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    Last updated: Septembre 2023


    Prescription under medical supervision


    Therapeutic action

    • Short-acting steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (corticosteroid)


    • Symptomatic treatment of severe allergic and inflammatory reactions, when oral administration is not possible

    Forms and strengths, route of administration

    • Powder for injection, 100 mg hydrocortisone (hemisuccinate, succinate or phosphate) in vial, to be dissolved in 2 ml water for injection, for IM or slow IV injection or infusion

    Dosage and duration

    • Child one month to 11 years: 4 mg/kg (max. 100 mg)
    • Child 12 years and over and adult: 100 to 200 mg

    Doses may be repeated at 6 or 8 hour-intervals up to 3 or 4 times according to reaction severity and clinical response. Change to oral route with prednisolone as soon as possible.

    Contra-indications, adverse effects, precautions

    • In case of systemic infection, only administer if patient is under antimicrobial treatment.
    • Avoid prolonged administration in patients with peptic ulcer, diabetes mellitus or cirrhosis.
    • May cause (if prolonged treatment with high doses): adrenal suppression, muscle atrophy, growth retardation, increased susceptibility to infections, sodium and water retention (oedema and hypertension), osteoporosis, hypokalaemia, digitalis toxicity due to potassium loss in patients taking digitalis glycosides.
    • Pregnancy: no contra-indication
    • Breast-feeding: no contra-indication


    • 20 mg of hydrocortisone has the same anti-inflammatory activity as 5 mg of prednisolone or prednisone and 0.75 mg of dexamethasone.
    • Hydrocortisone acetate is a suspension insoluble in water, used as a local treatment only: intra- or periarticular injection, epidural (sciatic neuralgia).


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