CORTEF Reviews

Average Rating: 3.9 (37 Ratings)

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 Type: Rx Drug

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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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 5  Pituitary failure It has saved my life-literally and figuratively. After three years of unremitting stress, my already compromised pituitary quit sending messages to my adrenals. I could barely drag myself anywhere. I thank God for having my doctor figure out my problem. And now I am at the gym everyday and in spite of of a great hunger, am controlling my weight. F 75 6 months
12 1/2/day
 5  Adrenal insufficiency A burst of buzzing energy, incredible hunger, especially for sweets, quick sugar. I have not gained any weight, in spite of my constant eating. Since I almost couldn't move prior to taking it, it's marvelous. I feel like me again, but running on high just a bit. I feel like my metabolism is running high, since I get warm after I take it. I need to be aware not to take my afternoon dose too late, or I won't sleep. I would give it two thumbs and two big toes way up. F 56 30 days
20 mg then 2X D
 4  Hypopituitarism Sheehan I struggled with a misdiagnosis for 2 years, cfs fibromyalgia etc until someone noted my low blood pressure and investigated. Upon starting cortef I immediately felt extremely hungry on my initial dose of 50mg and put on 25kgs in 1 month! But there was good stuff too. I could shower without collapsing. I could get away with less sleep and wasn't zoning out in the middle of a conversation! I could move around without becoming breathless and easily tired. Sadly I could never get back to the gym addict I once was coz there's not enough energy for extra things. My dose has been tapered to 10mg in the morning 5mg in the afternoon and 5 at 4pm. Apparently taking it at bedtime could keep you awake. I struggle with abdominal pain every now and again. Not sure if that's from cortef. Can't lose the weight even though I try. Overall effect is good. If I forget a dose I relapse into achy joints and severe fatigue and it takes doubling the doses for a day or 2 to get back to normal! It's a lifesaver but everyone around you at home and at work need to be aware of your need for it. In case of emergency e.g. sometimes I forget to double it in a crisis such as sudden illness or critically stressful situation like a heat wave or even simple additional overtime at work when you normally knock off at 5pm. Naturally your body's fight/flight reaction could have done that for you, but a hypopituitarism patient has to manually add on a dose. Discuss with your doctor. I add 5mg when I feel I am coming down with a cold and it helps. F 40 5 years
 1   I immediately gained weight. Went from being really skinny to obese. F 26 17 years
 4  Sheehan syndrome My morning cortisol level was low so endocrinologist prescribed for life beginning 20 mg am and 10 mg pm. I have got a new body more energy, less lethargic and high spirit of working, dizziness Cortef started giving me round face,dry mouth, when delay taking meds given severe neck pain, somewhat helpful for tinnitus, also now notice my lost sex drive coming back spouse is happy but I'm not. F 45 2 months
 4  Adrenal Insufficiency Caution to those who are emotionally sensitive to weight gain, or if weight gain is medically dangerous: before starting Cortef, know that chances are you WILL gain weight. I have gained nearly 30 lbs. over 14 months. I'm finally tapering off Cortef, but the weight is stubborn as all get up. Even with exercise & severe caloric restriction (800 cals or less daily) I've only lost about 10 lbs over 3 months. Cortef helped me, but the weight gain is awful. I knew this going in, but didn't realize how badly it would affect me. Cortef affects metabolic function, fat storage and carbohydrate cravings. Weight gain happens if Cortef is taken in high doses, or even in small doses for long periods of time. I learned my doc kept me on it for much too long. If your doc says you need it temporarily, hold him or her to this statement, and do not let them keep you on it for longer than 6 months or you will face the battle of the bulge. F 38 14 months
.5 mg 1X D

 1  Adrenal insufficiency Rapid weight gain -- 30 pounds in less than a year. I continually asked my doctor why I was gaining weight and never got a straight, direct answer. I was not aware until I attempted to wean off that I may NEVER be able to get off this drug. I should have been told this prior to starting; if I had known, I never would have taken it. New doctor said my lab tests did not justify my taking this! And now I am stuck. F 61 15 months
15 1X D
 4  Addison Disease Headache 30 mins after taking meds also light choking little nausea and anxiety.Had these side effects 2 or 3 times daily. Ate more gain a few pounds. My energy during the day was so much better. Sleeping all night was wonderful. I could not take the side effects. F 69 1 months
 4  Addison's Disease I gained 30 lbs and at times i can become irritable......not very often. I started lowering my dose from 30 mg per day to eventually 20 mg per day. This is suppose to help with my weight and live a longer life. F 72 3 years
10 3X D
 4  Addison's disease When I was first put on this, I was put on 100mg a day because there was no endo at the hospital and the doctors had no idea how much I was supposed to take. I gained weight like crazy -- starving all the time, gained almost 70lbs. When I was finally able to get into an endo after 4 months (we don't have many in our town, so they're overbooked), he tapered my dose down to 20 mg a day, divided into 2 doses. I've stopped gaining weight but can't seem to lose even a pound even though it's been over 2 years. This is very distressing to me. I do like feeling good and not like the walking dead, but I hate the way I look. F 20 2 years
20mg 1X D
 5   Only from Maltodextrine - sugar substitute in it. I am allergic to all sugars. No side effects when took with ginger. I was taking it according to my Saliva test (4 times a day test) It showed that my cortisol is low in the morning and barely normal during the day. I was not able to tolerate other supplements that usually help with adrenal fatigue due to allergy. So I took 10 mg in the morning, 7,5 for lunch, 5 for dinner and 2,5 before bedtime to support blood sugar. My blood sugar drop at night and my adrenals depleted as a result. Initially mercury fillings, synthetic hormones and following Candida infection, damaged them. Now I feel much better and can work with help of other supplements whole day. Never take such strong drugs without saliva test. F 57 6 months
25 mg 1X D
 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
 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
 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  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
 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
 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
 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
 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
 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

CORTEF  (HYDROCORTISONE):  Hydrocortisone is a natural substance (corticosteroid hormone) made by the adrenal gland. It is used to treat conditions such as arthritis, blood/hormone/immune system disorders, skin and eye conditions, breathing problems, cancer, and severe allergies. It decreases your immune system's response to various diseases to reduce symptoms such as pain, swelling and allergic-type reactions. Hydrocortisone is also used to treat low hydrocortisone levels caused by diseases of the adrenal gland (such as Addison's disease, adrenocortical insufficiency). Corticosteroids are needed in many ways for the body to function well. They are important for salt and water balance and keeping blood pressure normal.   (Sources: U.S. Centers for Medicare Services, FDA)