Hydrocortisone: How to Use, Dosage, Effects, Secondary, Warnings, Precautions, Interactions and Storage

It is a corticosteroid. It is used to treat skin inflammation, joints, lungs, and other organs.

Hydrocortisone is very common to treat a wide variety of skin conditions, for example, insect bites, poison ivy, eczema, dermatitis, allergies, rash, itching of the external female genitals, anal itching, etc.

Hydrocortisone reduces the swelling, itching, and redness in these types of conditions.

How to use hydrocortisone in cream?

There are many hydrocortisone products available. Many can be purchased without a prescription, and other products require a prescription. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about the choice of the best product for you.

The cream presentation should be used on the skin, but do not use it on the face or armpits unless your doctor tells you to. Some products are intended to be used on the scalp for various conditions.

To use these products correctly, follow the instructions in the product package.

Wash and dry your hands before use, then be sure to clean and dry the affected area. If you are using lotion or foam, shake it well before using it.


If you use the spray, check the product package to see if you need to shake it before each use.

Apply a small amount of medicine to the affected area and rub gently, usually up to 4 times a day or as your doctor or product package directs.

Dosage and Duration

The dose and duration of treatment depend on the type of condition being treated. Do not sell or cover the area unless your doctor tells you to. If used in or near a baby’s diaper area, do not use tight diapers or plastic-based trousers.

After applying the medication, wash your hands unless the hands are being treated.

Avoid getting this medication in your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you get the medicine in these areas, rinse with plenty of water. If the irritation occurs or continues, contact your doctor immediately.

Use this medication only for the condition for which it was prescribed or a condition detailed on the product packaging. Do not use it for longer than indicated by the product packaging or your doctor.

Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens after seven days or if you think you may have a severe medical problem.

What are the possible side effects of hydrocortisone?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives, difficult breathing, swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using hydrocortisone and call your doctor if you have these severe symptoms:

  • Blurred vision or seeing halos around the lights.
  • Uneven heartbeats.
  • Problems are sleeping (insomnia).
  • Weight gain, swelling in your face.
  • Feeling tired.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • Redness of the skin, burning, itching, or peeling.
  • Weakening of your skin
  • Blistered skin.
  • Stretch marks.

There are other types of side effects that can occur. Call your doctor for medical information about side effects.


For external use only, do not use in:

  • The genital area Consult your doctor.
  • For the treatment of diaper rash. Consult your doctor.

When using this product:

  • Avoid contact with the eyes.
  • Do not use more than directed unless directed by a doctor.
  • Do not place it directly in the rectum using your fingers or any mechanical device or applicator.

Stop using and ask a doctor if:

  • The condition gets worse.
  • Symptoms persist for more than seven days or go away and come back in a few days, and do not start using any other hydrocortisone product unless you have seen a doctor.
  • Rectal bleeding occurs.


If you have any health problems, consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this product:

  • If you have itching on the external female genitals with vaginal discharge, consult your doctor before using this product.
  • Do not use it if there is an infection or sore in the area to be treated. Skin infections may get worse when this medicine is used. Tell your doctor immediately if the redness, swelling, or irritation does not improve.
  • Children may be more sensitive to the effects of too much corticosteroid medication. Check with your doctor for more details.
  • In pregnancy, this medication should be used only when necessary. Check the risks and benefits with your doctor.
  • It is unknown if this medication alters breast milk when applied to the skin. Similar drugs contaminate breast milk when taken orally. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.


  • If prescribed, tell your doctor or pharmacist about all herbal and nonprescription products you can use before using this product.
  • Take a list of all your medications with you and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
  • Do not use this medicine with other similar drugs.
  • If prescribed by your doctor, use this medication only for your current condition. Do not use it later for other skin problems unless your doctor tells you to; another medication may be necessary in those cases.
  • Attend all medical consultations and laboratory tests.


Check the storage information printed on the package. Protect from light and moisture. Do not store it in the bathroom.

If you have any questions about storage, ask your pharmacist. Keep all pharmacological products away from children and pets.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the medication as soon as you remember it. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the dose and use the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not use additional medication to make up for the missed dose.

What happens if there is an overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine or if someone swallowed you accidentally. It is not believed that an overdose of topical hydrocortisone applied to the skin will produce life-threatening symptoms.

Use of hydrocortisone orally.

It is used to treat arthritis, blood/hormone / immune system disorders, skin and eye conditions, respiratory problems, cancer, and severe allergies.

It decreases the response of your immune system to various diseases to reduce symptoms such as pain, swelling, and allergic-type reactions.

Hydrocortisone is also used to treat low levels of hydrocortisone caused by diseases of the adrenal gland (such as Addison’s disease and adrenocortical insufficiency).

Corticosteroids are needed in many ways for the body to function well. They are essential for balancing salt and water and for maintaining normal blood pressure.

Dosage and administration of hydrocortisone tablets

The initial dosage of hydrocortisone tablets may vary from 20 mg to 240 mg of hydrocortisone per day, depending on the treated disease entity.

In less demanding situations, the lower doses will generally be sufficient, while in some patients, higher initial doses may be required.

The initial dosage should be maintained or adjusted until a satisfactory response is observed.

If, after a reasonable period, there is a lack of satisfactory clinical response, the hydrocortisone should be discontinued, and the patient should be transferred to another appropriate therapy.

It should be emphasized that the dosage requirements are variable and should be individualized based on the disease under treatment and patient response.

After a favorable response is noted, the appropriate maintenance dose should be determined by decreasing the initial dosage of the drug in small decrements at appropriate time intervals until the lowest amount is reached that will maintain an adequate clinical response.

It should be borne in mind that constant monitoring is necessary concerning the dosage of the drug.

Included in situations that can make necessary dose adjustments are changed in clinical status secondary to remissions or exacerbations in the disease process.

The individual response capacity of the patient’s drug and the effect of the patient’s exposure to stressful situations are not directly related to the disease entity under treatment.

In this latter situation, it may be necessary to increase the dose of hydrocortisone for some time according to the patient’s condition. If after long-term therapy, the medication should be discontinued.

For the intravenous supply of hydrocortisone, consult your doctor.