patients inadvertently administered iohexol formulations not indicated for intrathecal use have experienced seizures, convulsions, cerebral hemorrhages, brain edema, and death. Administering these medications together via the intrathecal route may increase the risk for serious adverse events.
    Iopamidol: (Severe) Because both intrathecal corticosteroids (i.e., hydrocortisone) and intrathecal radiopaque contrast agents (i.e., iopamidoll) can increase the risk of seizures, the intrathecal administration of corticosteroids with intrathecal radiopaque contrast agents is contraindicated.
    Isoproterenol: (Moderate) The risk of cardiac toxicity with isoproterenol in asthma patients appears to be increased with the coadministration of corticosteroids. Intravenous infusions of isoproterenol in refractory asthmatic children at rates of 0.05 to 2.7 mcg/kg/min have caused clinical deterioration, myocardial infarction (necrosis), congestive heart failure and death.
    Isotretinoin: (Minor) Both isotretinoin and corticosteroids can cause osteoporosis during chronic use. Patients receiving systemic corticosteroids should receive isotretinoin therapy with caution.
    L-Asparaginase Escherichia coli: (Moderate) Concomitant use of L-asparaginase with corticosteroids can result in additive hyperglycemia. L-Asparaginase transiently inhibits insulin production contributing to hyperglycemia seen during concurrent corticosteroid therapy. Insulin therapy may be required in some cases. Administration of L-asparaginase after rather than before corticosteroids reportedly has produced fewer hypersensitivity reactions.
    Levetiracetam: (Moderate) Concomitant use of systemic sodium chloride, especially at high doses, and corticosteroids may result in sodium and fluid retention. Assess sodium chloride intake from all sources, including intake from sodium-containing intravenous fluids and antibiotic admixtures. Carefully monitor sodium concentrations and fluid status if sodium-containing drugs and corticosteroids must be used together.
    Levomethadyl: (Major) Caution is advised when using levomethadyl in combination with other agents, such as corticosteroids, that may lead to electrolyte abnormalities, especially hypokalemia or hypomagnesemia.
    Linagliptin: (Moderate) Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia. When released, blood glucose concentrations rise. When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents, such as linagliptin, should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted.
    Linagliptin; Metformin: (Moderate) Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia. When released, blood glucose concentrations rise. When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. In addition, blood lactate concentrations and the lactate to pyruvate ratio increase when metformin is coadministered with corticosteroids (e.g., hydrocortisone). Elevated lactic acid concentrations are associated with increased morbidity rates. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted. (Moderate) Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia. When released, blood glucose concentrations rise. When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents, such as linagliptin, should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted.
    Liraglutide: (Moderate) When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia and cause blood glucose concentrations to rise. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted.
    Lisdexamfetamine: (Minor) The amphetamines may interfere with laboratory tests for the determination of corticosteroids. Plasma cortisol concentrations may be increased, especially during evening hours. Amphetamines may also interfere with urinary steroid determinations.
    Live Vaccines: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system. Children who are receiving high doses of systemic corticosteroids (i.e., greater than or equal to 2 mg/kg prednisone orally per day) for 2 weeks or more may be vaccinated after steroid therapy has been discontinued for at least 3 months in accordance with general recommendations for the use of live-virus vaccines. The CDC has stated that discontinuation of steroids for 1 month prior to varicella virus vaccine live administration may be sufficient. Budesonide may affect the immunogenicity of live vaccines. An open-label study examined the immune responsiveness to varicella vaccine in 243 pediatric asthma patients who were treated with budesonide inhalation suspension 0.251 mg daily (n = 151) or non-corticosteroid asthma therapy (n = 92). The percentage of patients developing a seroprotective antibody titer of at least 5 (gpELISA value) in response to the vaccination was slightly lower in patients treated with budesonide compared to patients treated with non-corticosteroid asthma therapy (85% vs. 90%). Even though no patient treated with budesonide inhalation suspension developed chicken pox because of vaccination, live-virus vaccines should not be given to individuals who are considered to be immunocompromised until more information is available.
    Lixisenatide: (Moderate) When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia and cause blood glucose concentrations to rise. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted.
    Lomustine, CCNU: (Minor) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents.
    Loop diuretics: (Moderate) Corticosteroids may accentuate the electrolyte loss associated with diuretic therapy resulting in hypokalemia and/or hypomagnesemia. While glucocorticoids with mineralocorticoid activity (e.g., cortisone, hydrocortisone) can cause sodium and fluid retention. Close monitoring of electrolytes should occur in patients receiving these drugs concomitantly.
    Magnesium Salicylate: (Moderate) Salicylates or NSAIDs should be used cautiously in patients receiving corticosteroids. While there is controversy regarding the ulcerogenic potential of corticosteroids alone, concomitant administration of corticosteroids with aspirin may increase the GI toxicity of aspirin and other non-acetylated salicylates. Withdrawal of corticosteroids can result in increased plasma concentrations of salicylate and possible toxicity. Concomitant use of corticosteroids may increase the risk of adverse GI events due to NSAIDs. Although some patients may need to be given corticosteroids and NSAIDs concomitantly, which can be done successfully for short periods of time without sequelae, prolonged coadministration should be avoided.
    Mannitol: (Moderate) Corticosteroids may accentuate the electrolyte loss associated with diuretic therapy resulting in hypokalemia. Also, corticotropin may cause calcium loss and sodium and fluid retention. Mannitol itself can cause hypernatremia. Close monitoring of electrolytes should occur in patients receiving these drugs concomitantly.
    Measles Virus; Mumps Virus; Rubella Virus; Varicella Virus Vaccine, Live: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system. Children who are receiving high doses of systemic corticosteroids (i.e., greater than or equal to 2 mg/kg prednisone orally per day) for 2 weeks or more may be vaccinated after steroid therapy has been discontinued for at least 3 months in accordance with general recommendations for the use of live-virus vaccines. The CDC has stated that discontinuation of steroids for 1 month prior to varicella virus vaccine live administration may be sufficient. Budesonide may affect the immunogenicity of live vaccines. An open-label study examined the immune responsiveness to varicella vaccine in 243 pediatric asthma patients who were treated with budesonide inhalation suspension 0.251 mg daily (n = 151) or non-corticosteroid asthma therapy (n = 92). The percentage of patients developing a seroprotective antibody titer of at least 5 (gpELISA value) in response to the vaccination was slightly lower in patients treated with budesonide compared to patients treated with non-corticosteroid asthma therapy (85% vs. 90%). Even though no patient treated with budesonide inhalation suspension developed chicken pox because of vaccination, live-virus vaccines should not be given to individuals who are considered to be immunocompromised until more information is available.
    Measles/Mumps/Rubella Vaccines, MMR: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system. Children who are receiving high doses of systemic corticosteroids (i.e., greater than or equal to 2 mg/kg prednisone orally per day) for 2 weeks or more may be vaccinated after steroid therapy has been discontinued for at least 3 months in accordance with general recommendations for the use of live-virus vaccines. The CDC has stated that discontinuation of steroids for 1 month prior to varicella virus vaccine live administration may be sufficient. Budesonide may affect the immunogenicity of live vaccines. An open-label study examined the immune responsiveness to varicella vaccine in 243 pediatric asthma patients who were treated with budesonide inhalation suspension 0.251 mg daily (n = 151) or non-corticosteroid asthma therapy (n = 92). The percentage of patients developing a seroprotective antibody titer of at least 5 (gpELISA value) in response to the vaccination was slightly lower in patients treated with budesonide compared to patients treated with non-corticosteroid asthma therapy (85% vs. 90%). Even though no patient treated with budesonide inhalation suspension developed chicken pox because of vaccination, live-virus vaccines should not be given to individuals who are considered to be immunocompromised until more information is available.
    Mecasermin rinfabate: (Moderate) Additional monitoring may be required when coadministering systemic or inhaled corticosteroids and mecasermin, recombinant, rh-IGF-1. In animal studies, corticosteroids impair the growth-stimulating effects of growth hormone (GH) through interference with the physiological stimulation of epiphyseal chondrocyte proliferation exerted by GH and IGF-1. Dexamethasone administration on long bone tissue in vitro resulted in a decrease of local synthesis of IGF-1. Similar counteractive effects are expected in humans. If systemic or inhaled glucocorticoid therapy is required, the steroid dose should be carefully adjusted and growth rate monitored.
    Mecasermin, Recombinant, rh-IGF-1: (Moderate) Additional monitoring may be required when coadministering systemic or inhaled corticosteroids and mecasermin, recombinant, rh-IGF-1. In animal studies, corticosteroids impair the growth-stimulating effects of growth hormone (GH) through interference with the physiological stimulation of epiphyseal chondrocyte proliferation exerted by GH and IGF-1. Dexamethasone administration on long bone tissue in vitro resulted in a decrease of local synthesis of IGF-1. Similar counteractive effects are expected in humans. If systemic or inhaled glucocorticoid therapy is required, the steroid dose should be carefully adjusted and growth rate monitored.
    Meglitinides: (Moderate) Drugs which may cause hyperglycemia, including corticosteroids, may cause temporary loss of glycemic control. Diabetic patients who are administered systemic corticosteroid therapy may require an adjustment in the dosing of the antidiabetic agent.
    Melphalan: (Minor) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents.
    Mepenzolate: (Minor) Anticholinergics, such as mepenzolate, antagonize the effects of antiglaucoma agents. Mepenzolate is contraindicated in patients with glaucoma and therefore should not be coadministered with medications being prescribed for the treatment of glaucoma. In addition, anticholinergic drugs taken concurrently with corticosteroids in the presence of increased intraocular pressure may be hazardous.
    Metformin: (Moderate) Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia. When released, blood glucose concentrations rise. When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. In addition, blood lactate concentrations and the lactate to pyruvate ratio increase when metformin is coadministered with corticosteroids (e.g., hydrocortisone). Elevated lactic acid concentrations are associated with increased morbidity rates. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted.
    Metformin; Pioglitazone: (Moderate) Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia. When released, blood glucose concentrations rise. When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. In addition, blood lactate concentrations and the lactate to pyruvate ratio increase when metformin is coadministered with corticosteroids (e.g., hydrocortisone). Elevated lactic acid concentrations are associated with increased morbidity rates. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted.
    Metformin; Repaglinide: (Moderate) Drugs which may cause hyperglycemia, including corticosteroids, may cause temporary loss of glycemic control. Diabetic patients who are administered systemic corticosteroid therapy may require an adjustment in the dosing of the antidiabetic agent. (Moderate) Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia. When released, blood glucose concentrations rise. When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. In addition, blood lactate concentrations and the lactate to pyruvate ratio increase when metformin is coadministered with corticosteroids (e.g., hydrocortisone). Elevated lactic acid concentrations are associated with increased morbidity rates. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted.
    Metformin; Rosiglitazone: (Moderate) Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia. When released, blood glucose concentrations rise. When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. In addition, blood lactate concentrations and the lactate to pyruvate ratio increase when metformin is coadministered with corticosteroids (e.g., hydrocortisone). Elevated lactic acid concentrations are associated with increased morbidity rates. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted.
    Metformin; Saxagliptin: (Moderate) Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia. When released, blood glucose concentrations rise. When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. In addition, blood lactate concentrations and the lactate to pyruvate ratio increase when metformin is coadministered with corticosteroids (e.g., hydrocortisone). Elevated lactic acid concentrations are associated with increased morbidity rates. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted. (Moderate) Systemic corticosteroids increase blood glucose levels. Diabetic patients who are administered systemic corticosteroid therapy may require an adjustment in the dosing of the antidiabetic agent.
    Metformin; Sitagliptin: (Moderate) Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia. When released, blood glucose concentrations rise. When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. In addition, blood lactate concentrations and the lactate to pyruvate ratio increase when metformin is coadministered with corticosteroids (e.g., hydrocortisone). Elevated lactic acid concentrations are associated with increased morbidity rates. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted. (Moderate) Systemic corticosteroids increase blood glucose levels. Diabetic patients who are administered systemic corticosteroid therapy may require an adjustment in the dosing of the antidiabetic agent.
    Methazolamide: (Moderate) Corticosteroids may increase the risk of hypokalemia if used concurrently with methazolamide. Hypokalemia may be especially severe with prolonged use of corticotropin, ACTH. Monitor serum potassium levels to determine the need for potassium supplementation and/or alteration in drug therapy. The chronic use of corticosteroids may augment calcium excretion with methazolamide leading to increased risk for hypocalcemia and/or osteoporosis.
    Methenamine; Sodium Acid Phosphate: (Moderate) Use sodium phosphate cautiously with corticosteroids, especially mineralocorticoids or corticotropin, ACTH, as concurrent use can cause hypernatremia.
    Methenamine; Sodium Acid Phosphate; Methylene Blue; Hyoscyamine: (Moderate) Use sodium phosphate cautiously with corticosteroids, especially mineralocorticoids or corticotropin, ACTH, as concurrent use can cause hypernatremia.
    Methoxsalen: (Minor) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents.
    Methyclothiazide: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when non-potassium sparing diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, are coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids. Monitoring serum potassium levels and cardiac function is advised, and potassium supplementation may be required.
    Metolazone: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when non-potassium sparing diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, are coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids. Monitoring serum potassium levels and cardiac function is advised, and potassium supplementation may be required.
    Metyrapone: (Severe) Medications which affect pituitary or adrenocortical function, including all corticosteroid therapy, should be discontinued prior to and during testing with metyrapone. Patients taking inadvertent doses of corticosteroids on the test day may exhibit abnormally high basal plasma cortisol levels and a decreased response to the test. Although systemic absorption of topical corticosteroids is minimal, temporary discontinuation of these products should be considered if possible to reduce the potential for interference with the test results.
    Micafungin: (Moderate) Leukopenia, neutropenia, anemia, and thrombocytopenia have been associated with micafungin. Patients who are taking immunosuppressives such as the corticosteroids with micafungin concomitantly may have additive risks for infection or other side effects. In a pharmacokinetic trial, micafungin had no effect on the pharmacokinetics of prednisolone. Acute intravascular hemolysis and hemoglobinuria was seen in a healthy volunteer during infusion of micafungin (200 mg) and oral prednisolone (20 mg). This reaction was transient, and the subject did not develop significant anemia.
    Mitotane: (Major) Because of increased glucocorticoid clearance, a higher dose of hydrocortisone (50 mg/day or more) may be needed for the treatment of adrenal insufficiency in patients treated with mitotane; some may require additional fludrocortisone.
    Mitoxantrone: (Minor) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents.
    Mivacurium: (Moderate) Caution and close monitoring are advised if corticosteroids and neuromuscular blockers are used together, particularly for long periods, due to enhanced neuromuscular blocking effects. In such patients, a peripheral nerve stimulator may be of value in monitoring the response. Concurrent use may increase the risk of acute myopathy. This acute myopathy is generalized, may involve ocular and respiratory muscles, and may result in quadriparesis. Elevation of creatine kinase may occur. Clinical improvement or recovery after stopping corticosteroids may require weeks to years.
    Moxifloxacin: (Moderate) Concomitant use of systemic sodium chloride, especially at high doses, and corticosteroids may result in sodium and fluid retention. Assess sodium chloride intake from all sources, including intake from sodium-containing intravenous fluids and antibiotic admixtures. Carefully monitor sodium concentrations and fluid status if sodium-containing drugs and corticosteroids must be used together.
    Muromonab-CD3: (Major) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents. While therapy is designed to take advantage of this effect, patients may be predisposed to over-immunosuppression resulting in an increased risk for the development of severe infections. Close clinical monitoring is advised with concurrent use; in the presence of serious infections, continuation of the corticosteroid or immunosuppressive agent may be necessary but should be accompanied by appropriate antimicrobial therapies as indicated.
    Natalizumab: (Major) Ordinarily, patients receiving chronic immunosuppressant therapy should not be treated with natalizumab. Treatment recommendations for combined corticosteroid therapy are dependent on the underlying indication for natalizumab therapy. Corticosteroids should be tapered in those patients with Crohn's disease who are on chronic corticosteroids when they start natalizumab therapy, as soon as a therapeutic benefit has occurred. If the patient cannot discontinue systemic corticosteroids within 6 months, discontinue natalizumab. The concomitant use of natalizumab and corticosteroids may further increase the risk of serious infections, including progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, over the risk observed with use of natalizumab alone. In multiple sclerosis (MS) clinical trials, an increase in infections was seen in patients concurrently receiving short courses of corticosteroids. However, the increase in infections in natalizumab-treated patients who received steroids was similar to the increase in placebo-treated patients who received steroids. Short courses of steroid use during natalizumab, such as when they are needed for MS relapse treatment, appear to be acceptable for use concurrently.
    Nateglinide: (Moderate) Drugs which may cause hyperglycemia, including corticosteroids, may cause temporary loss of glycemic control. Diabetic patients who are administered systemic corticosteroid therapy may require an adjustment in the dosing of the antidiabetic agent.
    Nelarabine: (Minor) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents.
    Neostigmine: (Minor) Corticosteroids may interact with cholinesterase inhibitors including ambenonium, neostigmine, and pyridostigmine, occasionally causing severe muscle weakness in patients with myasthenia gravis. Glucocorticoids are occasionally used therapeutically, however, in the treatment of some patients with myasthenia gravis. In such patients, it is recommended that corticosteroid therapy be initiated at low dosages and with close clinical monitoring. The dosage should be increased gradually as tolerated, with continued careful monitoring of the patient's clinical status.
    Neuromuscular blockers: (Moderate) Caution and close monitoring are advised if corticosteroids and neuromuscular blockers are used together, particularly for long periods, due to enhanced neuromuscular blocking effects. In such patients, a peripheral nerve stimulator may be of value in monitoring the response. Concurrent use may increase the risk of acute myopathy. This acute myopathy is generalized, may involve ocular and respiratory muscles, and may result in quadriparesis. Elevation of creatine kinase may occur. Clinical improvement or recovery after stopping corticosteroids may require weeks to years.
    Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs: (Moderate) Although some patients may need to be given corticosteroids and NSAIDs concomitantly, which can be done successfully for short periods of time without sequelae, prolonged concomitant administration should be avoided. Concomitant use of corticosteroids appears to increase the risk of adverse GI events due to NSAIDs. Corticosteroids can have profound effects on sodium-potassium balance; NSAIDs also can affect sodium and fluid balance. Monitor serum potassium concentrations; potassium supplementation may be necessary. In addition, NSAIDs may mask fever, pain, swelling and other signs and symptoms of an infection; use NSAIDs with caution in patients receiving immunosuppressant dosages of corticosteroids. The Beers criteria recommends that this drug combination be avoided in older adults; if coadministration cannot be avoided, provide gastrointestinal protection.
    Ocrelizumab: (Moderate) Ocrelizumab has not been studied in combination with other immunosuppressive or immune modulating therapies used for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, including immunosuppressant doses of corticosteroids. Concomitant use of ocrelizumab with any of these therapies may increase the risk of immunosuppression. Monitor patients carefully for signs and symptoms of infection.
    Ondansetron: (Moderate) Concomitant use of systemic sodium chloride, especially at high doses, and corticosteroids may result in sodium and fluid retention. Assess sodium chloride intake from all sources, including intake from sodium-containing intravenous fluids and antibiotic admixtures. Carefully monitor sodium concentrations and fluid status if sodium-containing drugs and corticosteroids must be used together.
    Oxymetholone: (Moderate) Concomitant use of oxymetholone with corticosteroids or corticotropin, ACTH may cause increased edema. Manage edema with diuretic and/or digitalis therapy.
    Pancuronium: (Moderate) Caution and close monitoring are advised if corticosteroids and neuromuscular blockers are used together, particularly for long periods, due to enhanced neuromuscular blocking effects. In such patients, a peripheral nerve stimulator may be of value in monitoring the response. Concurrent use may increase the risk of acute myopathy. This acute myopathy is generalized, may involve ocular and respiratory muscles, and may result in quadriparesis. Elevation of creatine kinase may occur. Clinical improvement or recovery after stopping corticosteroids may require weeks to years.
    Pegaspargase: (Moderate) Concomitant use of pegaspargase with corticosteroids can result in additive hyperglycemia. Insulin therapy may be required in some cases.
    Penicillamine: (Major) Agents such as immunosuppressives have adverse reactions similar to those of penicillamine. Concomitant use of penicillamine with these agents is contraindicated because of the increased risk of developing severe hematologic and renal toxicity.
    Phenylephrine: (Moderate) The therapeutic effect of phenylephrine may be increased in patient receiving corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone. Monitor patients for increased pressor effect if these agents are administered concomitantly.
    Phenylephrine; Promethazine: (Moderate) The therapeutic effect of phenylephrine may be increased in patient receiving corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone. Monitor patients for increased pressor effect if these agents are administered concomitantly.
    Phosphorus Salts: (Moderate) Use sodium phosphate cautiously with corticosteroids, especially mineralocorticoids or corticotropin, ACTH, as concurrent use can cause hypernatremia.
    Photosensitizing agents: (Minor) Corticosteroids administered systemically prior to or concomitantly with photosensitizing agents may decrease the efficacy of photodynamic therapy.
    Physostigmine: (Minor) Corticosteroids may interact with cholinesterase inhibitors, occasionally causing severe muscle weakness in patients with myasthenia gravis. Glucocorticoids are occasionally used therapeutically, however, in the treatment of some patients with myasthenia gravis. In such patients, it is recommended that corticosteroid therapy be initiated at low dosages and with close clinical monitoring. The dosage should be increased gradually as tolerated, with continued careful monitoring of the patient's clinical status.
    Pimozide: (Moderate) Pimozide is associated with a well-established risk of QT prolongation and torsade de pointes (TdP). Use of pimozide and medications known to cause electrolyte imbalance may increase the risk of QT prolongation. Therefore, caution is advisable during concurrent use of pimozide and corticosteroids. Topical corticosteroids are less likely to interact. According to the manufacturer, potassium deficiencies should be correctly prior to treatment with pimozide and normalized potassium levels should be maintained during treatment.
    Potassium Phosphate; Sodium Phosphate: (Moderate) Use sodium phosphate cautiously with corticosteroids, especially mineralocorticoids or corticotropin, ACTH, as concurrent use can cause hypernatremia.
    Potassium Salts: (Moderate) Concomitant use of systemic sodium chloride, especially at high doses, and corticosteroids may result in sodium and fluid retention. Assess sodium chloride intake from all sources, including intake from sodium-containing intravenous fluids and antibiotic admixtures. Carefully monitor sodium concentrations and fluid status if sodium-containing drugs and corticosteroids must be used together.
    Potassium: (Moderate) Corticotropin can cause alterations in serum potassium levels. The use of potassium salts or supplements would be expected to alter the effects of corticotropin on serum potassium levels. Also, there have been reports of generalized tonic-clonic seizures and/or loss of consciousness associated with use of bowel preparation products in patients with no prior history of seizure disorder. Therefore, magnesium sulfate; potassium sulfate; sodium sulfate should be administered with caution during concurrent use of medications that lower the seizure threshold such as systemic corticosteroids.
    Potassium-sparing diuretics: (Minor) The manufacturer of spironolactone lists corticosteroids as a potential drug that interacts with spironolactone. Intensified electrolyte depletion, particularly hypokalemia, may occur. However, potassium-sparing diuretics such as spironolactone do not induce hypokalemia. In fact, hypokalemia is one of the indications for potassium-sparing diuretic therapy. Therefore, drugs that induce potassium loss, such as corticosteroids, could counter the hyperkalemic effects of potassium-sparing diuretics.
    Pramlintide: (Moderate) Systemic corticosteroids increase blood glucose levels. Because of this action, a potential pharmacodynamic interaction exists between corticosteroids and all antidiabetic agents. Diabetic patients who are administered systemic corticosteroid therapy may require an adjustment in the dosing of the antidiabetic agent.
    Prasterone, Dehydroepiandrosterone, DHEA (Dietary Supplements): (Moderate) Corticosteroids blunt the adrenal secretion of endogenous DHEA and DHEAS, resulting in reduced DHEA and DHEAS serum concentrations.
    Prasterone, Dehydroepiandrosterone, DHEA (FDA-approved): (Moderate) Corticosteroids blunt the adrenal secretion of endogenous DHEA and DHEAS, resulting in reduced DHEA and DHEAS serum concentrations.
    Propranolol: (Moderate) Patients receiving corticosteroids during propranolol therapy may be at increased risk of hypoglycemia due to the loss of counter-regulatory cortisol response. This effect may be more pronounced in infants and young children. If concurrent use is necessary, carefully monitor vital signs and blood glucose concentrations as clinically indicated.
    Purine analogs: (Minor) Concurrent use of purine analogs with other agents which cause bone marrow or immune suppression such as other antineoplastic agents or immunosuppressives may result in additive effects.
    Pyridostigmine: (Minor) Corticosteroids may interact with cholinesterase inhibitors including ambenonium, neostigmine, and pyridostigmine, occasionally causing severe muscle weakness in patients with myasthenia gravis. Glucocorticoids are occasionally used therapeutically, however, in the treatment of some patients with myasthenia gravis. In such patients, it is recommended that corticosteroid therapy be initiated at low dosages and with close clinical monitoring. The dosage should be increased gradually as tolerated, with continued careful monitoring of the patient's clinical status.
    Pyrimidine analogs: (Minor) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents.
    Quetiapine: (Major) QT prolongation has occurred during concurrent use of quetiapine and medications known to cause electrolyte imbalance. Therefore, caution is advisable during concurrent use of quetiapine and corticosteroids.
    Rapacuronium: (Moderate) Caution and close monitoring are advised if corticosteroids and neuromuscular blockers are used together, particularly for long periods, due to enhanced neuromuscular blocking effects. In such patients, a peripheral nerve stimulator may be of value in monitoring the response. Concurrent use may increase the risk of acute myopathy. This acute myopathy is generalized, may involve ocular and respiratory muscles, and may result in quadriparesis. Elevation of creatine kinase may occur. Clinical improvement or recovery after stopping corticosteroids may require weeks to years.
    Repaglinide: (Moderate) Drugs which may cause hyperglycemia, including corticosteroids, may cause temporary loss of glycemic control. Diabetic patients who are administered systemic corticosteroid therapy may require an adjustment in the dosing of the antidiabetic agent.
    Ritodrine: (Major) Ritodrine has caused maternal pulmonary edema, which appears more often in patients treated concomitantly with corticosteroids. Patients so treated should be closely monitored in the hospital.
    Rituximab: (Moderate) Rituximab and corticosteroids are commonly used together; however, monitor the patient for immunosuppression and signs and symptoms of infection during combined chronic therapy.
    Rituximab; Hyaluronidase: (Moderate) Rituximab and corticosteroids are commonly used together; however, monitor the patient for immunosuppression and signs and symptoms of infection during combined chronic therapy.
    Rocuronium: (Moderate) Caution and close monitoring are advised if corticosteroids and neuromuscular blockers are used together, particularly for long periods, due to enhanced neuromuscular blocking effects. In such patients, a peripheral nerve stimulator may be of value in monitoring the response. Concurrent use may increase the risk of acute myopathy. This acute myopathy is generalized, may involve ocular and respiratory muscles, and may result in quadriparesis. Elevation of creatine kinase may occur. Clinical improvement or recovery after stopping corticosteroids may require weeks to years.
    Rotavirus Vaccine: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system. Children who are receiving high doses of systemic corticosteroids (i.e., greater than or equal to 2 mg/kg prednisone orally per day) for 2 weeks or more may be vaccinated after steroid therapy has been discontinued for at least 3 months in accordance with general recommendations for the use of live-virus vaccines. The CDC has stated that discontinuation of steroids for 1 month prior to varicella virus vaccine live administration may be sufficient. Budesonide may affect the immunogenicity of live vaccines. An open-label study examined the immune responsiveness to varicella vaccine in 243 pediatric asthma patients who were treated with budesonide inhalation suspension 0.251 mg daily (n = 151) or non-corticosteroid asthma therapy (n = 92). The percentage of patients developing a seroprotective antibody titer of at least 5 (gpELISA value) in response to the vaccination was slightly lower in patients treated with budesonide compared to patients treated with non-corticosteroid asthma therapy (85% vs. 90%). Even though no patient treated with budesonide inhalation suspension developed chicken pox because of vaccination, live-virus vaccines should not be given to individuals who are considered to be immunocompromised until more information is available.
    Rubella Virus Vaccine Live: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system. Children who are receiving high doses of systemic corticosteroids (i.e., greater than or equal to 2 mg/kg prednisone orally per day) for 2 weeks or more may be vaccinated after steroid therapy has been discontinued for at least 3 months in accordance with general recommendations for the use of live-virus vaccines. The CDC has stated that discontinuation of steroids for 1 month prior to varicella virus vaccine live administration may be sufficient. Budesonide may affect the immunogenicity of live vaccines. An open-label study examined the immune responsiveness to varicella vaccine in 243 pediatric asthma patients who were treated with budesonide inhalation suspension 0.251 mg daily (n = 151) or non-corticosteroid asthma therapy (n = 92). The percentage of patients developing a seroprotective antibody titer of at least 5 (gpELISA value) in response to the vaccination was slightly lower in patients treated with budesonide compared to patients treated with non-corticosteroid asthma therapy (85% vs. 90%). Even though no patient treated with budesonide inhalation suspension developed chicken pox because of vaccination, live-virus vaccines should not be given to individuals who are considered to be immunocompromised until more information is available.
    Salicylates: (Moderate) Salicylates or NSAIDs should be used cautiously in patients receiving corticosteroids. While there is controversy regarding the ulcerogenic potential of corticosteroids alone, concomitant administration of corticosteroids with aspirin may increase the GI toxicity of aspirin and other non-acetylated salicylates. Withdrawal of corticosteroids can result in increased plasma concentrations of salicylate and possible toxicity. Concomitant use of corticosteroids may increase the risk of adverse GI events due to NSAIDs. Although some patients may need to be given corticosteroids and NSAIDs concomitantly, which can be done successfully for short periods of time without sequelae, prolonged coadministration should be avoided.
    Salsalate: (Moderate) Salicylates or NSAIDs should be used cautiously in patients receiving corticosteroids. While there is controversy regarding the ulcerogenic potential of corticosteroids alone, concomitant administration of corticosteroids with aspirin may increase the GI toxicity of aspirin and other non-acetylated salicylates. Withdrawal of corticosteroids can result in increased plasma concentrations of salicylate and possible toxicity. Concomitant use of corticosteroids may increase the risk of adverse GI events due to NSAIDs. Although some patients may need to be given corticosteroids and NSAIDs concomitantly, which can be done successfully for short periods of time without sequelae, prolonged coadministration should be avoided.
    Saxagliptin: (Moderate) Systemic corticosteroids increase blood glucose levels. Diabetic patients who are administered systemic corticosteroid therapy may require an adjustment in the dosing of the antidiabetic agent.
    Semaglutide: (Moderate) When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia and cause blood glucose concentrations to rise. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted.
    Simvastatin; Sitagliptin: (Moderate) Systemic corticosteroids increase blood glucose levels. Diabetic patients who are administered systemic corticosteroid therapy may require an adjustment in the dosing of the antidiabetic agent.
    Sitagliptin: (Moderate) Systemic corticosteroids increase blood glucose levels. Diabetic patients who are administered systemic corticosteroid therapy may require an adjustment in the dosing of the antidiabetic agent.
    Smallpox Vaccine, Vaccinia Vaccine: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system. Children who are receiving high doses of systemic corticosteroids (i.e., greater than or equal to 2 mg/kg prednisone orally per day) for 2 weeks or more may be vaccinated after steroid therapy has been discontinued for at least 3 months in accordance with general recommendations for the use of live-virus vaccines. The CDC has stated that discontinuation of steroids for 1 month prior to varicella virus vaccine live administration may be sufficient. Budesonide may affect the immunogenicity of live vaccines. An open-label study examined the immune responsiveness to varicella vaccine in 243 pediatric asthma patients who were treated with budesonide inhalation suspension 0.251 mg daily (n = 151) or non-corticosteroid asthma therapy (n = 92). The percentage of patients developing a seroprotective antibody titer of at least 5 (gpELISA value) in response to the vaccination was slightly lower in patients treated with budesonide compared to patients treated with non-corticosteroid asthma therapy (85% vs. 90%). Even though no patient treated with budesonide inhalation suspension developed chicken pox because of vaccination, live-virus vaccines should not be given to individuals who are considered to be immunocompromised until more information is available.
    Sodium Benzoate; Sodium Phenylacetate: (Moderate) Corticosteroids may cause protein breakdown, which could lead to elevated blood ammonia concentrations, especially in patients with an impaired ability to form urea. Corticosteroids should be used with caution in patients receiving treatment for hyperammonemia.
    Sodium Chloride: (Moderate) Concomitant use of systemic sodium chloride, especially at high doses, and corticosteroids may result in sodium and fluid retention. Assess sodium chloride intake from all sources, including intake from sodium-containing intravenous fluids and antibiotic admixtures. Carefully monitor sodium concentrations and fluid status if sodium-containing drugs and corticosteroids must be used together.
    Sodium Phenylbutyrate: (Moderate) The concurrent use of corticosteroids with sodium phenylbutyrate may increase plasma ammonia levels (hyperammonemia) by causing the breakdown of body protein. Patients with urea cycle disorders being treated with sodium phenylbutyrate usually should not receive regular treatment with corticosteroids.
    Somatropin, rh-GH: (Moderate) Corticosteroids can retard bone growth and therefore, can inhibit the growth-promoting effects of somatropin. If corticosteroid therapy is required, the corticosteroid dose should be carefully adjusted.
    Succinylcholine: (Moderate) Caution and close monitoring are advised if corticosteroids and neuromuscular blockers are used together, particularly for long periods, due to enhanced neuromuscular blocking effects. In such patients, a peripheral nerve stimulator may be of value in monitoring the response. Concurrent use may increase the risk of acute myopathy. This acute myopathy is generalized, may involve ocular and respiratory muscles, and may result in quadriparesis. Elevation of creatine kinase may occur. Clinical improvement or recovery after stopping corticosteroids may require weeks to years.
    Sulfonylureas: (Moderate) Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia. When released, blood glucose concentrations rise. When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted.
    Taxanes: (Moderate) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents. In addition, Cabazitaxel is a CYP3A4 substrate and concomitant use with strong CYP3A4 inducers such as dexamethasone may lead to reduced concentrations of cabazitaxel. Avoid concomitant use of cabazitaxel and strong CYP3A4 inducers. Consider alternative therapies with low enzyme induction potential.
    Telbivudine: (Moderate) The risk of myopathy may be increased if corticosteroids are coadministered with telbivudine. Monitor patients for any signs or symptoms of unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, particularly during periods of upward dosage titration.
    Testosterone: (Moderate) Coadministration of corticosteroids and testosterone may increase the risk of edema, especially in patients with underlying cardiac or hepatic disease. Corticosteroids with greater mineralocorticoid activity, such as fludrocortisone, may be more likely to cause edema. Administer these drugs in combination with caution.
    Thiazide diuretics: (Moderate) Additive hypokalemia may occur when non-potassium sparing diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, are coadministered with other drugs with a significant risk of hypokalemia, such as corticosteroids. Monitoring serum potassium levels and cardiac function is advised, and potassium supplementation may be required.
    Thiazolidinediones: (Moderate) Drugs which may cause hyperglycemia, including corticosteroids, may cause temporary loss of glycemic control. Diabetic patients who are administered systemic corticosteroid therapy may require an adjustment in the dosing of the antidiabetic agent.
    Thyroid hormones: (Moderate) The metabolism of corticosteroids is increased in hyperthyroidism and decreased in hypothyroidism. Dosage adjustments may be necessary when initiating, changing or discontinuing thyroid hormones or antithyroid agents.
    Tobramycin: (Moderate) Concomitant use of systemic sodium chloride, especially at high doses, and corticosteroids may result in sodium and fluid retention. Assess sodium chloride intake from all sources, including intake from sodium-containing intravenous fluids and antibiotic admixtures. Carefully monitor sodium concentrations and fluid status if sodium-containing drugs and corticosteroids must be used together.
    Tocilizumab: (Moderate) Closely observe patients for signs of infection. Most patients taking tocilizumab who developed serious infections were taking concomitant immunosuppressives such as systemic corticosteroids.
    Tolazamide: (Moderate) Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia. When released, blood glucose concentrations rise. When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted.
    Tolbutamide: (Moderate) Endogenous counter-regulatory hormones such as glucocorticoids are released in response to hypoglycemia. When released, blood glucose concentrations rise. When corticosteroids are administered exogenously, increases in blood glucose concentrations would be expected thereby decreasing the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic agents. Patients receiving antidiabetic agents should be closely monitored for signs indicating loss of diabetic control when corticosteroids are instituted.
    Tositumomab: (Minor) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents.
    Trastuzumab: (Minor) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents.
    Tretinoin, ATRA: (Minor) Because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with other immunosuppressives or antineoplastic agents.
    Tuberculin Purified Protein Derivative, PPD: (Moderate) Immunosuppressives may decrease the immunological response to tuberculin purified protein derivative, PPD. This suppressed reactivity can persist for up to 6 weeks after treatment discontinuation. Consider deferring the skin test until completion of the immunosuppressive therapy.
    Tubocurarine: (Moderate) Caution and close monitoring are advised if corticosteroids and neuromuscular blockers are used together, particularly for long periods, due to enhanced neuromuscular blocking effects. In such patients, a peripheral nerve stimulator may be of value in monitoring the response. Concurrent use may increase the risk of acute myopathy. This acute myopathy is generalized, may involve ocular and respiratory muscles, and may result in quadriparesis. Elevation of creatine kinase may occur. Clinical improvement or recovery after stopping corticosteroids may require weeks to years.
    Typhoid Vaccine: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system. Children who are receiving high doses of systemic corticosteroids (i.e., greater than or equal to 2 mg/kg prednisone orally per day) for 2 weeks or more may be vaccinated after steroid therapy has been discontinued for at least 3 months in accordance with general recommendations for the use of live-virus vaccines. The CDC has stated that discontinuation of steroids for 1 month prior to varicella virus vaccine live administration may be sufficient. Budesonide may affect the immunogenicity of live vaccines. An open-label study examined the immune responsiveness to varicella vaccine in 243 pediatric asthma patients who were treated with budesonide inhalation suspension 0.251 mg daily (n = 151) or non-corticosteroid asthma therapy (n = 92). The percentage of patients developing a seroprotective antibody titer of at least 5 (gpELISA value) in response to the vaccination was slightly lower in patients treated with budesonide compared to patients treated with non-corticosteroid asthma therapy (85% vs. 90%). Even though no patient treated with budesonide inhalation suspension developed chicken pox because of vaccination, live-virus vaccines should not be given to individuals who are considered to be immunocompromised until more information is available.
    Vancomycin: (Moderate) Concomitant use of systemic sodium chloride, especially at high doses, and corticosteroids may result in sodium and fluid retention. Assess sodium chloride intake from all sources, including intake from sodium-containing intravenous fluids and antibiotic admixtures. Carefully monitor sodium concentrations and fluid status if sodium-containing drugs and corticosteroids must be used together.
    Varicella-Zoster Virus Vaccine, Live: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system. Children who are receiving high doses of systemic corticosteroids (i.e., greater than or equal to 2 mg/kg prednisone orally per day) for 2 weeks or more may be vaccinated after steroid therapy has been discontinued for at least 3 months in accordance with general recommendations for the use of live-virus vaccines. The CDC has stated that discontinuation of steroids for 1 month prior to varicella virus vaccine live administration may be sufficient. Budesonide may affect the immunogenicity of live vaccines. An open-label study examined the immune responsiveness to varicella vaccine in 243 pediatric asthma patients who were treated with budesonide inhalation suspension 0.251 mg daily (n = 151) or non-corticosteroid asthma therapy (n = 92). The percentage of patients developing a seroprotective antibody titer of at least 5 (gpELISA value) in response to the vaccination was slightly lower in patients treated with budesonide compared to patients treated with non-corticosteroid asthma therapy (85% vs. 90%). Even though no patient treated with budesonide inhalation suspension developed chicken pox because of vaccination, live-virus vaccines should not be given to individuals who are considered to be immunocompromised until more information is available.
    Vecuronium: (Moderate) Caution and close monitoring are advised if corticosteroids and neuromuscular blockers are used together, particularly for long periods, due to enhanced neuromuscular blocking effects. In such patients, a peripheral nerve stimulator may be of value in monitoring the response. Concurrent use may increase the risk of acute myopathy. This acute myopathy is generalized, may involve ocular and respiratory muscles, and may result in quadriparesis. Elevation of creatine kinase may occur. Clinical improvement or recovery after stopping corticosteroids may require weeks to years.
    Vigabatrin: (Major) Vigabatrin should not be used with corticosteroids, which are associated with serious ophthalmic effects (e.g., retinopathy or glaucoma) unless the benefit of treatment clearly outweighs the risks.
    Vinblastine: (Minor) Use caution when administering vinblastine concurrently with a CYP3A4 inducer such as dexamethasone. Vinblastine is metabolized by CYP3A4 and dexamethasone may decrease vinblastine plasma concentrations. In addition, because systemically administered corticosteroids exhibit immunosuppressive effects when given in high doses and/or for extended periods, additive effects may be seen with antineoplastic agents. While therapy is designed to take advantage of this effect, patients may be predisposed to over-immunosuppression resulting in an increased risk for the development of severe infections. Close clinical monitoring is advised with concurrent use; in the presence of serious infections, continuation of the corticosteroid or immunosuppressive agent may be necessary but should be accompanied by appropriate antimicrobial therapies as indicated.
    Vincristine Liposomal: (Moderate) Use sodium phosphate cautiously with corticosteroids, especially mineralocorticoids or corticotropin, ACTH, as concurrent use can cause hypernatremia.
    Voriconazole: (Minor) Voriconazole is an inhibitor of the hepatic CYP3A4 isoenzyme and hydrocortisone is a substrate for CYP3A4. Theoretically, reduced metabolism of hydrocortisone might occur when voriconazole is co-administered. The clinical impact of this potential interaction is not certain.
    Vorinostat: (Moderate) Use vorinostat and corticosteroids together with caution; the risk of QT prolongation and arrhythmias may be increased if electrolyte abnormalities occur. Corticosteroids may cause electrolyte imbalances; hypomagnesemia, hypokalemia, or hypocalcemia and may increase the risk of QT prolongation with vorinostat. Frequently monitor serum electrolytes if concomitant use of these drugs is necessary.
    Warfarin: (Moderate) The effect of corticosteroids on oral anticoagulants (e.g., warfarin) is variable. There are reports of enhanced as well as diminished effects of anticoagulants when given concurrently with corticosteroids; however, limited published data exist, and the mechanism of the interaction is not well described. High-dose corticosteroids appear to pose a greater risk for increased anticoagulant effect. In addition, corticosteroids have been associated with a risk of peptic ulcer and gastrointestinal bleeding. Thus corticosteroids should be used cautiously and with appropriate clinical monitoring in patients receiving oral anticoagulants; coagulation indices (e.g., INR, etc.) should be monitored to maintain the desired anticoagulant effect. During high-dose corticosteroid administration, daily laboratory monitoring may be desirable.
    Yellow Fever Vaccine, Live: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system. Children who are receiving high doses of systemic corticosteroids (i.e., greater than or equal to 2 mg/kg prednisone orally per day) for 2 weeks or more may be vaccinated after steroid therapy has been discontinued for at least 3 months in accordance with general recommendations for the use of live-virus vaccines. The CDC has stated that discontinuation of steroids for 1 month prior to varicella virus vaccine live administration may be sufficient. Budesonide may affect the immunogenicity of live vaccines. An open-label study examined the immune responsiveness to varicella vaccine in 243 pediatric asthma patients who were treated with budesonide inhalation suspension 0.251 mg daily (n = 151) or non-corticosteroid asthma therapy (n = 92). The percentage of patients developing a seroprotective antibody titer of at least 5 (gpELISA value) in response to the vaccination was slightly lower in patients treated with budesonide compared to patients treated with non-corticosteroid asthma therapy (85% vs. 90%). Even though no patient treated with budesonide inhalation suspension developed chicken pox because of vaccination, live-virus vaccines should not be given to individuals who are considered to be immunocompromised until more information is available.
    Zafirlukast: (Minor) Zafirlukast inhibits the CYP3A4 isoenzymes and should be used cautiously in patients stabilized on drugs metabolized by CYP3A4, such as corticosteroids.
    Zileuton: (Minor) Zileuton is metabolized by the cytochrome P450 isoenzyme 3A4. Although administration of zileuton with other drugs metabolized by CYP3A4 has not been studied, zileuton may inhibit CYP3A4 isoenzymes. Zileuton could potentially compete with other CYP3A4 substrates.

    PREGNANCY AND LACTATION

    Pregnancy

    There are no adequate or well controlled studies for use of systemic hydrodortisone during human pregnancy. Complications, including cleft palate, stillbirth, and premature abortion, have been reported when systemic corticosteroids were administered during pregnancy. If hydrocortisone must be used during pregnancy, the potential risks should be discussed with the patient. For example, the mother with Addison's disease may require additional monitoring to ensure adequate replacement during pregnancy; insufficient treatment of Addison's disease during pregnancy is associated with fetal risks. The usual treatments for Addison's disease are usually continued throughout pregnancy and post-partum, and the mother may require dosage adjustments for proper replacement post-partum as requirements return to pre-pregnancy levels. Infants born to mothers who have take substantial doses of corticosteroids during pregnancy should be monitored for signs of hypoadrenalism. Topical and otic corticosteroids should not be used in large amounts, on large areas, or for prolonged periods of time in pregnant women. Corticosteroids have been shown to impair fertility in male rats; the impact to human male fertility is not certain.

    Corticosteroids distribute into breast milk, and the manufacturer of systemic hydrocortisone products states that a decision to nurse requires weighing the possible benefits of the drug against the potential hazards to the mother and infant. Hydrocortisone has not been studied during breast feeding, however (hydrocortisone) cortisol is a normal component of breast milk. While the American Academy of Pediatrics does not comment on the use of hydrocortisone during breast-feeding, it does consider other corticosteroids (prednisone and prednisolone) to be usually compatible with breast-feeding. It is not known whether topical administration of hydrocortisone could result in sufficient systemic absorption to produce detectable quantities in breast milk; however, increased blood pressure has been reported in an infant whose mother applied a topical corticosteroid ointment directly to the nipples. If applied topically, care should be used to ensure the infant will not come into direct contact with the area of application. Most authorities recommend caution when prescribing topical corticosteroids to breast-feeding women. Otic products containing hydrocortisone as a component appear to pose minimal corticosteroid risk, given the low dosage and limited area and limited duration of usual use. Consider the benefits of breast-feeding, the risk of potential infant drug exposure, and the risk of an untreated or inadequately treated condition. If a breast-feeding infant experiences an adverse effect related to a maternally ingested drug, healthcare providers are encouraged to report the adverse effect to the FDA.

    MECHANISM OF ACTION

    Endogenous corticosteroids are secreted by the adrenal cortex, and their effects are believed to be due to enzyme modification rather than to a direct hormone-induced action. Corticosteroids are loosely classified into two categories, mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids, depending on their primary pharmacological activity. Mineralocorticoids alter electrolyte and fluid balance by facilitating sodium resorption and hydrogen and potassium excretion at the level of the distal renal tubule, resulting in edema and hypertension. Glucocorticoids exert some mineralocorticoid effects but are also involved in a number of other metabolic pathways including gluconeogenesis, fat redistribution, protein metabolism, and calcium balance. Hydrocortisone possesses both mineralocorticoid actions and glucocorticoid actions.
     
    Corticosteroids exhibit anti-inflammatory, antipruritic, and vasoconstrictive properties. At the cellular level, corticosteroids induce peptides called lipocortins. Lipocortins antagonize phospholipase A2, an enzyme which causes the breakdown of leukocyte lysosomal membranes to release arachidonic acid. This action decreases the subsequent formation and release of endogenous inflammatory mediators including prostaglandins, kinins, histamine, liposomal enzymes and the complement system.
     
    Early anti-inflammatory effects of topical corticosteroids include the inhibition of macrophage and leukocyte movement and activity in the inflamed area by reversing vascular dilation and permeability. Later inflammatory processes such as capillary production, collagen deposition, keloid (scar) formation also are inhibited by corticosteroids. Clinically, these actions correspond to decreased edema, erythema, pruritus, plaque formation and scaling of the affected skin.
     
    In the treatment of asthma, corticosteroids block the late phase allergic response to allergens. Mediators involved in the pathogenesis of asthma include histamine, leukotrienes (slow releasing substance of anaphylaxis, SRS-A), eosinophil chemotactic factor of anaphylaxis (ECF-A), neutrophil chemotactic factor (NCF), cytokines, hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acids, prostaglandin-generating factor of anaphylaxis (PGF-A), prostaglandins, major basic protein, bradykinin, adenosine, peroxides, and superoxide anions. Different cell types are responsible for release of these mediators including airway epithelium, eosinophils, basophils, lung parenchyma, lymphocytes, macrophages, mast cells, neutrophils, and platelets. Corticosteroids inhibit the release of these mediators as well as inhibit IgE synthesis, attenuate mucous secretion and eicosanoid generation, up-regulate beta-receptors, promote vasoconstriction, and suppress inflammatory cell influx and inflammatory processes. Clinical effects in asthma include a reduction in bronchial hyperresponsiveness to allergens, a decreased number of asthma exacerbations, and an improvement in FEV1, peak-flow rate, and respiratory symptoms. Since corticosteroid effects take several hours to days to become clinically noticeable, they are ineffective for primary treatment of severe acute bronchospastic attacks or for status asthmaticus. Inhaled corticosteroids have no bronchodilatory properties.

    PHARMACOKINETICS

    Hydrocortisone is administered via oral, parenteral, topical, and rectal routes. Circulating drug binds extensively to plasma proteins, and only the unbound portion of a dose is active. Systemic hydrocortisone is quickly distributed into the kidneys, intestines, skin, liver, and muscle. Corticosteroids distribute into breast milk and cross the placenta. Systemic hydrocortisone is metabolized by the liver to inactive metabolites. These inactive metabolites, as well as a small portion of unchanged drug, are excreted in the urine. The biological half-life of hydrocortisone is 8 to 12 hours.
     
    Affected cytochrome P450 (CYP450)isoenzymes and drug transporters: None

    Oral Route

    Hydrocortisone is rapidly absorbed after an oral dose; peak effects occur within 1 to 2 hours.

    Intravenous Route

    Peak effects of hydrocortisone after intravenous administration occur within 1 to 2 hours.

    Intramuscular Route

    After intramuscular administration of hydrocortisone, the onset and duration of action depend on the type of injection and the extent of the local blood supply.

    Topical Route

    Systemic absorption after topical application of hydrocortisone is dependant on the vehicle, the state of the skin at the application site, the use of occlusive dressings, and the age of the patient. Absorption is increased in areas that have skin damage, inflammation, or occlusion, or where the stratum corneum is thin such as the eyelids, genitalia, and face. Factors that can increase systemic absorption of topical hydrocortisone include occlusive dressings, large surface area, frequent application, longer duration of treatment, increased humidity or temperature, and younger age. Topical preparations distribute throughout the area of application but are only minimally absorbed into the circulation. Topical preparations of hydrocortisone are metabolized in the skin.

    Other Route(s)

    Rectal Route
    When a suppository containing hydrocortisone acetate is administered rectally, about 26% of a dose is absorbed in normal subjects; absorption may vary across abraded or inflamed surfaces. Hydrocortisone rectal suspension is partially absorbed after rectal administration. In patients with ulcerative colitis, up to 50% of hydrocortisone was absorbed when administered as the rectal suspension.
     
    Intra-articular Route
    The onset and duration of action depend on type of hydrocortisone injection and the extent of the local blood supply.