Drugs Information Online
Drugs and diseases reference index

Drugs and diseases reference index

Drugs A-Z List

Diseases & Conditions A-Z List

Herbs & Supplements

Medical Dictionary

Full Article

Popular Drugs

Popular Diseases & Conditions

Drugs reference index «Hydrocortisone»



Pronunciation: (HIGH-droe-CORE-tih-sone)Class: Corticosteroid, Glucocorticoid, Topical

Trade Names:Ala-Cort- Cream 1%- Lotion 1%

Trade Names:Ala-Scalp- Lotion 2%

Trade Names:Anusol-HC- Cream 2.5%

Trade Names:Anusol-HC-1- Ointment 1%

Trade Names:Aquanil-HC- Lotion 1%

Trade Names:Balneol for Her- Lotion 0.25%

Trade Names:Beta-HC- Lotion 1%

Trade Names:Cetacort- Lotion 1%

Trade Names:Colocort- Enema 100 mg hydrocortisone in 60 mL

Trade Names:Corta-Cap- Spray 1%

Trade Names:Cortaid Intensive Therapy- Cream 1%

Trade Names:Cortaid Maximum Strength- Cream 1%- Sticks 1%

Trade Names:Cortef- Tablets 5 mg- Tablets 10 mg- Tablets 20 mg

Trade Names:Corticaine- Cream 0.5%

Trade Names:Corticool Maximum Strength- Gel 1%

Trade Names:Cortizone 5- Ointment 0.5%

Trade Names:Cortizone 10- Liquid 1%

Trade Names:Cortizone 10 Maximum Strength- Cream 1%- Ointment 1%

Trade Names:Cortizone 10 Quick Shot- Spray 1%

Trade Names:Dermarest Dricort- Cream 1%

Trade Names:Dermarest Eczema- Lotion 1%

Trade Names:Dermtex-HC- Cream 1%- Spray 1%

Trade Names:Earsol-HC- Solution 1%

Trade Names:Hemorrodil- Ointment 1%

Trade Names:Hydrocortisone- Ointment 2.5%

Trade Names:Hytone- Cream 2.5%- Lotion 1%

Trade Names:Instacort-5- Cream 0.5%

Trade Names:Instacort-10- Cream 1%

Trade Names:Instacort-10 Maximum Strength- Ointment 1%

Trade Names:Keratol HC- Cream 1%

Trade Names:Microcort- Lotion 0.5%

Trade Names:Mycin Scalp- Liquid 1%

Trade Names:NuCort- Lotion 2%

Trade Names:Post Peel Balm- Cream 1%

Trade Names:Preparation H Hydrocortisone- Cream 1%

Trade Names:Proctocare-HC- Cream 2.5%

Trade Names:Proctocort- Cream 1%

Trade Names:Proctocream-HC- Cream 2.5%

Trade Names:Proctosol-HC- Cream 2.5%

Trade Names:Proctozone-HC- Cream 2.5%

Trade Names:Recort Plus- Cream 1%

Trade Names:Sarnol-HC Maximum Strength- Lotion 1%

Trade Names:Scalacort DK- Lotion 2%

Trade Names:Scalpcort- Lotion 1%

Trade Names:Texacort- Solution 2.5%

Trade Names:Therasoft Anti-Itch- Ointment 1%

Trade Names:Tucks- Ointment 1%

Claritin Skin Itch Relief (Canada)Cortoderm (Canada)Emo-Cort (Canada)Hydrosone (Canada)Prevex HC (Canada)Sarna HC (Canada)Hydrocortisone Acetate

Trade Names:Anu-Med-HC- Suppositories 25 mg

Trade Names:Anucort-HC- Suppositories 25 mg

Trade Names:Anusol-HC- Suppositories 25 mg

Trade Names:Caldecort- Cream 1%

Trade Names:Cortaid Maximum Strength- Ointment 1%

Trade Names:Cortifoam- Foam 10%

Trade Names:Hemorrhoidal-HC- Cream 1%- Suppositories 25 mg

Trade Names:Hemril-30- Suppositories 30 mg

Trade Names:Hemril-HC Uniserts- Suppositories 25 mg

Trade Names:Keratol-HC- Cream 1%

Trade Names:Nuzon- Gel 2%

Trade Names:Proctocort- Suppositories 30 mg

Trade Names:Proctosert-HC- Suppositories 30 mg

Trade Names:Proctosol-HC- Suppositories 25 mg

Trade Names:Raskando- Cream 0.5%

Trade Names:Rectasol-HC- Suppositories 25 mg

Trade Names:U-Cort- Cream 1%

Cortef Cream (Canada)Hyderm (Canada)Hydrocortisone Butyrate

Trade Names:Locoid- Cream 0.1%- Ointment 0.1%- Solution 0.1%

Trade Names:Lociod Lipocream- Cream 0.1%

Hydrocortisone Probutate

Trade Names:Pandel- Cream 0.1%

Hydrocortisone Sodium Succinate

Trade Names:A-Hydrocort- Injection 100 mg/vial- Injection 500 mg/vial

Trade Names:Solu-Cortef- Injection 100 mg/vial- Injection 250 mg/vial- Injection 500 mg/vial- Injection 1,000 mg/vial

Hydrocortisone Valerate

Trade Names:Westcort- Cream 0.2%- Ointment 0.2%


Short-acting glucocorticoid that depresses formation, release, and activity of endogenous mediators of inflammation including prostaglandins, kinins, histamine, liposomal enzymes, and complement system. Also modifies body's immune response.

Indications and Usage

Treatment of primary or secondary adrenal cortex insufficiency, rheumatic disorders, collagen diseases, dermatologic diseases, allergic states, allergic and inflammatory ophthalmic processes, respiratory diseases, hematologic disorders (idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura), neoplastic diseases, edematous states (resulting from nephrotic syndrome), GI diseases (ulcerative colitis and sprue), multiple sclerosis, tuberculous meningitis, trichinosis with neurologic or myocardial involvement.

Intra-articular or soft tissue administration

Treatment of synovitis of osteoarthritis and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, acute gouty arthritis, epicondylitis, acute nonspecific tenosynovitis, and post-traumatic osteoarthritis.

Intralesional administration

Treatment of keloids, lesions of lichen planus, psoriatic plaques, granuloma annulare, lichen simplex chronicus, discoid lupus erythematosus, necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum, alopecia areata, and cystic tumors of aponeurosis or tendon.

Topical administration

Treatment of inflammatory and pruritic manifestations of corticosteroid-responsive dermatoses, management of refractory lesions of psoriasis, and other deep-seated dermatoses; hygienic cleansing of irritated perianal and external vaginal areas.

Rectal administration

Relief of discomfort associated with hemorrhoids, perianal itching, or irritation.


Systemic fungal infections; IM use in idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura; administration of live virus vaccines in patients receiving immunosuppressive corticosteroid doses.

Dosage and Administration

Hydrocortisone ProbutateAdults and Children

Topical Apply thin film to affected area twice daily.

Hydrocortisone ButyrateAdults and Children

Topical Apply sparingly to affected areas 2 to 4 times daily.

HydrocortisoneAdults and Children

PO 20 to 240 mg/day.

Hydrocortisone Sodium SuccinateAdults and Children

IV / IM 100 to 500 mg every 2 to 6 h.

Hydrocortisone Acetate (Intralesional, Intra-Articular or Soft Tissue Injection Only)Large Joints (Knee) and Bursae Adults and Children

25 to 37.5 mg.

Small Joints (Interphalangeal, Temporomandibular) Adults and Children

10 to 25 mg.

Tendon Sheaths Adults and Children

5 to 12.5 mg.

Soft Tissue Infiltration Adults and Children

25 to 75 mg.

Ganglia Adults and Children

12.5 to 25 mg.

Topical Adults and Children

Apply sparingly to affected areas 2 to 4 times daily.

Drug Interactions

Oral administration of hydrocortisone:


May antagonize anticholinesterase effects in myasthenia gravis.

Anticoagulants, oral

May alter anticoagulant dose requirements.


May decrease effect of hydrocortisone.


May decrease hydrocortisone levels.

Contraceptives (oral) estrogens

May decrease Cl of hydrocortisone.

Hydantoins, rifampin

May increase Cl and decrease therapeutic efficacy of hydrocortisone.


May reduce serum levels and efficacy of salicylates.


May increase effects of hydrocortisone.

Laboratory Test Interactions

May cause increased urine glucose and serum cholesterol, decreased serum levels of potassium, T 3 and T 4 , decreased uptake of Thyroid I 131 , false-negative nitroblue-tetrazolium test for bacterial infection, suppression of skin test reactions.

Adverse Reactions


Thromboembolism or fat embolism; thrombophlebitis; necrotizing angiitis; cardiac arrhythmias or ECG changes; syncopal episodes; hypertension; myocardial rupture; CHF.


Convulsions; increased intracranial pressure with papilledema (pseudotumor cerebri); vertigo; headache; neuritis; paresthesias; psychosis.


Impaired wound healing; thin, fragile skin; petechiae and ecchymoses; erythema; lupus erythematosus-like lesions; subcutaneous fat atrophy; striae; hirsutism; acneiform eruptions; allergic dermatitis; urticaria; angioneurotic edema; perineal irritation; hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation. Topical application may cause burning; irritation; erythema; dryness; folliculitis; hypertrichosis; pruritus; perioral dermatitis; allergic contact dermatitis; stinging, cracking and tightening of skin; secondary infections; skin atrophy; striae; miliaria; telangiectasia.


Posterior subcapsular cataracts; increased IOP; glaucoma; exophthalmos.


Pancreatitis; abdominal distension; ulcerative esophagitis; nausea; vomiting; increased appetite and weight gain; peptic ulcer with perforation and hemorrhage; bowel perforation.


Increased or decreased motility and number of spermatozoa.




Sodium and fluid retention; hypokalemia; hypokalemic alkalosis; metabolic alkalosis; hypocalcemia.


Musculoskeletal effects (eg, weakness, myopathy, muscle mass loss, osteoporosis, spontaneous fractures); endocrine abnormalities (eg, menstrual irregularities, cushingoid state, growth suppression in children, sweating, decreased carbohydrate tolerance, hyperglycemia, glycosuria, increased insulin or sulfonylurea requirements in diabetics); anaphylactoid or hypersensitivity reactions; aggravation or masking of infections; malaise; fatigue; insomnia. Topical use may cause same adverse reactions seen with systemic use because of possibility of absorption.



Safety not established (systemic use); Category C (topical).


Excreted in breast milk.


Children may absorb proportionally larger amounts of topical corticosteroids and thus be more susceptible to systemic toxicity. Observe growth and development of infants and children on prolonged therapy.


May require lower doses.

Renal Function

Use cautiously; monitor renal function.

Adrenal suppression

Prolonged (daily systemic) therapy (more than 7 days) may lead to hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal suppression.

Fluid and electrolyte balance

May cause elevation of BP, salt and water retention, and increased excretion of potassium and calcium. Dietary salt restriction and potassium supplementation may be needed.


May be harmful in chronic active hepatitis positive for hepatitis B surface antigen.


May mask signs of infection. May decrease host-defense mechanisms.

Ocular effects

Use caution in patients with ocular herpes simplex because of possible corneal perforation.

Peptic ulcer

May contribute to peptic ulceration, especially in large doses.

Repository injections

Do not inject subcutaneously; avoid injection into deltoid and repeated IM injection into the same site.


Increased dosage of rapidly acting corticosteroid may be needed before, during, and after stressful situations.


Abrupt discontinuation may result in adrenal insufficiency. Discontinue gradually; increase supplementation during times of stress.



Acute toxicity and death are rare. Acute adrenal insufficiency (caused by withdrawal after long-term use): Fever, myalgia, arthralgia, malaise, anorexia, nausea, shedding of skin, orthostatic hypotension, dizziness, fainting, dyspnea, hypoglycemia Cushingoid symptoms (caused by chronic large doses): Moonface, central obesity, striae, hirsutism, acne, ecchymoses, hypertension, osteoporosis, myopathy, sexual dysfunction, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, peptic ulcer, increased susceptibility to infection, electrolyte and fluid imbalance.

Patient Information

  • Advise patient to take oral medication with food to minimize GI upset.
  • Warn patient not to stop taking drug abruptly.
  • Caution diabetic patients that insulin or oral hypoglycemic agent needs may increase.
  • Instruct elderly patient to have BP, blood glucose, and electrolytes monitored at least every 6 mo.
  • Advise patient that sunglasses may reduce sensitivity to sunlight that occurs with optic administration.
  • Caution against eye contact with topical agents.
  • Instruct patient to wash or soak areas for topical administration prior to administration to increase absorption.
  • Advise patient to apply topical agents sparingly, rubbing in lightly.
  • Caution against covering topically treated areas unless specifically prescribed by health care provider.
  • Advise against mixing topical agents with other products unless advised by health care provider.
  • Instruct patient if topical dose is missed to apply as soon as remembered, but not to double doses.
  • Teach patient using suppositories or other hemorrhoidal agents that appropriate diet, fluid intake, and adequate exercise are useful treatment adjuncts.
  • Remind patient to wear medical identification (eg, card, bracelet) while taking this medication.
  • Advise that temporary burning is common after administration of optic preparations.
  • Caution patient that systemic reactions may occur with topical applications.

Copyright © 2009 Wolters Kluwer Health.

  • Hydrocortisone MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Hydrocortisone Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • hydrocortisone Topical application Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • hydrocortisone Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
  • A-Hydrocort Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Colocort Enema MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Colocort Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Colocort foam, enema Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
  • Cortef Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Cortifoam Foam MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Cortifoam Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Solu-Cortef Solution MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Solu-Cortef Prescribing Information (FDA)

See Also...