Hydrocortisone

HYDROCORTISONE- hydrocortisone tablet
Denton Pharma, Inc. dba Northwind Pharmaceuticals

DESCRIPTION

Hydrocortisone tablets, USP contain hydrocortisone which is a glucocorticoid. Glucocorticoids are adrenocortical steroids, both naturally occurring and synthetic, which are readily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. Hydrocortisone USP is white to practically white, odorless, crystalline powder with a melting point of about 215º C. It is very slightly soluble in water and in ether; sparingly soluble in acetone and in alcohol; slightly soluble in chloroform.

The chemical name for hydrocortisone is pregn-4-ene-3,20-dione,11,17,21-trihydroxy-, (11β)-. Its molecular weight is 362.46 and the structural formula is as outlined below.

Structural Formula

Hydrocortisone tablets, USP are available for oral administration in three strengths: each tablet contains either 5 mg, 10 mg, or 20 mg of hydrocortisone. Inactive ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate and microcrystalline cellulose.

ACTIONS

Naturally occurring glucocorticoids (hydrocortisone and cortisone), which also have salt-retaining properties, are used as replacement therapy in adrenocortical deficiency states. Their synthetic analogs are primarily used for their potent anti-inflammatory effects in disorders of many organ systems.

Glucocorticoids cause profound and varied metabolic effects. In addition, they modify the body’s immune responses to diverse stimuli.

INDICATIONS AND USAGE

Hydrocortisone tablets are indicated in the following conditions.

1. Endocrine Disorders

Primary or secondary adrenocortical insufficiency (hydrocortisone or cortisone is the first choice; synthetic analogs may be used in conjunction with mineralocorticoids where applicable; in infancy mineralocorticoid supplementation is of particular importance)

Congenital adrenal hyperplasia

Non suppurative thyroiditis

Hypercalcemia associated with cancer

2. Rheumatic Disorders

As adjunctive therapy for short-term administration (to tide the patient over an acute episode or exacerbation) in:

  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, including juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (selected cases may require low-dose maintenance therapy)
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Acute and subacute bursitis
  • Acute nonspecific tenosynovitis
  • Acute gouty arthritis
  • Post-traumatic osteoarthritis
  • Synovitis of osteoarthritis
  • Epicondylitis

3. Collagen Diseases

During an exacerbation or as maintenance therapy in selected cases of:

  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Systemic dermatomyositis (polymyositis)
  • Acute rheumatic carditis

4. Dermatologic Diseases

Pemphigus

Bullous dermatitis herpetiformis

Severe erythema multiforme (Stevens-Johnson syndrome)

Exfoliative dermatitis

Mycosis fungoides

Severe psoriasis

Severe seborrheic dermatitis

5. Allergic States

Control of severe or incapacitating allergic conditions intractable to adequate trials of conventional treatment:

  • Seasonal or perennial allergic rhinitis
  • Serum sickness
  • Bronchial asthma
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Drug hypersensitivity reactions

6. Ophthalmic Diseases

Severe acute and chronic allergic and inflammatory processes involving the eye and its adnexa such as:

  • Allergic conjunctivitis
  • Keratitis
  • Allergic corneal marginal ulcers
  • Herpes zoster ophthalmicus
  • Iritis and iridocyclitis
  • Chorioretinitis
  • Anterior segment inflammation
  • Diffuse posterior uveitis and choroiditis
  • Optic neuritis
  • Sympathetic ophthalmia

7. Respiratory Diseases

Symptomatic sarcoidosis

Loeffler’s syndrome not manageable by other means

Berylliosis

Fulminating or disseminated pulmonary tuberculosis when used concurrently with appropriate

antituberculous chemotherapy

Aspiration pneumonitis

8. Hematologic Disorders

Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura in adults

Secondary thrombocytopenia in adults

Acquired (autoimmune) hemolytic anemia

Erythroblastopenia (RBC anemia)

Congenital (erythroid) hypoplastic anemia

9. Neoplastic Diseases

For palliative management of:

  • Leukemias and lymphomas in adults
  • Acute leukemia of childhood

10. Edematous States

To induce a diuresis or remission of proteinuria in the nephrotic syndrome, without uremia, of the idiopathic type or that due to lupus erythematosus.

11. Gastrointestinal Diseases

To tide the patient over a critical period of the disease in:

  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Regional enteritis

12. Miscellaneous

Tuberculous meningitis with subarachnoid block or impending block when used concurrently with appropriate antituberculous chemotherapy

Trichinosis with neurologic or myocardial involvement

CONTRAINDICATIONS

Systemic fungal infections and known hypersensitivity to components

WARNINGS

In patients on corticosteroid therapy subjected to unusual stress, increased dosage of rapidly acting corticosteroids before, during, and after the stressful situation is indicated.

Corticosteroids may mask some signs of infection, and new infections may appear during their use. Infections with any pathogen including viral, bacterial, fungal, protozoan or helminthic infections, in any location of the body, may be associated with the use of corticosteroids alone or in combination with other immunosuppressive agents that affect cellular immunity, humoral immunity, or neutrophil function. 1

These infections may be mild, but can be severe and at times fatal. With increasing doses of corticosteroids, the rate of occurrence of infectious complications increases. 2 There may be decreased resistance and inability to localize infection when corticosteroids are used.

Prolonged use of corticosteroids may produce posterior subcapsular cataracts, glaucoma with possible damage to the optic nerves, and may enhance the establishment of secondary ocular infections due to fungi or viruses.

Usage in pregnancy: Since adequate human reproduction studies have not been done with corticosteroids, the use of these drugs in pregnancy, nursing mothers or women of childbearing potential requires that the possible benefits of the drug be weighed against the potential hazards to the mother and embryo or fetus. Infants born of mothers who have received substantial doses of corticosteroids during pregnancy, should be carefully observed for signs of hypoadrenalism.

Corticosteroids have been shown to impair fertility in male rats.

Average and large doses of hydrocortisone or cortisone can cause elevation of blood pressure, salt and water retention, and increased excretion of potassium. These effects are less likely to occur with the synthetic derivatives except when used in large doses. Dietary salt restriction and potassium supplementation may be necessary. All corticosteroids increase calcium excretion.

Administration of live or live, attenuated vaccines is contraindicated in patients receiving immunosuppressive doses of corticosteroids. Killed or inactivated vaccines may be administered to patients receiving immunosuppressive doses of corticosteroids; however, the response to such vaccines may be diminished. Indicated immunization procedures may be undertaken in patients receiving nonimmunosuppressive doses of corticosteroids.

The use of hydrocortisone tablets in active tuberculosis should be restricted to those cases of fulminating or disseminated tuberculosis in which the corticosteroid is used for the management of the disease in conjunction with an appropriate antituberculous regimen.

If corticosteroids are indicated in patients with latent tuberculosis or tuberculin reactivity, close observation is necessary as reactivation of the disease may occur. During prolonged corticosteroid therapy, these patients should receive chemoprophylaxis.

Persons who are on drugs which suppress the immune system are more susceptible to infections than healthy individuals. Chicken pox and measles, for example, can have a more serious or even fatal course in non-immune children or adults on corticosteroids. In such children or adults who have not had these diseases, particular care should be taken to avoid exposure. How the dose, route and duration of corticosteroid administration affects the risk of developing a disseminated infection is not known. The contribution of the underlying disease and/or prior corticosteroid treatment to the risk is also not known. If exposed to chicken pox, prophylaxis with varicella zoster immune globulin (VZIG) may be indicated. If exposed to measles, prophylaxis with pooled intramuscular immunoglobulin (IG) may be indicated. (See the respective package inserts for complete VZIG and IG prescribing information.) If chicken pox develops, treatment with antiviral agents may be considered. Similarly, corticosteroids should be used with great care in patients with known or suspected Strongyloides (threadworm) infestation. In such patients, corticosteroid-induced immunosuppression may lead to Strongyloides hyperinfection and dissemination with widespread larval migration, often accompanied by severe enterocolitis and potentially fatal gram-negative septicemia.

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