Before using hydrocortisone, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other corticosteroids (such as prednisone); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: other stomach/intestinal problems (such as ulcers, blockage, bleeding, infection, recent surgery), infections (such as tuberculosis, fungal infections), certain eye conditions (cataracts, glaucoma, herpes infection of the eye), heart problems (such as congestive heart failure, recent heart attack), high blood pressure, liver disease, kidney disease, thyroid problems (overactive or underactive thyroid disease), diabetes, bone loss (osteoporosis), bleeding or blood clotting problems, mental/mood conditions (such as psychosis, depression), low potassium blood level.
Limit alcoholic beverages while using this medication to decrease the risk of stomach/intestinal bleeding.
Rarely, using corticosteroid medications for a long time can make it more difficult for your body to respond to physical stress. Therefore, before having surgery or emergency treatment, or if you get a serious illness/injury, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this medication or have used this medication within the past few months.
Do not have immunizations, vaccinations, or skin tests without the consent of your doctor. Avoid contact with people who have recently received live vaccines (such as flu vaccine inhaled through the nose).
Rarely, this drug can make you more likely to get infections or may worsen any current infections. Therefore, wash your hands well to prevent the spread of infection. Avoid contact with people who have infections that may spread to others (such as chickenpox, measles, flu). Consult your doctor if you have been exposed to an infection or for more details.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially bone loss/pain, stomach/intestinal bleeding, and mental/mood changes (such as confusion).
Though it is unlikely, this medication may temporarily slow down a child's growth if used for a long time. See the doctor regularly so your child's height can be checked.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed and not for prolonged periods. Other forms of hydrocortisone (given by mouth or by injection) may harm an unborn baby. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. However, it is unlikely to harm a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.