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Cortef Alternatives

(Hydrocortisone)

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Compare Cortef (Hydrocortisone) to alternatives

These medications are comparable to Cortef (Hydrocortisone) or used for similar purposes.

Cortef
(Hydrocortisone)

Cortisone

Decadron
(Dexamethasone)

Deltasone
(Prednisone)

Pred Forte
(Prednisolone)

Medrol
(Methylprednisolone)

Fludrocortisone

Cortef (Hydrocortisone) lowers inflammation, suppresses the immune system, and replaces low cortisol. Cortef (Hydrocortisone) is identical to an essential hormone that humans produce and has been proven to work safely.Coming soon.Lowers inflammation and suppresses your immune system. Decadron (Dexamethasone) is identical to an essential hormone that humans produce and has been proven to work safely.Calms down your immune system. Deltasone (Prednisone) is a common oral corticosteroid that's great for controlling the unwanted symptoms from your immune responses and will make you feel better. There are lots of side effects but most of are tolerable or can be managed.Treats eye redness and swelling. Pred Forte (Prednisolone) is strong medicine for eye redness and swelling without exposing the rest of your body to the steroid medicine.Calms down your immune system. Medrol (Methylprednisolone) is corticosteroid available in many forms (oral, injectable) that's great for controlling the unwanted symptoms from your immune responses and will make you feel better. There are lots of side effects but most of are tolerable or can be managed.Coming soon.
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Reviews & ratings
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Reviews for Deltasone (Prednisone)
59%
41% vs. Cortef (Hydrocortisone)
44%
23% vs. Cortef (Hydrocortisone)
20%
20% vs. Cortef (Hydrocortisone)

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Reviews for Medrol (Methylprednisolone)
57%
43% vs. Cortef (Hydrocortisone)
51%
16% vs. Cortef (Hydrocortisone)
23%
23% vs. Cortef (Hydrocortisone)

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Side effects
CortefcortisonedexamethasonePrednisonePrednisoloneMedrolfludrocortisone

We haven’t found good data for Cortef side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Cortef »

We haven’t found good data for cortisone side effects.

FDA side effect reports for cortisone »

The dexamethasone FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about dexamethasone side effects »

The Prednisone FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Prednisone side effects »

The Prednisolone FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Prednisolone side effects »

The Medrol FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Medrol side effects »

We haven’t found good data for fludrocortisone side effects.

FDA side effect reports for fludrocortisone »
How it works
CortefcortisonedexamethasonePrednisonePrednisoloneMedrolfludrocortisone
Cortef (Hydrocortisone) is a short-acting corticosteroid. It lowers inflammation by preventing your capillaries (small blood vessels) from leaking out excess fluid and chemicals that cause swelling.Coming soon.Decadron (Dexamethasone) is a short-acting corticosteroid. It lowers inflammation by preventing your capillaries (small blood vessels) from leaking out excess fluid and chemicals that cause swelling.Deltasone (Prednisone) is a corticosteroid that's similar to what your body naturally makes. It reduces swelling and other immune responses that can cause you pain, discomfort, or harm.Pred Forte (Prednisolone) is a steroid that lowers your immune response to allergens and reduces eye redness and swelling.Medrol (Methylprednisolone) is a corticosteroid that's similar to what your body naturally makes. It reduces swelling and other immune responses that can cause you pain, discomfort, or harm.Coming soon.
Type of medication
CortefcortisonedexamethasonePrednisonePrednisoloneMedrolfludrocortisone
Anti-inflammatory, Immunosuppressant
Corticosteroid
Prescription only
Coming soon.
Glucocorticoid
Synthetic
Prescription only
Anti-inflammatory, Immunosuppressant
Corticosteroid
Prescription only
CorticosteroidPrescription only
Anti-inflammatory, Immunosuppressant
Corticosteroid
Prescription only
Coming soon.
Available as
CortefcortisonedexamethasonePrednisonePrednisoloneMedrolfludrocortisone
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Suppository
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Liquid
  • Eye drops
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
CortefcortisonedexamethasonePrednisonePrednisoloneMedrolfludrocortisone
  • Acute lymphoid leukemia Adrenal insufficiency Allergic disorder Chronic lymphoid leukemia Collagen disease Disorder of endocrine system Disorder of eye Disorder of gastrointestinal tract Disorder of hematopoietic structure Disorder of respiratory system Disorder of skin Hodgkin's disease Hypercalcemia of malignancy Inflammatory disorder of musculoskeletal system Mycosis fungoides Neoplastic disease Nephrotic syndrome Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma Trichinosis Tuberculosis of meninges; Adjunct
  • Addison's disease - Adrenal insufficiency Adrenogenital disorder
Risk factors for serious side effects
CortefcortisonedexamethasonePrednisonePrednisoloneMedrolfludrocortisone
  • Lowering dose or stopping too quickly especially after long-term treatment
  • Stress such as trauma, surgery or infection
  • Long-term treatment
  • Not vaccinated against viral diseases
  • Contact with people who have viral illness
  • History of bacterial or viral conditions
  • Duration of treatment
  • History of psychiatric conditions
  • Dose of Cortef (Hydrocortisone)
  • Duration of treatment
  • Women of childbearing age
  • History of stomach bleeding
  • Active or history of stomach or duodenal ulcers
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Taking Cortef (Hydrocortisone) with other medicine that can cause stomach problems
Detailed Cortef (Hydrocortisone) risks & warnings »
Coming soon.Coming soon.Coming soon.Coming soon.Coming soon.Coming soon.
Pregnancy category
CortefcortisonedexamethasonePrednisonePrednisoloneMedrolfludrocortisone
CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

See the FDA package insert
DFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

See the FDA package insert
CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

See the FDA package insert
DFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

See the FDA package insert
CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

See the FDA package insert
CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

See the FDA package insert
CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

See the FDA package insert
Alcohol
  • Taking Cortef (Hydrocortisone) increases the risk of injury to the lining of your stomach and intestine including irritation, tears/holes and ulcers. You should avoid alcohol/alcoholic beverages because it can worsen stomach irritation. Tell your doctor or get medical care right away if you have stomach pain, notice blood or dark colored stools when you go to the bathroom.
No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
Food
  • You can crush the tablets and take Cortef (Hydrocortisone) with your food or drink. Do not open up a capsule, since they need to be swallowed whole.
  • Some people gain weight while taking Cortef (Hydrocortisone). Using a weight loss program, eating smaller portions, and drinking a glass of water before meals tend to help.
No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
  • Take with food to decrease stomach upset.
No specific food-related info.
  • Take with food to decrease stomach upset.
No specific food-related info.
Kidneys and liver
No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
Sex
No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
Sleep
  • Taking a dose of Cortef (Hydrocortisone) in the evening doesn't affect your ability to sleep.
  • Like most corticosteroid medicines, Cortef (Hydrocortisone) may cause changes in your mood or behavior. Tell your doctor right away if you become depressed, have mood swings, trouble sleeping, irritability or anxiety, hyperactivity, delusions or hallucinations while taking this medicine. If you need to make any changes or slowly taper your dose, talk to your doctor first.
No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
  • Short-term use can cause mood changes, trouble sleeping and increase in blood pressure, blood sugar, and possible water retention.
  • Can cause trouble sleeping. Take in the morning or 2-3 hours before bed if more than one dose is needed.
No specific sleep-related info.
  • Short-term use can cause mood changes, trouble sleeping and increase in blood pressure, blood sugar, and possible water retention.
  • Can cause trouble sleeping. Take in the morning or 2-3 hours before bed if more than one dose is needed.
No specific sleep-related info.
Weight
  • Some people gain weight while taking Cortef (Hydrocortisone). Using a weight loss program, eating smaller portions, and drinking a glass of water before meals tend to help.
No specific weight-related info.
  • Some people gain weight while taking Decadron (Dexamethasone) or can experience other side effects like mood changes.
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
CortefcortisonedexamethasonePrednisonePrednisoloneMedrolfludrocortisone
  • Normal doses of hydrocortisone have been safely and successfully used for over 60 years. It's especially good for people using it as a long-term cortisol supplement.
  • Cortef (Hydrocortisone) converts into cortisol, a natural hormone, which will not interfere with other medications you may be taking.
  • Taking a dose of Cortef (Hydrocortisone) in the evening doesn't affect your ability to sleep.
  • At safe doses, Cortef (Hydrocortisone) can actually increase your body's ability to fight infection.
Coming soon.
  • Treats a large variety of inflammatory disorders including asthma, dermatitis, drug reactions, rashes, and endocrine disorders.
  • Can help prevent nausea, especially when it's caused by chemotherapy.
  • You can get it orally or as an injection.
  • Useful for many conditions.
  • Short-term use in controlling immune responses that are causing you discomfort, and works quickly to relieve symptoms like swelling, rash, asthma attacks, gout attacks.
  • Long-term use in suppressing the immune system from causing your body harm, like many autoimmune related conditions.
  • Steroid magic, can help you feel better, have more energy and get more appetite.
  • Decreases swelling and redness in your eyes.
  • Doesn't cause the same types of side effects that oral forms of steroids do.
  • Useful in controlling immune responses that are causing you discomfort, and works quickly to relieve symptoms like swelling, rash, asthma attacks, gout attacks.
  • Useful in suppressing the immune system from causing your body harm, like many autoimmune related conditions.
  • Available in many different forms, including injection, that will expose the rest of your body less of the medicine.
  • Steroid magic, can help you feel better, have more energy and get more appetite.
Coming soon.
Downsides and risks
CortefcortisonedexamethasonePrednisonePrednisoloneMedrolfludrocortisone
  • In the first few weeks, your doctor might adjust the dose of Cortef (Hydrocortisone) multiple times.
  • You may be at an increased risk of infection if you take high doses of Cortef (Hydrocortisone), or if you take it in combination with other immunosuppressive medications.
  • Your body could stop making its own cortisol once it gets used to Cortef (Hydrocortisone). If so, you'll likely have to keep taking Cortef (Hydrocortisone) for a really long time.
  • Depending on why your doctor prescribed Cortef (Hydrocortisone) to you, corticosteroids can have different effects on your body.
Coming soon.
  • Can't be used on its own to treat low cortisol levels.
  • Since it suppresses your immune system, you're more likely to get infections.
  • You can't take Decadron (Dexamethasone) if you have a systemic fungal infection.
  • Shouldn't be used if you have a stomach ulcer.
  • Can decrease bone formation and lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis.
  • People with certain conditions will have to pay extra attention to their symptoms or may have to adjust the dose of other medicines when taking Prednisone.
  • Only available as an oral medicine so the rest of your body will be exposed to the medicine.
  • Lots of side effects, especially with long term use.
  • Short-term use can cause mood changes, trouble sleeping and increase in blood pressure, blood sugar, and possible water retention.
  • Long-term use can cause problems with skin, bone, eye health and put you at a higher risk for infections.
  • When using corticosteroids for more than 1 week, you will need to work with a doctor to get off the medicine slowly.
  • Available only as a prescription medication.
  • You need good hand-eye coordination to get the eye drops into your eyes.
  • Can cause or worsen certain eye conditions.
  • People with certain conditions will have to pay extra attention to their symptoms or may have to adjust the dose of other medicines when taking Medrol.
  • Lots of side effects, especially with long term use.
  • Short-term use can cause mood changes, trouble sleeping and increase in blood pressure, blood sugar, and possible water retention.
  • Long-term use can cause problems with skin, bone, eye health and put you at a higher risk for infections.
  • When using corticosteroids for more than 1 week, you will need to work with a doctor to get off the medicine slowly.
Coming soon.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
CortefcortisonedexamethasonePrednisonePrednisoloneMedrolfludrocortisone
  • You can crush the tablets and take Cortef (Hydrocortisone) with your food or drink. Do not open up a capsule, since they need to be swallowed whole.
  • Be sure not to stop taking Cortef (Hydrocortisone) suddenly, as it can lead to loss of appetite, nausea, weakness, low blood pressure, and low blood sugar.
  • Some people gain weight while taking Cortef (Hydrocortisone). Using a weight loss program, eating smaller portions, and drinking a glass of water before meals tend to help.
Coming soon.
  • The lowest possible dose of corticosteroids should be used to control your symptoms.
  • When reducing or stopping the dose, do it very slowly and follow your doctor's instructions exactly to prevent major health emergencies.
  • If you used Decadron (Dexamethasone) for a long time, you could get withdrawal symptoms like muscle pain, joint pain, and malaise.
  • Some people gain weight while taking Decadron (Dexamethasone) or can experience other side effects like mood changes.
  • Don't get live or live/attenuated vaccines while on this. Killed or inactivated vaccines are fine.
  • A taper is is often needed to stop the medicine, especially if you've been on it for more than 1 week.
  • The dose and duration on how long you need the medicine depends on your condition and response.
  • Take it exactly as your doctor prescribed.
  • Take with food to decrease stomach upset.
  • Can cause trouble sleeping. Take in the morning or 2-3 hours before bed if more than one dose is needed.
  • Can cause changes in mood, blood pressure, blood sugar, and water retention.
  • You should check your blood pressure and blood sugar when taking this medicine if you already have high blood pressure or diabetes.
  • Shake the eye drops well before using.
  • Press your finger gently on the inner corner of your eye after the drops are in to keep them there.
  • Wait 1 minute between each drop if you're giving yourself more than 1 drop.
  • If you have other eye drops, wait 5 minutes in between different sets of eye drops.
  • If your symptoms don't get better after 2 days, you may need to try a different medicine.
  • Let your doctor know if you have eye pain, pressure, infections, or changes in eye sight.
  • A taper is often needed to stop the medicine, especially if you've been on it for more than 1 week.
  • The dose and duration on how long you need the medicine depends on your condition and response.
  • Take it exactly as your doctor prescribed.
  • Take with food to decrease stomach upset.
  • Can cause trouble sleeping. Take in the morning or 2-3 hours before bed if more than one dose is needed.
  • Can cause changes in mood, blood pressure, blood sugar, and water retention.
  • You should check your blood pressure and blood sugar when taking this medicine if you already have high blood pressure or diabetes.
Coming soon.
Learn more
More about CortefSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about cortisoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
More about dexamethasoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
More about PrednisoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
More about PrednisoloneSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
More about MedrolSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
More about fludrocortisoneSide effectsFDA package insert