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Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Corticosteroid Adult

Hydrocortisone - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Hydrocortisone cause?

Generally, the common side effects tend to occur at the beginning of the treatment. These side effects may include:

  • Upset stomach, nausea or vomiting
  • Unable to sleep or restlessness
  • Fluid retention, weight gain
  • Muscle weakness or cramps (with long term use)

Inform the doctor if any of the above side effects lasts for more than a few days or if they become serious or bothersome.

Rare but serious effects may sometimes occur. Contact the doctor as soon as possible if any of the following are noticed:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction e.g. severe skin rash, itchy or peeling skin, swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat or difficulty breathing
  • Signs of infection e.g. fever, chills, sore throat, mouth sores or wound that will not heal
  • Signs of high blood sugar e.g. confusion, lethargic, more thirsty, more hungry, passing urine more often, flushing or fast breathing
  • Severe abdominal pains
  • Swelling, warmth, numbness, change of color, or pain in a leg or arm
  • Change in eyesight/vision
  • Mood changes e.g. depression, fluctuating feelings or anxiety
  • Abnormal bruising or bleeding (including black, tarry, or bloody stools or vomiting)

Inform ​your doctor if any other unusual symptoms are noticed.

Before taking Hydrocortisone, what precautions must I follow?

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Hydrocortisone?

Updated on Wednesday, March 31, 2021

This article is contributed by PSS National Medication Information Workgroup PSS National Medication Information Workgroup

    The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth


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