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What should I know about hydrocortisone before taking it?

Before your doctor prescribes hydrocortisone to treat your symptoms of inflammation, you should carefully review your medical history and discuss any current medical conditions you have.

If you have symptoms of inflammation that are affecting your skin, muscles, joints, or organs, your doctor will want to run tests to determine if hydrocortisone medication is right for you. Depending on its use and your symptoms, hydrocortisone can be used as an oral, topical, injected medication. Depending on the cause of the inflammation (autoimmune disorder, cancer, allergy, congenital disorder, acquired infection), hydrocortisone doses, side effects, and length of treatment will vary.

Long-term use of hydrocortisone can lead to symptoms of withdrawal if the medication is suddenly stopped. It's important to take your hydrocortisone exactly as prescribed.

Hydrocortisone should not be used if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking this corticosteroid. If you have an ulcer or are prone to ulcers, tell your doctor. Hydrocortisone can increase your risk of symptoms of ulcer. Before any type of surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking hydrocortisone.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.