Drug Ratings for CORTEF

Average Rating: 4.0 (26 Ratings)

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Key to Ratings: 1=LOW (I would not recommend taking this medicine.)
5=HIGH (this medicine cured me or helped me a great deal.)   

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RATING  REASONSIDE EFFECTS FOR CORTEFCOMMENTSSEXAGEDURATION/
DOSAGE
DATE ADDED
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 5  Adrenal System Deficient Weight gain, and depression though I am on other steroids and it may be a cumulative effect. After having my Pituitary Gland removed steroid replacement was my only good option. I haven't experienced any of the highs mentioned by others though sleep can be an issue. That issue has been resolved with taking low doses of Ambien on occasion. When I don't follow the daily dosage protocols, I forget or get busy, headaches become an issue. M 45 4 years
5 3X D
5/25/2014
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 1  Doctor had no reason to prescribed I went in the hospital and came out a different person. Steroid psychosis for 3 weeks. Cleveland Clinic said the Doctor here in Louisville "had no right to give me this drug" He did not even do a Total Cortisol. Two test results normal and one slightly off. I can't find it now as my memory is gone too. I had 40 seizures per day and it took the doctors 14 months to find out. Also Frontal Lobe Dysfunction, Short term memory loss, meningioma that has doubled in size in six months. 40 seizures per day. This drug should never have been given to me! This drug has devastated my life.Dr. Poorkay writes down that "patient seems to be high" - I wasn't on any medication to make me "high" - I took thyroid med, insulin and Lexapro - same for many years. I have not been able to function to clean my home at all. Worst of all, the hospital did not believe me when I said I was not absorbing nutrients from my food. Cleveland Clinic told me I was "absolutely correct in my diagnosis of myself" - I had not been in a Louisville, KY hospital for 15 years because of incompetence like this. I've always come out in worse shape. Now, my life has been destroyed and I am devastated at what this drug has done to me. I had a photographic memory - It is gone. I could write anything, spell anything and now nothing. I didn't sue him. It would not bring back my sharp mind. I am very upset and ill with other things. This should never have happened when he didn't even do the correct testing. My body is very ill after 35 years with Type I diabetes and now collegenous colitis. After Cortef I have lost total bowel control at 57 years old. I've lost two years of my life. Pfzier should pay me as I live on Disability and this doctor wiped out what little savings I had for trial and error drugs I couldn't afford. Now, it is either food or meds for me. The Hospital doesn't care either. The worst part of this is that I felt God with me every day. It was Joy not being "high" - Pure Joy. I have been hurt F 57 3 weeks
10 mg. 2X D
5/8/2013
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 1  NO MEDICALLY NECESSARILY REASON Seizures, Frontal lobe dysfunction, short term memory loss. Has devastated my life. Cleveland Clinic Doctor told me that Dr. Poorkay in Louisville Norton's Hospital Endocrinology "had no right to put me on this drug according to my test results" She took me off the drug in three days. I have never recovered. My life has been devastated. F 56 3 weeks
10 mg. 2X D
1/17/2013
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 1  Cortisol was slightly off-Mistake As a result of taking Cortef which I should never have been prescribed as the doctor did not do all the tests required. I told him in the hospital I did not want to be on a steroid. He told me he was only putting me on 5 mg. twice daily. I would have no side effects from the drug. He lied to me. I went into steroid psychosis and was out of my mind. I had to go to Cleveland Clinic and the Endocrinologist there, Dr. LeeAnn O'Lansky said, "who put you on this drug!" I told her and she said, "He had no right to put you on this drug!" You need to get off asap. I did over three days which was a little fast. The psychosis lasted 3 weeks, then my memory was gone, I was having seizures, getting lost and now have a menegioma in the rt. frontal lobe. I have no short term memory and have Frontal Lobe Dysfunction. This doctor has devastated my life. I cannot write or spell as I used to. I was a champion speller, photographic memory and could write a letter to anyone quickly. All I can do is type some now and remain confused most of the time. I cannot clean my house. I function very slowly. I am on seizure medication as I was having 40 seizures per day. Prior to the Cortef I was fine. I am so devastated I don't know what to do. I was on disability due to other problems with Type I Diabetes, but my Mind was FINE. This doctor has ruined my independent life. Does this sound competent to you? - He comes in my room and starts messing around with my insulin pump, doesn't tell me what he is doing, but he changes something. In one minute a nurse comes in my room and says Dr. Poorkay says to put your pump back the way you had it. - His name is Medhi Poorkay. I cannot tell you what this has done to my life. I am beyond devastated as I can no longer functi F 56 3 weeks
10 mg. 2X D
1/14/2013
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 5  Lupus, exhaustion from CFS Only remote negative side effect is that I wake up bright eyed at 4:00 am. (not idea to only sleep 7 hours a day-actually caught on while typing this that is normal-would like to get in 8-9, but 4:00 am wake up is small price to pay for me. Which is better than me waking up at noon before and still being to exhausted to do anything beyond climbing back to bed an hour later. As I typed above- I just realized I sleep like a "Normal person" now vs requiring 14 hours and still not bring able to do much. I fought taking this medication for the 3 years it has been prescribed. I get 90 day supply, but never touched it. Heard to many "horror stories". I'm kicking myself for not listening to Dr. much sooner. I wasted 3 years of my 30s resting. I get slightly revved up feeling if I don't need as much so I adjust dose (with Dr's permission) as needed. Some days I need 20mg. Some days 5 mg. I listen to my body. My entire family noticed a change immediately (even those who have no clue I take it). I feel like I felt prior to getting sick. I've actually lost a pound. Starting to exercise (baby steps) water aerobics has been amazing for me starting out. Obviously do research and listen to your Dr, but please don't discount this med because of some random Internet post about how "evil" this med is. Saved my life and gave my husband/children their wife/ mom back. I have hope for my future. Good luck on your journey~ F 42 14 days
10-20 1X D
6/21/2012
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 5  low cortisol after Epstein Barr V AMAZING I am getting my life back. Stronger, more stable, more stamina, not crashing after simple errands. No more shakiness no more weakness. I am actually healing! I have not gained a single pound. It is letting my thyroid medication actually work instead of pooling in my blood. I am no longer sleepy. Buy the book Safe Uses of Cortisol by Dr. W McK Jeffries - all drs and endo drs should know this work by heart. F 42 7 weeks
5mg 4X D
12/10/2011
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 4  Adrenal fatigue Only stomach aches but desappearing after 4 days of taking it. Now I can take the Cortef without food. My left adrenal stop to hurt and it now is swelling. The right adrenal hurt a lot, but it stop to hurt. My AM cortisol level (without cortef) increased after 2 months of treatment and im feeling better. M 25 2 months
5 mg 3X D
8/8/2011
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 5  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome A feeling of hunger sometimes when the pill first takes effect. Somewhat more drinking and peeing. Cortef gave me a life back when before I could only lie down, doing next to nothing except for 4 hours per day of low/moderate energy. After Cortef I have at least a low level of energy with which to live a more normal life. I can't work still, but I can take care of myself. F 61 11 years
5 mg 2X D
1/4/2011

 5  Adreanal Failure, CFS, FM Maybe once a week I will take a dose and I will experience a 20 minute period when it feels like I am taking "speed" instead of Cortef. I was tested using the saliva method and was determind to be in adreanal failure. I started taking Cortef 4 times a day - I have never felt better. It literraly was a lifer saver. The only problem is that it is so artificial - if I forget to take a dose or a day's worth - I can't move. That's what scares me. Sometimes I think Cortef fools me in to thinking I am ALOT better thank I am. F 24 3 months
10 4X D
12/28/2010
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 4  low cortisol severe night sweats, sleep walking/eating to the point of running into walls, breaking dishes as asleep then woke when dish fell and broke, wake eat, sleep in middle of eating, made my adrenal glands completely stop working, major stomach weight gain and bloating in stomach PCP originally put me on Cortef for low cortisol levels. I didn't realize what all good it was doing until specialist that said I never should have been put on it started weaning me off it. Realized as I got to low dose of 5mg a day that it helped my fatigue, chronic pain, and anxiety alot. F 47 2 years
25 3X D
9/18/2010

 3  Hypopituitary, no pituitary gland Water weight gain Was on Prednisone for 29 years. Have switched to Cortef and am not sure how it is different or the same. Can't drop any weight. Had to decrease from 25mg to 20mg. Gained too much water weight. Still get really tired even after sleep. Not sure. F 48 21 days
1/2/2010
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 4  Adrenal insufficiency Some moodiness/mild depression, small weight gain (less than 5lbs), but considerable stomach bloating (went from size 4 to size 8-10 in pants) Overall, this medicine has helped a lot! I could barely move a lot of days, and this has allowed me to return to working considerably more hours. Although taking something like this long term isn't anyone's ideal, I don't know what I would do without it. The side effects are tolerable considering the huge gain. F 25 3 months
12/4/2009

 5  hypopituitary Negative = Irritability, depression, increased energy. Positive = ability to tolerate cold, temperature regulation. Negative side-effects of Cortef are totally erased by Lexapro (SSRI). Because of prolapsed pituitary adenoma, I am on cortef for the rest of my life. (Same as Addisons). It replaces my ACTH without which my body cannot regulate it's temperature, (resulting in spikes to 105 degrees), as well as breathing, heart rate, or bowel functions. Cortef is a LIFE SAVER. M 57 6 years
11/8/2009

 5  Adrenal insufficiency None After only three days I feel normal again and my partner has noticed a big change. It's incredible, after the oddysey I have been through! F 42 4 days
9/8/2009

 1  Adrenal Insufficiency Psychiatric emergency. My very first (low) dose sent me into 48 hours of extreme agitation and suicidal behaviors. During this entire period, I did not sleep at all. I could not stop pacing and crying and flailing my arms about. I begged my husband to hide the car keys because I wanted to drive off a cliff. The only reason that I did not allow myself to be taken to the hospital is that I was afraid they would lock me up in the psych ward for good. It was only the vigilance of my dear husband that saved my life during this time (he didn't get a wink of sleep either, for two days straight). My understanding is that what I experienced was a very rare adverse reaction, but I would advise anyone trying this drug for the first time to exercise extreme caution and make sure someone is there as a "safety net" in case things go very wrong, as they did with me. I cannot emphasize this strongly enough. F 49 1 times
5/16/2009

 5  Addisons Disease After a crisis, was put on cortef. It has saved my life. I cannot even move without taking it for the day. I do make my last dose before 3 pm or I won't sleep. For Addisons disease it is great. I take fludrocortisone with it to keep sodium stable. F 50 10 years
8/24/2008

 5  Suspected Addison's disease Slight stimulation if I don't take my evening early enough I have been on prednisone and dexamethasone and I find I become very irritable while taking them. Didn't get any sleep either, and felt nauseus on the latter. M 14 days
4/3/2008
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 5  Adrenal insufficiency negative side effects?? I only have negative side effects if I don't take it. Cortef has given me my life back!! If you're concerned about taking Cortef, read the book by William Jefferies MD, Safe Uses of Cortisol. F 53 3 years
7/10/2007

 4  Adrenalectomy Due to Cushing I had mood swings occasionally. Increased appetite for a while, then I lost my appetite. Trouble sleeping because I take it twice a day, and the last does kicks in about the time I go to bed normally. Otherwise everything is great I have been taking it since I had my adrenal gland removed in the end of March. F 24 3 months
7/1/2007

 4  Adrenal Insufficiency Slight weight gain. I switched from prednisone to Cortef as the prednisone was making me severely irritable and giving me insomnia. Cortef is much more gentle on my system, I can sleep again, and it makes me feel normal! F 33 2 days
3/27/2007

 5  Adrenal insufficiency Sleep disturbance if taken after lunch. It must be taken in the morning so that my cortisol drops again by night. Otherwise no problems at all. The cortisol produced by my Adrenals was practically nil (tested by saliva hormone test). Cortef corrected or improved many problems form low cortisol: hypoglycemia, eyes sensitive to bright light, poor stress response, anxiety. M 44 4 months
1/4/2007

 5  Adrenal Insufficiency None. I am on 20 mg a day and going wonderfully. It has eliminated my hypoglycemia, fatigue, nausea, vertigo, and depression. F 24 7 weeks
7/12/2006

 5  Addison's Disease Only side effect is increased irritability so I have to be careful when working with others It literally is a life saver M 58 39 years
3/3/2006

 4  Adrenal Gland Failure I am also hypoglycemic. This drug seemed to drop my blood sugar even lower, especially in the morning - so I needed to eat when taking it - also added a half glass of orange juice to help. It gave me vertigo some days. F 42 22 days
10/5/2005

 4  Addisons some stomach pain I can tell it is working after only 3 days. Much more energy. F 45 5 days
9/4/2005
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 5  adrenal insufficiency increased appetite for a few weeks, then actually did not feel as hungry. I believe this has stabilized my system, no mood swings, migranes decreased and have more energy, and generalized body pain decreased F 40 6 days
8/24/2005

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