A-Hydrocort

Name: A-Hydrocort

Uses For A-Hydrocort

Hydrocortisone is used to treat certain medical conditions, such as inflammation (swelling), severe allergic reactions, kidney diseases, adrenal problems, arthritis, asthma, blood or bone marrow problems, eye or vision problems, lupus, skin conditions, ulcerative colitis, and flare-ups of multiple sclerosis.

Hydrocortisone is a corticosteroid (cortisone-like medicine or steroid). It works on the immune system to help relieve swelling, redness, itching, and allergic reactions.

This medicine is to be given only by or under the supervision of a doctor.

Before Using A-Hydrocort

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of hydrocortisone injection in children older than 1 month of age. However, safety and efficacy have not been established in children 1 month of age and younger.

Geriatric

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of hydrocortisone injection in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related liver, kidney, or heart problems, which may require caution in the dose for patients receiving this medicine.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters C Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.

Breast Feeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Interactions with Medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

  • Desmopressin
  • Rotavirus Vaccine, Live

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Aceclofenac
  • Acemetacin
  • Aldesleukin
  • Amtolmetin Guacil
  • Bemiparin
  • Bromfenac
  • Bufexamac
  • Bupropion
  • Celecoxib
  • Choline Salicylate
  • Clonixin
  • Cobicistat
  • Conivaptan
  • Dexibuprofen
  • Dexketoprofen
  • Diclofenac
  • Diflunisal
  • Dipyrone
  • Droxicam
  • Etodolac
  • Etofenamate
  • Etoricoxib
  • Felbinac
  • Fenoprofen
  • Fepradinol
  • Feprazone
  • Floctafenine
  • Flufenamic Acid
  • Flurbiprofen
  • Ibuprofen
  • Indomethacin
  • Ketoprofen
  • Ketorolac
  • Lornoxicam
  • Loxoprofen
  • Lumiracoxib
  • Meclofenamate
  • Mefenamic Acid
  • Meloxicam
  • Morniflumate
  • Nabumetone
  • Nadroparin
  • Naproxen
  • Nepafenac
  • Netupitant
  • Niflumic Acid
  • Nimesulide
  • Nimesulide Beta Cyclodextrin
  • Oxaprozin
  • Oxyphenbutazone
  • Parecoxib
  • Phenylbutazone
  • Piketoprofen
  • Piroxicam
  • Pixantrone
  • Pranoprofen
  • Proglumetacin
  • Propyphenazone
  • Proquazone
  • Rofecoxib
  • Salicylic Acid
  • Salsalate
  • Sodium Salicylate
  • Sulindac
  • Tenoxicam
  • Tiaprofenic Acid
  • Tolfenamic Acid
  • Tolmetin
  • Valdecoxib

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Alcuronium
  • Atracurium
  • Colestipol
  • Gallamine
  • Hexafluorenium
  • Licorice
  • Metocurine
  • Primidone
  • Rifapentine
  • Saiboku-To

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Cataracts or
  • Congestive heart failure or
  • Cushing's syndrome (adrenal gland problem) or
  • Diabetes or
  • Eye infection (eg, herpes infection of the eyes) or
  • Glaucoma or
  • Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) or
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure) or
  • Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) or
  • Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) or
  • Infection (eg, bacteria, virus) or
  • Infestation (eg, worm, larva) or
  • Kidney disease or
  • Liver disease (including cirrhosis) or
  • Mental health problems, history of or
  • Mood changes, including depression or
  • Myasthenia gravis (severe muscle weakness) or
  • Osteoporosis (weak bones) or
  • Peptic ulcer, active or history of or
  • Pheochromocytoma (adrenal tumor) or
  • Stomach or intestinal problems (eg, diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis) or
  • Tuberculosis, inactive or
  • Weak immune system (eg, Kaposi sarcoma)—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
  • Fungal infections—Should not be given in patients with these conditions.

Proper Use of hydrocortisone

This section provides information on the proper use of a number of products that contain hydrocortisone. It may not be specific to A-Hydrocort. Please read with care.

A doctor or other trained health professional will give you this medicine in a hospital. This medicine is given through a needle placed in a vein or as a shot into a muscle.

A-Hydrocort Description

A-Hydrocort sterile powder contains hydrocortisone sodium succinate as the active ingredient. Hydrocortisone sodium succinate, is a white, or nearly white, odorless, hygroscopic, amorphous solid. It is very soluble in water and in alcohol, very slightly soluble in acetone and insoluble in chloroform. The chemical name is pregn-4-ene-3,20-dione,21-(3-carboxy-1-oxopropoxy)-11,17-dihydroxy-, monosodium salt, (11β)- and its molecular weight is 484.52.

The structural formula is represented below:

Hydrocortisone sodium succinate is an anti-inflammatory adrenocortical steroid. This highly water-soluble sodium succinate ester of hydrocortisone permits the immediate intravenous administration of high doses of hydrocortisone in a small volume of diluent and is particularly useful where high blood levels of hydrocortisone are required rapidly.

A-Hydrocort sterile powder is available for intravenous or intramuscular administration.

100 mg − Vials containing hydrocortisone sodium succinate equivalent to 100 mg hydrocortisone, also 0.8 mg monobasic sodium phosphate anhydrous, 8.73 mg dibasic sodium phosphate anhydrous.

When necessary, the pH was adjusted with sodium hydroxide so that the pH of the reconstituted solution is within the USP specified range of 7 to 8.

For intravenous or intramuscular injection, vial should be reconstituted with Bacteriostatic Water for Injection or Bacteriostatic Sodium Chloride.

For intravenous infusion, vial should be reconstituted with Bacteriostatic Water for Injection.

A-Hydrocort - Clinical Pharmacology

Hydrocortisone sodium succinate has the same metabolic and anti-inflammatory actions as hydrocortisone. When given parenterally and in equimolar quantities, the two compounds are equivalent in biologic activity. Following the intravenous injection of hydrocortisone sodium succinate, demonstrable effects are evident within one hour and persist for a variable period. Excretion of the administered dose is nearly complete within 12 hours. Thus, if constantly high blood levels are required, injections should be made every 4 to 6 hours. This preparation is also rapidly absorbed when administered intramuscularly and is excreted in a pattern similar to that observed after intravenous injection.

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. 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.

Average and large doses of hydrocortisone 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.

While on corticosteroid therapy patients should not be vaccinated against smallpox. Other immunization procedures should not be undertaken in patients who are on corticosteroids, especially on high dose, because of possible hazards of neurological complications and a lack of antibody response.

The use of A-Hydrocort sterile powder 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 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.

Because rare instances of anaphylactoid reactions (eg, bronchospasm) have occurred in patients receiving parenteral corticosteroid therapy, appropriate precautionary measures should be taken prior to administration, especially when the patient has a history of allergy to any drug.

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.

A-Hydrocort Dosage and Administration

This preparation may be administered by intravenous injection, by intravenous infusion, or by intramuscular injection, the preferred method for initial emergency use being intravenous injection. Following the initial emergency period, consideration should be given to employing a longer acting injectable preparation or an oral preparation.

Therapy is initiated by administering A-Hydrocort sterile powder intravenously over a period of 30 seconds (eg, 100 mg) to 10 minutes (eg, 500 mg or more). In general, high-dose corticosteroid therapy should be continued only until the patient’s condition has stabilized − usually not beyond 48 to 72 hours. Although adverse effects associated with high-dose, short-term corticoid therapy are uncommon, peptic ulceration may occur. Prophylactic antacid therapy may be indicated.

When high-dose hydrocortisone therapy must be continued beyond 48-72 hours, hypernatremia may occur. Under such circumstances it may be desirable to replace hydrocortisone sodium succinate with a corticoid such as methylprednisolone sodium succinate which causes little or no sodium retention.

The initial dose of A-Hydrocort sterile powder is 100 mg to 500 mg, depending on the severity of the condition. This dose may be repeated at intervals of 2, 4 or 6 hours as indicated by the patient’s response and clinical condition. While the dose may be reduced for infants and children, it is governed more by the severity of the condition and response of the patient than by age or body weight but should not be less than 25 mg daily.

Patients subjected to severe stress following corticosteroid therapy should be observed closely for signs and symptoms of adrenocortical insufficiency.

Corticoid therapy is an adjunct to, and not a replacement for, conventional therapy.

Preparation of Solutions

100 mg − For intravenous or intramuscular injection, prepare solution by aseptically adding not more than 2 mL of Bacteriostatic Water for Injection or Bacteriostatic Sodium Chloride Injection to the contents of one vial. Further dilution is not necessary for intravenous or intramuscular injection. For intravenous infusion, first prepare solution by adding not more than 2 mL of Bacteriostatic Water for Injection to the vial; this solution may then be added to 100 to 1000 mL of the following: 5% dextrose in water (or isotonic saline solution or 5% dextrose in isotonic saline solution if patient is not on sodium restriction). In cases where administration of a small volume of fluid is desirable, 100 mg of hydrocortisone sodium succinate may be added to 50 mL of the above diluents. The resulting solutions are stable for at least 4 hours and may be administered either directly or by IV piggyback.

When reconstituted as directed, pH’s of the solutions range from 7 to 8 and the tonicities are: 100 mg vial, .36 osmolar. (Isotonic saline = .28 osmolar.)

A-Hydrocort Overview

A-Hydrocort is a brand name medication included in the following groups of medications: Corticosteroids acting locally, Corticosteroids for local oral treatment, Antiinflammatory Corticosteroids, Corticosteroids, weak group I, Corticosteroids, weak, other combinations, Corticosteroids/antiinfectives/mydriatics in combination, Glucocorticoids. For more information about A-Hydrocort see its generic Hydrocortisone

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to hydrocortisone: compounding powder, injectable powder for injection, injectable solution, injectable suspension, oral suspension, oral tablet, rectal foam with applicator, rectal suspension

General

Corticosteroid side effects/complications are primarily dose and duration dependent; adverse effects are infrequent with physiologic or lower pharmacologic dosages. Short-term effects have included sodium retention-related weight gain and fluid accumulation, hyperglycemia/glucose intolerance, hypokalemia, and psychic disturbances. Long-term effects have included hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal activity suppression, Cushingoid appearance, hirsutism, impotence, menstrual irregularities, peptic ulcer disease, cataracts and increased intraocular pressure/glaucoma, myopathy, osteoporosis, and vertebral compression fractures.[Ref]

Cardiovascular

Frequency not reported: Bradycardia, cardiac arrest, cardia arrhythmias, cardiac enlargement, circulatory collapse, fat embolism, hypertension, congestive heart failure, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in premature infants, myocardial rupture following recent myocardial infarction, thrombophlebitis, vasculitis, syncope, tachycardia, thromboembolism, thrombophlebitis, vasculitis, necrotising angiitis[Ref]

Endocrine

Frequency not reported: Hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal activity has been suppressed up to 12 months following long-term corticosteroid administration, Cushingoid appearance with chronic therapy, hirsutism, virilism, impotence, menstrual irregularities, hypertrichosis, moon face, latent hyperparathyroidism, hypoparathyroidism[Ref]

An antagonism occurs between the parathyroids and hypercorticism. Latent hyperparathyroidism may be unmasked by administration of corticosteroids; hypoparathyroidism may be manifest by phosphate retention occurring in renal failure caused by adrenal insufficiency.[Ref]

Gastrointestinal

Frequency not reported: Gastrointestinal upset, nausea, vomiting, peptic ulcer disease, pancreatitis, ulcerative esophagitis, abdominal distention, gastrointestinal perforation and hemorrhage, esophageal candidiasis[Ref]

Metabolic

Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Hypernatremia
Frequency not reported: Decreased glucose tolerance, hyperglycemia, hypokalemia, fluid retention, negative nitrogen balance due to protein catabolism, increased blood urea nitrogen concentration, sodium retention, hypokalemic alkalosis, increased appetite, weight gain, hypertriglyceridemia[Ref]

Musculoskeletal

Aseptic necrosis has been reported most often to affect the femoral head. Corticosteroid myopathy has presented as weakness and wasting of the proximal limb and girdle muscles and generally has been reversible following cessation of therapy.

Corticosteroids inhibit intestinal absorption and increase urinary excretion of calcium leading to bone resorption and bone loss. Postmenopausal females are at risk of loss of bone density. Sixteen percent of elderly patients treated with corticosteroids for 5 years may experience vertebral compression fractures.[Ref]

Frequency not reported: Steroid myopathy, muscle weakness, loss of muscle mass, osteoporosis, vertebral compression fractures, tendon rupture (particularly the Achilles tendon), aseptic necrosis of bone, growth suppression in pediatric patients, Charcot-like arthropathy, post-injection flare (intra-articular use), osteonecrosis[Ref]

Immunologic

Frequency not reported: Impairment in cell-mediated immunity, increased susceptibility to bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic infections, immunosuppression, opportunistic infections from mild to fatal, reactivation of tuberculosis[Ref]

Hepatic

Increases in serum transaminases and alkaline phosphatase have been observed with corticosteroid therapy; these laboratory changes are generally small, not associated with clinical symptoms, and are reversible upon discontinuation.[Ref]

Frequency not reported: Reversible increases in serum transaminase and alkaline phosphatase concentrations, hepatomegaly[Ref]

Hematologic

Corticosteroid therapy has been associated with a total increase in WBC; with an increase in neutrophils and a decrease in monocytes, lymphocytes, and eosinophils.[Ref]

Frequency not reported: Leukocytosis[Ref]

Dermatologic

Frequency not reported: Increased ease in bruising, ecchymosis, petechiae, delayed wound healing, acne, thin fragile skin, facial erythema, increased sweating, suppress reaction to skin testing, allergic dermatitis, burning or tingling in the perineal area after IV injection, cutaneous and subcutaneous atrophy, edema, hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation, erythema, sterile abscess, striae, thinning scalp hair, urticaria[Ref]

Ocular

Frequency not reported: Increased intraocular pressure, glaucoma, posterior subcapsular cataracts, exophthalmos, central serous chorioretinopathy, corneal or scleral thinning, exacerbation of ophthalmic viral disease[Ref]

Psychiatric

In adults, the incidence of severe psychic reactions has been estimated to be around 5% to 6%. Psychological effects have been reported on withdrawal of corticosteroids, although the incidence is unknown.[Ref]

Frequency not reported: Psychoses, personality or behavioral changes, depression, emotional instability, euphoria, insomnia, mood swings, personality changes, psychic disorders, exacerbation of preexisting affect lability or psychotic behavior[Ref]

Hypersensitivity

Case reports of hypersensitivity reactions to corticosteroids have been relatively uncommon. Side effects have included bronchospasm, shock, urticaria, and angioedema. Cross-reactivity between aspirin and hydrocortisone (the active ingredient contained in A-Hydrocort) in patients with aspirin-sensitive respiratory disease has been suggested as the mechanism in patients with asthma, however data are controversial. Anaphylaxis has been most frequently associated with rapid injection or infusion of a high dose of corticosteroid. Reactions may be mediated by an immune or nonimmune mechanism.

Bronchospasm after intravenous hydrocortisone has been reported in some patients with aspirin-sensitive respiratory disease. A challenge study with oral aspirin followed with 100 mg hydrocortisone (IV) resulted in respiratory reactions to aspirin in 45 of 53 patients. These 45 patients then received a hydrocortisone challenge. No naso-ocular, dermal, or respiratory reactions were noted in 44 of 45 patients administered hydrocortisone. One aspirin-sensitive patient experienced bronchospasm and naso-ocular reactions to hydrocortisone and naso-ocular with minimal bronchospasm with methylprednisolone. Following aspirin desensitization and while on maintenance aspirin therapy, this patient again reacted with similar symptoms to hydrocortisone.[Ref]

Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Hypersensitivity reaction (enema)
Frequency not reported: Anaphylaxis, anaphylactoid reaction, angioedema[Ref]

Other

Frequency not reported: Vertigo, abnormal fat deposits, malaise[Ref]

Genitourinary

Frequency not reported: Glycosuria, increased or decreased motility and number of spermatozoa

Nervous system

Frequency not reported: Convulsions, increased intracranial pressure with papilledema/pseudo-tumor cerebri (usually occurs after treatment), headache, neuritis, neuropathy, paresthesia, arachnoiditis, meningitis, paraparesis/paraplegia, sensory disturbances, epidural lipomatosis

Paresthesia, arachnoiditis, meningitis, paraparesis/paraplegia, and sensory disturbances have occurred after intrathecal administration. Intrathecal use is contraindicated and epidural administration is not recommended due to the occurrence of serious adverse events having been associated with these routes of administration.

Oncologic

Frequency not reported: Kaposi's sarcoma

Respiratory

Frequency not reported: Pulmonary edema, hiccups[Ref]

Some side effects of A-Hydrocort may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.

Hydrocortisone Levels and Effects while Breastfeeding

Summary of Use during Lactation

Hydrocortisone (cortisol) is a normal component of breastmilk that passes from the mother's bloodstream into milk. Concentrations follow a diurnal rhythm, with the highest concentrations in the morning at about 7:00 am and the lowest concentrations in the late afternoon and evening.[1][2] Cortisol in milk may protect against later infant obesity, especially in girls.[3] Hydrocortisone has not been studied in breastmilk after exogenous administration in pharmacologic amounts. Hydrocortisone in breastmilk is stable at room temperature and during repeated freeze-thaw cycles.[4]

Although it is unlikely that dangerous amounts of hydrocortisone would reach the infant, a better studied alternate corticosteroid might be preferred. Maternal use of hydrocortisone as an enema would not be expected to cause any adverse effects in breastfed infants. Local maternal injections, such as for tendinitis, would not be expected to cause any adverse effects in breastfed infants, but might occasionally cause temporary loss of milk supply. See also Hydrocortisone, Topical.

Hydrocortisone concentrations in breastmilk are not affected by storage for 36 hours at room temperature, during multiple freeze-thaw cycles, nor Holder pasteurization (62.5 degrees C for 30 minutes).[4][5]

Drug Levels

Numerous methods have been used to measure cortisol in milk. Some have measured only unconjugated cortisol and others have hydrolyzed sulfate and glucuronide conjugates to measure total cortisol. Neonates are unable to deconjugate these moieties, so the age of the infant affects the relevance of findings.[4]

Maternal Levels. Cortisol was measured in the colostrum and milk of 11 women monthly for up to 12 months postpartum. Levels in late pregnancy averaged 24.5 mcg/L and fell over the first 10 days postpartum to an average of 1.8 mcg/L. Milk cortisol levels between months 2 and 12 averaged 7.2 mcg/L, but varied with time and among individuals (range 0.2 to 32 mcg/L).[6]

Free cortisol was measured in 13 women on days 1, 2, and 3 postpartum (7 spontaneous births) or days 3, 4, and 5 postpartum (6 elective cesarean sections). Milk levels were measured before and after nursing, but the values were not statistically different. In the women with spontaneous deliveries, before and after milk levels averaged 17.2 mcg/L on day 1, 16.8 mcg/L on day 2, and 7.4 mcg/L on day 3 postpartum. In the women with cesarean deliveries, before and after milk levels averaged 26.5 mcg/L on day 3, 15.1 mcg/L on day 4, and 14.1 mcg/L on day 6 postpartum.[7]

Thirteen full-term mothers donated milk between 8 and 28 weeks postpartum. Unconjugated cortisol concentrations ranged from 1.45 to 8.34 mcg/L.[4]

A study compared 10 mothers who delivered preterm (<32 week) infants to 10 who delivered at 37 weeks or greater. Breastmilk cortisol concentrations were 50% lower in mothers of preterm infants in the first week postpartum, although the difference was not statistically significant.[1]

A study of 23 mothers found that the average cortisol concentration in breastmilk was 1.6 mcg/L over 24 hours. Concentrations were highest in the morning between 4:00 am and 10:00 am and lowest in the evening between 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm.[2]

Infant Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Effects in Breastfed Infants

None reported with any systemic corticosteroid.

Effects on Lactation and Breastmilk

Published information on the effects of hydrocortisone on serum prolactin or on lactation in nursing mothers was not found as of the revision date. However, medium to large doses of depot corticosteroids injected into joints have been reported to cause temporary reduction of lactation.[8][9][10]

A study of 46 women who delivered an infant before 34 weeks of gestation found that a course of another corticosteroid (betamethasone, 2 intramuscular injections of 11.4 mg of betamethasone 24 hours apart) given between 3 and 9 days before delivery resulted in delayed lactogenesis II and lower average milk volumes during the 10 days after delivery. Milk volume was not affected if the infant was delivered less than 3 days or more than 10 days after the mother received the corticosteroid.[11] An equivalent dosage regimen of hydrocortisone might have the same effect.

A study of 87 pregnant women found that betamethasone given as above during pregnancy caused a premature stimulation of lactose secretion during pregnancy. Although the increase was statistically significant, the clinical importance appears to be minimal.[12] An equivalent dosage regimen of hydrocortisone might have the same effect.

Alternate Drugs to Consider

(Systemic) Methylprednisolone, Prednisolone, Prednisone

References

1. van der Voorn B, de Waard M, van Goudoever JB et al. Breast-milk cortisol and cortisone concentrations follow the diurnal rhythm of maternal hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis activity. J Nutr. 2016;146:2174-79. PMID: 27629575

2. Pundir S, Wall CR, Mitchell CJ et al. Variation of human milk clucocorticoids over 24 hour period. J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2017;22:85-92. PMID: 28144768

3. Hahn-Holbrook J, Le TB, Chung A et al. Cortisol in human milk predicts child BMI. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2016;24:2471-74. PMID: 27891832

4. van der Voorn B, Martens F, Peppelman NS et al. Determination of cortisol and cortisone in human mother's milk. Clin Chim Acta. 2015;444:154-5. PMID: 25687161

5. van der Voorn B, de Waard M, Dijkstra LR et al. Stability of cortisol and cortisone in human breast milk during Holder pasteurization. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2017. PMID: 28691975

6. Kulski JK, Hartmann PE. Changes in the concentration of cortisol in milk during different stages of human lactation. Aust J Exp Biol Med Sci. 1981;59 (Pt 6):769-78. PMID: 7340774

7. Patacchiolo FR, Cigliana G, Cilumbriello A et al. Maternal plasma and milk free cortisol during the first 3 days of breast-feeding following spontaneous delivery or elective cesarean section. Gynecol Obstet Investig. 1992;34:159-63. PMID: 1427417

8. McGuire E. Sudden loss of milk supply following high-dose triamcinolone (Kenacort) injection. Breastfeed Rev. 2012;20:32-4. PMID: 22724311

9. Babwah TJ, Nunes P, Maharaj RG. An unexpected temporary suppression of lactation after a local corticosteroid injection for tenosynovitis. Eur J Gen Pract. 2013;19:248-50. PMID: 24261425

10. Smuin DM, Seidenberg PH, Sirlin EA et al. Rare adverse events associated with corticosteroid injections: A case series and literature review. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2016;15:171-6. PMID: 27172081

11. Henderson JJ, Hartmann PE, Newnham JP, Simmer K. Effect of preterm birth and antenatal corticosteroid treatment on lactogenesis ii in women. Pediatrics. 2008;121:e92-100. PMID: 18166549

12. Henderson JJ, Newnham JP, Simmer K, Hartmann PE. Effects of antenatal corticosteroids on urinary markers of the initiation of lactation in pregnant women. Breastfeed Med. 2009;4:201-6. PMID: 19772378

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