What is a Generic Drug?

A generic drug is a copy of the brand-name drug with the same dosage, safety, strength, quality, consumption method, performance, and intended use. Before generics become available on the market, the generic company must prove it has the same active ingredients as the brand-name drug and works in the same way and in the same amount of time in the body.

The only differences between generics and their brand-name counterparts is that generics are less expensive and may look slightly different (eg. different shape or color), as trademarks laws prevent a generic from looking exactly like the brand-name drug.

Generics are less expensive because generic manufacturers don't have to invest large sums of money to develop a drug. When the brand-name patent expires, generic companies can manufacture a copy of the brand-name and sell it at a substantial discount.

Cortef (Hydrocortisone)


Cortef (Hydrocortisone)

Prescription Required


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Generic Equivalent - Cortef (Hydrocortisone)

Prescription Required


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  • Product Details


    What is Cortef?

    • Cortef (hydrocortisone) is a medication known as a steroid. It is usually used to treat inflammation associated with immune response. It also has an immunosuppressive and antiproliferative effect.

    How does it work?

    • Cortef decreases your body's ability to produce its natural inflammatory chemicals. It also reduces your body's ability to move white blood cells to areas of injury, which results in reduced inflammation.

    How is it supplied?

    • You can buy Cortef online as 5mg, 10mg, or 20mg tablets. You can also buy Cortef generic tablets.

    How should I store it?

    • Store your Cortef or hydrocortisone tablets at room temperature and keep them out of reach of children.

    Fact Table




    US FDA



    Legal status

    US: RX Only

    Chemical Name


    Elimination half-life


    Dosage (Strength)



    Consult Doctor


    A-hydrocort, Cortef, Solu-cortef

    Protein binding


    PubChem CID






    ATC code






    Routes of administration

    By mouth (tablets), intravenous, topical, rectal


    Should I take Cortef with food?

    • You can take Cortef with or without food. If your doctor prescribes a large dose, you should take it with a meal.

    Are there any special instructions?

    • Your doctor could adjust your dose to get the best results for you. You should work closely with your doctor during your therapy.
    • You should not stop taking Cortef abruptly unless instructed. Your doctor should give you instructions to slowly reduce your dose until you can stop.

    What is the usual dose?

    • The usual dose of Cortef is anywhere from 20mg to 240mg per day.
      • Your doctor will probably start with a higher dose until a good response is seen, and then reduce it to a maintenance dose.


    What is the active ingredient in Cortef?

    • The active ingredient is hydrocortisone.

    What are the inactive ingredients?


    Who should avoid taking Cortef?

    • You should not take Cortef if you have a known allergy to any of the ingredients.
    • Do not use Cortef if you have a systemic fungal infection.

    What are the risks?

    • Cortef can cause an increase in blood pressure. Discuss your risk with your doctor.
    • You should not receive live vaccines while using Cortef. Talk to your pharmacist or doctor about alternative vaccines.
    • You should not receive a smallpox vaccine while using Cortef.
    • You could achieve a diminished response to vaccines received while using Cortef.
    • Using Cortef can cause changes in your calcium and potassium levels. Discuss your risk with your physician. You could require supplementation during your treatment.
    • Cortef can have adverse effects on people with endocrine and metabolic disorders. Talk to your doctor if you have any of the following:
    • Your risk of infection can be increased while using Cortef. The signs and symptoms of an infection can also be hidden while using Cortef. Discuss your risk with your doctor.
    • Tell your doctor if you have ever had Tuberculosis. Cortef can result in reactivation of latent infection.
    • Cortef can cause psychiatric disturbances. Tell your doctor if you suffer from emotional instability or psychotic tendencies.
    • Tell your doctor if you have any of the following conditions before starting Cortef:
      • Peptic ulcer
      • Diverticulitis
      • Kidney disease
      • Osteoporosis
      • Myasthenia gravis

    Side Effects

    What are the side effects of Cortef?

    • Osteoporosis
    • Psychotic disorder
    • Fluid retention
    • Electrolyte changes
    • Increased blood pressure
    • Muscle weakness
    • Muscle pain
    • Decreased muscle mass
    • Increased liver enzymes
    • Impaired wound healing
    • Vertigo
    • Headache
    • Suppression of growth in children
    • Menstrual irregularities
    • Manifestation of latent diabetes
    • Cushing's syndrome
    • High blood sugar
    • Tendon rupture
    • Vertebral compression fracture
    • Aseptic necrosis of femoral and humeral heads
    • Fracture of long bones
    • Peptic ulcer
    • Pancreatitis
    • Abdominal distention
    • Ulcerative esophagitis
    • Convulsions
    • Elevated cerebral pressure
    • Adrenocortical and pituitary unresponsiveness
    • Pheochromocytoma
    • Pulmonary tuberculosis
    • Leukocytosis


    1. DailyMed - CORTEF- hydrocortisone tablet. (2019). Retrieved April 05, 2020
    2. Cortef. (n.d.). Retrieved April 05, 2020

    Frequently Asked Questions about Cortef (Hydrocortisone)

    What is Cortef (Hydrocortisone)?

    Cortef, also known as Hydrocortisone, is a medication that belongs to the corticosteroid class. It is a synthetic form of cortisol, a hormone naturally produced by the adrenal glands.

    What is Cortef used for?

    Cortef is used to treat various medical conditions, including inflammation, allergic reactions, autoimmune disorders, and adrenal gland problems. It is also used as hormone replacement therapy in certain situations.

    How does Cortef work?

    Cortef works by suppressing inflammation and the immune response in the body. It can reduce symptoms such as swelling, redness, itching, and pain associated with various conditions.

    What conditions are commonly treated with Cortef?

    Cortef is often used to manage conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, allergies, inflammatory skin conditions (e.g., eczema), and adrenal insufficiency.

    Is Cortef available over-the-counter?

    No, Cortef is generally available by prescription only. It is important to use this medication under the supervision of a healthcare provider because of potential side effects and the need for proper dosing.

    What are the potential side effects of Cortef?

    Common side effects of Cortef may include increased appetite, weight gain, mood changes, insomnia, and increased susceptibility to infections. Prolonged use or high doses can lead to more serious side effects like osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and glucose intolerance.

    How should I take Cortef?

    Follow your healthcare provider's instructions carefully. Cortef is typically taken by mouth with or without food. The dosing schedule and duration of treatment will depend on your specific medical condition.

    Can I stop taking Cortef suddenly?

    No, you should not stop taking Cortef abruptly, especially if you've been using it for an extended period. Your healthcare provider will guide you on how to taper the dose gradually to avoid withdrawal symptoms and potential complications.

    Can Cortef be used in children?

    Yes, Cortef can be prescribed for children, but the dosage and duration of treatment will be determined by a pediatrician based on the child's specific medical condition.

    How should I store Cortef?

    Store Cortef at room temperature, away from moisture and light. Keep it out of the reach of children.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. See your health care professional for medical advice and treatment.

    Product Code : 11549

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