Components:
Hydrocortisone
Method of action:
Antiallergic, Antiexudative, Antihemorrhoidal, Anti-Inflammatory, Antipruritic, Anti-Shock, Corticosteroids For Systemic Use, Corticosteroids, Dermatological Preparations, Desensitizing, Glucocorticoid, Weak
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Medically reviewed by Kovalenko Svetlana Olegovna, PharmD Last updated on 2019.06.26

Name of the medicinal product

Genkort

Qualitative and quantitative composition

Hydrocortisone

Therapeutic indications

The information provided in Therapeutic indications of Genkort is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Genkort of the medicine (Hydrocortisone). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Therapeutic indications in the instructions to the drug Genkort directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Cream; Foam; Gel/Jelly; Kit; Liquid; Lotion; Ointment; Pad; Paste; Solution; Spray; Stick
Eye ointment; Lyophilizate for the preparation of solution for intravenous and intramuscular administration; Ointment for external use; Substance-powder; Suspension for intramuscular and intraarticular administration
Powder and solvent for solution for injection
Film-coated tablet; Modified-release tablet
Coated tablet
Pills

PANDEL® (hydrocortisone probutate) Cream, 0.1% is indicated for the relief of the inflammatory and pruritic manifestations of corticosteroid-responsive dermatoses in patients 18 years of age or older.

Insect bite and sting reactions

Anti-inflammatory agent.

Genkort is indicated for any condition in which rapid and intense corticosteroid effect is required such as:

1. Endocrine disorders

Primary or secondary adrenocortical insufficiency

2. Collagen diseases

Systemic lupus erythematosus

3. Dermatological diseases

Severe erythema multiforme (Stevens-Johnson syndrome)

4. Allergic states

Bronchial asthma, anaphylactic reactions

5. Gastro-intestinal diseases

Ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease

6. Respiratory diseases

Aspiration of gastric contents

7. Medical emergencies

Genkort is indicated in the treatment of shock secondary to adrenocortical insufficiency or shock unresponsive to conventional therapy when adrenocortical insufficiency may be present.

Treatment of adrenal insufficiency in adults.

Ulcerative colitis, proctosigmoiditis and granular proctitis.

Genkort Tablets are indicated in the following conditions.

Endocrine Disorders

Primary or secondary adrenocortical insufficiency (hydrocortisone or cortisone is the first choice; synthetic analogs may be used in conjunction with mineralocorticoids where applicable; in infancy mineralocorticoid supplementation is of particular importance)

Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
Non suppurative thyroiditis
Hypercalcemia associated with cancer

Rheumatic Disorders

As adjunctive therapy for short-term administration (to tide the patient over an acute episode or exacerbation) in:

Psoriatic arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis, including juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (selected cases may require low-dose maintenance therapy)
Ankylosing spondylitis
Acute and subacute bursitis
Acute nonspecific tenosynovitis
Acute gouty arthritis
Post-traumatic osteoarthritis
Synovitis of osteoarthritis
Epicondylitis

Collagen Diseases

During an exacerbation or as maintenance therapy in selected cases of:

Systemic lupus erythematosus
Systemic dermatomyositis (polymyositis)
Acute rheumatic carditis

Dermatologic Diseases

Pemphigus
Bullous dermatitis herpetiformis
Severe erythema multiforme (Stevens-Johnson syndrome)
Exfoliative dermatitis
Mycosis fungoides
Severe psoriasis
Severe seborrheic dermatitis

Allergic States

Control of severe or incapacitating allergic conditions intractable to adequate trials of conventional treatment:

Seasonal or perennial allergic rhinitis
Serum sickness
Bronchial asthma
Contact dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis
Drug hypersensitivity reactions

Ophthalmic Diseases

Severe acute and chronic allergic and inflammatory processes involving the eye and its adnexa such as:

Allergic conjunctivitis
Keratitis
Allergic corneal marginal ulcers
Herpes zoster ophthalmicus
Iritis and iridocyclitis
Chorioretinitis
Anterior segment inflammation
Diffuse posterior uveitis and choroiditis
Optic neuritis
Sympathetic ophthalmia

Respiratory Diseases

Symptomatic sarcoidosis
Loeffler's syndrome not manageable by other means
Berylliosis
Fulminating or disseminated pulmonary tuberculosis when used concurrently with appropriate antituberculous chemotherapy
Aspiration pneumonitis

Hematologic Disorders

Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura in adults
Secondary thrombocytopenia in adults
Acquired (autoimmune) hemolytic anemia
Erythroblastopenia (RBC anemia)
Congenital (erythroid) hypoplastic anemia

Neoplastic Diseases

For palliative management of:

Leukemias and lymphomas in adults
Acute leukemia of childhood

Edematous States

To induce a diuresis or remission of proteinuria in the nephrotic syndrome, without uremia, of the idiopathic type or that due to lupus erythematosus.

Gastrointestinal Diseases

To tide the patient over a critical period of the disease in:

Ulcerative colitis
Regional enteritis

Nervous System

Acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis

Miscellaneous

Tuberculous meningitis with subarachnoid block or impending block when used concurrently with appropriate antituberculous chemotherapy
Trichinosis with neurologic or myocardial involvement

Dosage (Posology) and method of administration

The information provided in Dosage (Posology) and method of administration of Genkort is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Genkort of the medicine (Hydrocortisone). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Dosage (Posology) and method of administration in the instructions to the drug Genkort directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Cream; Foam; Gel/Jelly; Kit; Liquid; Lotion; Ointment; Pad; Paste; Solution; Spray; Stick
Eye ointment; Lyophilizate for the preparation of solution for intravenous and intramuscular administration; Ointment for external use; Substance-powder; Suspension for intramuscular and intraarticular administration
Powder and solvent for solution for injection
Film-coated tablet; Modified-release tablet
Coated tablet
Pills

Apply a thin film of PANDEL to the affected area once or twice a day depending on the severity of the condition. Massage gently until the medication disappears.

Occlusive dressings may be used for the management of refractory lesions of psoriasis and other deep-seated dermatoses, such as localized neurodermatitis (lichen simplex chronicus).

Discontinue PANDEL when control is achieved. If no improvement is seen within 2 weeks, reassessment of the diagnosis may be necessary.

Do not use PANDEL with occlusive dressings unless directed by the physician. Do not apply PANDEL in the diaper area, as diapers or plastic pants may constitute occlusive dressings.

For topical administration.

Apply sparingly to a small area, once or twice a day, for a maximum of 2-3 days. Do not use in pregnancy without medical advice or in children under 10.

Genkort may be administered by intravenous injection, by intravenous infusion, or by intramuscular injection, the preferred method for initial emergency use being intravenous injection. Following the initial emergency period, consideration should be given to employing a longer-acting injectable preparation or an oral preparation.

Dosage usually ranges from 100 mg to 500 mg depending on the severity of the condition, administered by intravenous injection over a period of one to ten minutes. This dose may be repeated at intervals of 2, 4 or 6 hours as indicated by the patient's response and clinical condition.

In general high-dose corticosteroid therapy should be continued only until the patient's condition has stabilised - usually not beyond 48 to 72 hours. If hydrocortisone therapy must be continued beyond 48 to 72 hours hypernatraemia may occur, therefore it may be preferable to replace Genkort with a corticosteroid such as methylprednisolone sodium succinate as little or no sodium retention occurs. Although adverse effects associated with high dose, short-term corticoid therapy are uncommon, peptic ulceration may occur. Prophylactic antacid therapy may be indicated.

Patients subjected to severe stress following corticoid therapy should be observed closely for signs and symptoms of adrenocortical insufficiency.

Corticosteroid therapy is an adjunct to, and not a replacement for, conventional therapy.

In patients with liver disease, there may be an increased effect and reduced dosing may be considered.

Elderly patients: Genkort is primarily used in acute short-term conditions. There is no information to suggest that a change in dosage is warranted in the elderly. However, treatment of elderly patients should be planned bearing in mind the more serious consequences of the common side-effects of corticosteroids in old age and close clinical supervision is required.

Paediatric population: While the dose may be reduced for infants and children, it is governed more by the severity of the condition and response of the patient than by age or body weight but should not be less than 25 mg daily.

Preparation of solutions: For intravenous or intramuscular injection prepare the solution aseptically by adding not more than 2 ml of sterile water for injections to the contents of one vial of Genkort 100 mg, shake and withdraw for use.

For intravenous infusion, first prepare the solution by adding not more than 2 ml of sterile water for injections to the vial; this solution may then be added to 100 ml - 1000 ml (but not less than 100 ml) of 5% dextrose in water (or isotonic saline solution or 5% dextrose in isotonic saline solution if patient is not on sodium restriction).

When reconstituted as directed the pH of the solution will range from 7.0 to 8.0.

Posology

Genkort is given as maintenance therapy. Oral replacement doses must be individualised according to the clinical response. A common maintenance dose is 20 - 30 mg per day, given once daily in the morning. In patients with some remaining endogenous cortisol production a lower dose may be sufficient. 40 mg is the highest maintenance dose studied. The lowest possible maintenance dosage should be used. In situations when the body is exposed to excessive physical and/or mental stress, patients may need additional substitution of immediate release hydrocortisone tablets especially in the afternoon/evening, see also section 'Use in intercurrent illness' where other ways of temporarily increasing the dose of hydrocortisone is described.

Changing from conventional oral glucocorticoid treatment to Genkort

When changing patients from conventional oral hydrocortisone replacement therapy given three times daily to Genkort, an identical total daily dose may be given. Due to a lower bioavailability of the daily dose of Genkort compared to that of conventional hydrocortisone tablets given three times daily clinical response needs to be monitored and further dose individualisation may be required. Changing patients from hydrocortisone tablets given twice daily, cortisone acetate or synthetic glucocorticoids to Genkort has not been studied, but changing to a hydrocortisone equivalent daily dose of Genkort is recommended in these instances; further dose individualisation may be required.

Use in intercurrent illness

During intercurrent illness, there should be high awareness of the risk of developing acute adrenal insufficiency.

In severe situations, an increase in dose is immediately required and oral administration of hydrocortisone must be replaced with parenteral, preferably intravenous treatment.

In less severe situations when intravenous administration of hydrocortisone is not required, for instance low grade infections, fever of any aetiology and stressful situations such as minor surgical procedures, the normal oral daily replacement dose must be increased temporarily; the total daily dose should be increased by administering the maintenance dose twice or thrice daily with 8 ± 2 hours intervals (an increase in number of administrations, not increasing the morning dose). Once the intercurrent illness episode is over, patients can return to the normal maintenance dose.

Special populations

Elderly

Renal impairment

There is no need for dosage adjustment in patients with mild to moderate renal impairment.

Hepatic impairment

There is no need for dose adjustment in mild to moderate hepatic impairment.

Paediatric population

The safety and efficacy of Genkort in children/adolescents aged below 18 years have not yet been established. No data are available.

Method of administration

Patients should be instructed to take Genkort orally with a glass of water on awakening at least 30 minutes before food intake, preferably in an upright position and between 6.00 am and 8.00 am in the morning. It should be swallowed whole; tablets should not be divided, chewed or crushed. If more than one daily administration is required the morning dose should be given as instructed, additional doses given later during the day can be given with or without food.

All ages:

One applicatorful inserted into the rectum once or twice daily for two to three weeks and every second day thereafter.

The initial dosage of Genkort Tablets may vary from 20 mg to 240 mg of hydrocortisone per day depending on the specific disease entity being treated. In situations of less severity lower doses will generally suffice while in selected patients higher initial doses may be required. The initial dosage should be maintained or adjusted until a satisfactory response is noted. If after a reasonable period of time there is a lack of satisfactory clinical response, Genkort should be discontinued and the patient transferred to other appropriate therapy. IT SHOULD BE EMPHASIZED THAT DOSAGE REQUIREMENTS ARE VARIABLE AND MUST BE INDIVIDUALIZED ON THE BASIS OF THE DISEASE UNDER TREATMENT AND THE RESPONSE OF THE PATIENT. After a favorable response is noted, the proper maintenance dosage should be determined by decreasing the initial drug dosage in small decrements at appropriate time intervals until the lowest dosage which will maintain an adequate clinical response is reached. It should be kept in mind that constant monitoring is needed in regard to drug dosage. Included in the situations which may make dosage adjustments necessary are changes in clinical status secondary to remissions or exacerbations in the disease process, the patient's individual drug responsiveness, and the effect of patient exposure to stressful situations not directly related to the disease entity under treatment; in this latter situation it may be necessary to increase the dosage of Genkort for a period of time consistent with the patient's condition. If after long-term therapy the drug is to be stopped, it is recommended that it be withdrawn gradually, rather than abruptly.

Multiple Sclerosis

In treatment of acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis, daily doses of 200 mg of prednisolone for a week followed by 80 mg every other day for 1 month have been shown to be effective (20 mg of hydrocortisone is equivalent to 5 mg of prednisolone).

Contraindications

The information provided in Contraindications of Genkort is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Genkort of the medicine (Hydrocortisone). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Contraindications in the instructions to the drug Genkort directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Cream; Foam; Gel/Jelly; Kit; Liquid; Lotion; Ointment; Pad; Paste; Solution; Spray; Stick
Eye ointment; Lyophilizate for the preparation of solution for intravenous and intramuscular administration; Ointment for external use; Substance-powder; Suspension for intramuscular and intraarticular administration
Powder and solvent for solution for injection
Film-coated tablet; Modified-release tablet
Coated tablet
Pills

None.

The product should not be used on the eyes or face, the ano-genital area or on broken or infected skin including impetigo, cold sores, acne, athlete's foot, scabies or infected bites or stings.

Genkort is contraindicated:

- in patients where there is known hypersensitivity to the active substance or any of the excipients listed in section 6.1.

- in patients who have systemic fungal infection unless specific anti-infective therapy is employed.

- for use by the intrathecal route of administration.

- for use by the epidural route of administration.

Administration of live or live, attenuated vaccines is contraindicated in patients receiving immunosuppressive doses of corticosteroids.

Local contra-indications to the use of intrarectal steroids include obstruction, abscess, perforation, peritonitis, fresh intestinal anastomoses, extensive fistulae, and tuberculous, fungal or viral infections.

Systemic fungal infections and known hypersensitivity to components

Special warnings and precautions for use

The information provided in Special warnings and precautions for use of Genkort is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Genkort of the medicine (Hydrocortisone). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Special warnings and precautions for use in the instructions to the drug Genkort directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
more... close
Cream; Foam; Gel/Jelly; Kit; Liquid; Lotion; Ointment; Pad; Paste; Solution; Spray; Stick
Eye ointment; Lyophilizate for the preparation of solution for intravenous and intramuscular administration; Ointment for external use; Substance-powder; Suspension for intramuscular and intraarticular administration
Powder and solvent for solution for injection
Film-coated tablet; Modified-release tablet
Coated tablet
Pills

WARNINGS

No information provided.

PRECAUTIONS

General: Systemic absorption of topical corticosteroids can produce reversible hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis suppression with the potential for glucocorticosteroid insufficiency after withdrawal of treatment.Manifestations of Cushing's syndrome, hyperglycemia, and glucosuria can also be produced in some patients by systemic absorption of topical cor-ticosteroids while on treatment.

Patients applying a topical steroid to a large surface area or to areas under occlusion should be evaluated periodically for evidence of HPA-axis suppression. This may be done by using the ACTH stimulation, A.M.plasma cortisol or urinary free cortisol tests.

If HPA axis suppression is noted, an attempt should be made to withdraw the drug, to reduce the frequency of application, or to substitute a less potent steroid. Recovery of HPA axis function is generally prompt and complete upon discontinuation of the drug. Infrequently, signs and symptoms of steroid withdrawal may occur, requiring supplemental systemic corti-costeroids. For information on systemic supplementation, see prescribing information for those products.

Pediatric patients may be more susceptible to systemic toxicity from equivalent doses due to their larger skin surface to body mass ratios. (See PRECAUTIONS-Pediatric Use). If irritation develops, Pandel (hydrocortisone probutate cream) Cream, 0.1% should be discontinued and appropriate therapy instituted. Allergic contact dermatitis with corticosteroids is usually diagnosed by observing a failure to heal rather than noting a clinical exacerbation, as observed with most topical products not containing corticosteroids.

If concomitant skin infections are present or develop, an appropriate antifungal or antibacterial agent should be used. If a favorable response does not occur promptly, use of Pandel (hydrocortisone probutate cream) Cream, 0.1% should be discontinued until the infection has been adequately controlled.

Laboratory Tests

The following tests may be helpful in evaluating if HPA axis suppression does occur:

ACTH stimulation test
A.M.plasma cortisol test
Urinary free cortisol test

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis and Impairment of Fertility

Long-term animal studies have not been performed to evaluate the carcinogenic potential or the effect on fertility of topical corticosteroids.

In two mutagenicity experiments using hydrocortisone probutate, negative responses were observed in the occurrence of micronuclei in the bone marrow of mice and in the Ames reverse mutation test bacterial assay - with and without metabolic activation.

Pregnancy

Teratogenic Effects - Pregnancy Category C. Corticosteroids have been shown to be teratogenic in laboratory animals when administered systemically at relatively low dosage levels. Some corticosteroids have been shown to be teratogenic after dermal application to laboratory animals.

Hydrocortisone probutate has not been tested for teratogenicity when applied topically; however, it is absorbed percutaneously, and studies in Wistar rats using the subcutaneous route resulted in teratogenicity at dose levels equal to or greater than 1 mg/kg. This dose is approximately 12 times the human average topical dose of Pandel (hydrocortisone probutate cream) Cream, 0.1% assuming 3% absorption and an application of 30 g/day on a 70 kg individual. Abnormalities seen included delayed ossification of the caudal vertebrae and other skeletal variations, cleft palate, umbilical hernia, edema, and exencephalia.

In rabbits, hydrocortisone probutate given by the subcutaneous route was teratogenic at doses equal to or greater than 0.1 mg/kg. This dose is approximately 2 times the human average topical dose of Pandel (hydrocortisone probutate cream) Cream, 0.1% assuming 3% absorption and an application of 30 g/day on a 70 kg individual. Abnormalities seen included delayed ossification of the cau-dal vertebrae and other skeletal abnormalities, cleft palate and increased fetal mortality.

The differences between the doses used in animal studies and the proposed human dose may not fully predict the human outcome. The animals received a bolus subcutaneous dose, whereas humans receive a dermal application, where absorption is lower and highly dependent on various factors (e.g., vehicle, integrity of epidermal barrier, occlusion).

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of the teratogenic potential of hydrocortisone probutate in pregnant women. Although human epidemiological studies do not indicate an increased incidence of teratogenicity with the use of topical corticosteroids, Pandel (hydrocortisone probutate cream) Cream should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Nursing Mother

Systemically administered corticosteroids appear in human milk and could suppress growth, interfere with endogenous corticosteroid production, or cause other untoward effects. It is not known whether topical administration of corticosteroids could result in sufficient systemic absorption to produce detectable quantities in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when Pandel (hydrocortisone probutate cream) Cream, 0.1% is administered to a nursing woman.

Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established. Because of a higher ratio of skin surface area to body mass, pediatric patients are at a greater risk than adults of HPA axis suppression and Cushing's syndrome when they are treated with topical corticosteroids. They are therefore also at a greater risk of adrenal insufficiency during and/or after withdrawal of treatment. Adverse effects including striae have been reported with inappropriate use of topical corticosteroids in infants and children.

Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis suppression, Cushing's syndrome, linear growth retardation, delayed weight gain, and intracranial hypertension have been reported in children receiving topical corticosteroids. Manifestations of adrenal suppression in children include low plasma cortisol levels and an absence of response to ACTH stimulation. Manifestations of intracranial hypertension include bulging fontanelles, headaches, and bilateral papilledema.

The product labelling shall include the following statements:

If the condition does not improve consult your doctor. Do not use on the eyes or face, anal or genital areas or on broken skin or infected skin, e.g. impetigo, cold sores, acne, athlete's foot, scabies or infected bites or stings. Do not use for other bites or stings or for other skin conditions.

Warnings and Precautions:

1. A Patient Information Leaflet is provided in the pack by the manufacturer.

2. Undesirable effects may be minimised by using the lowest effective dose for the minimum period. Frequent patient review is required to appropriately titrate the dose against disease activity.

3. Adrenal cortical atrophy develops during prolonged therapy and may persist for months after stopping treatment. In patients who have received more than physiological doses of systemic corticosteroids (approximately 30 mg hydrocortisone) for greater than 3 weeks, withdrawal should not be abrupt. How dose reduction should be carried out depends largely on whether the disease is likely to relapse as the dose of systemic corticosteroids is reduced. Clinical assessment of disease activity may be needed during withdrawal. If the disease is unlikely to relapse on withdrawal of systemic corticosteroids, but there is uncertainty about HPA suppression, the dose of systemic corticosteroid may be reduced rapidly to physiological doses. Once a daily dose of 30 mg hydrocortisone is reached, dose reduction should be slower to allow the HPA-axis to recover.

Abrupt withdrawal of systemic corticosteroid treatment, which has continued up to 3 weeks is appropriate if it considered that the disease is unlikely to relapse. Abrupt withdrawal of doses up to 160 mg hydrocortisone for 3 weeks is unlikely to lead to clinically relevant HPA-axis suppression, in the majority of patients. In the following patient groups, gradual withdrawal of systemic corticosteroid therapy should be considered even after courses lasting 3 weeks or less:

- Patients who have had repeated courses of systemic corticosteroids, particularly if taken for greater than 3 weeks.

- When a short course has been prescribed within one year of cessation of long-term therapy (months or years).

- Patients who may have reasons for adrenocortical insufficiency other than exogenous corticosteroid therapy.

- Patients receiving doses of systemic corticosteroid greater than 160 mg hydrocortisone.

- Patients repeatedly taking doses in the evening.

4. Patients should carry 'Steroid Treatment' cards which give clear guidance on the precautions to be taken to minimise risk and which provide details of prescriber, drug, dosage and the duration of treatment.

5. Immunosuppressant Effects/Increased Susceptibility to Infections:

Corticosteroids may increase susceptibility to infection, may mask some signs of infection, and new infections may appear during their use. Suppression of the inflammatory response and immune function increases the susceptibility to fungal, viral and bacterial infections and their severity. The clinical presentation may often be atypical and may reach an advanced stage before being recognised.

Administration of live or live, attenuated vaccines is contraindicated in patients receiving immunosuppressive doses of corticosteroids. Killed or inactivated vaccines may be administered to patients receiving immunosuppressive doses of corticosteroids; however, the response to such vaccines may be diminished. Indicated immunization procedures may be undertaken in patients receiving non-immunosuppressive doses of corticosteroids.

6. Persons who are on drugs which suppress the immune system are more susceptible to infections than healthy individuals. Chicken pox and measles, for example, can have a more serious or even fatal course in non-immune children or adults on corticosteroids. Chickenpox is of serious concern since this normally minor illness may be fatal in immunosuppressed patients. Patients (or parents of children) without a definite history of chickenpox should be advised to avoid close personal contact with chickenpox or herpes zoster and if exposed they should seek urgent medical attention. Passive immunization with varicella/zoster immunoglobin (VZIG) is needed by exposed non-immune patients who are receiving systemic corticosteroids or who have used them within the previous 3 months; this should be given within 10 days of exposure to chickenpox. If a diagnosis of chickenpox is confirmed, the illness warrants specialist care and urgent treatment. Corticosteroids should not be stopped and the dose may need to be increased.

7. Exposure to measles should be avoided. Medical advice should be sought immediately if exposure occurs. Prophylaxis with normal intramuscular immuneglobulin may be needed.

.

9 The use of Genkort in active tuberculosis should be restricted to those cases of fulminating or disseminated tuberculosis in which the corticosteroid is used for the management of the disease in conjunction with appropriate antituberculosis regimen. If corticosteroids are indicated in patients with latent tuberculosis or tuberculin reactivity, close observation is necessary as reactivation of the disease may occur. During prolonged corticosteroid therapy, these patients should receive chemoprophylaxis.

10. Allergic reactions may occur. Rarely skin reactions and anaphylactic/anaphylactoid reactions have been reported following parenteral Genkort therapy. Physicians using the drug should be prepared to deal with such a possibility. Appropriate precautionary measures should be taken prior to administration, especially when the patient has a history of drug allergy.

11. Care should be taken for patients receiving cardioactive drugs such as digoxin because of steroid induced electrolyte disturbance/potassium loss.

12. Hepatobiliary disorders have been reported which may be reversible after discontinuation of therapy monitoring is required. Hydrocortisone may have an increased effect in patients with liver diseases since the metabolism and elimination of hydrocortisone is significantly decreased in these patients.

13. Ocular Effects:

Corticosteroids should be used cautiously in patients with ocular herpes simplex for fear of corneal perforation.

Prolonged use of corticosteroids may produce posterior subcapsular cataracts and nuclear cataracts (particularly in children), exophthalmos, or increased intraocular pressure, which may result in glaucoma with possible damage to the optic nerves. Establishment of secondary fungal and viral infections of the eye may also be enhanced in patients receiving glucocorticoids.

Corticosteroid therapy has been associated with central serous chorioretinopathy, which may lead to retinal detachment.

14. Severe medical events have been reported in association with the intrathecal/epidural routes of administration. There have been reports of epidural lipomatosis in patients taking corticosteroids, typically with long-term use at high doses.

15. Thrombosis including venous thromboembolism has been reported to occur with corticosteroids. As a result corticosteroids should be used with caution in patients who have or may be predisposed to thromboembolic disorders.

16. The role of corticosteroids in septic shock has been controversial, with early studies reporting both beneficial and detrimental effects. More recently, supplemental corticosteroids have been suggested to be beneficial in patients with established septic shock who exhibit adrenal insufficiency. However, their routine use in septic shock is not recommended. A systematic review of short-course, high-dose corticosteroids did not support their use. However, meta-analyses, and a review suggest that longer courses (5-11 days) of low-dose corticosteroids might reduce mortality, especially in patients with vasopressor-dependent septic shock.

17. Endocrine Effects:

In patients on corticosteroid therapy subjected to unusual stress, increased dosage of rapidly acting corticosteroids before, during and after the stressful situation is indicated. Pharmacologic doses of corticosteroids administered for prolonged periods may result in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) suppression (secondary adrenocortical insufficiency). The degree and duration of adrenocortical insufficiency produced is variable among patients and depends on the dose, frequency, time of administration, and duration of glucocorticoid therapy. In addition, acute adrenal insufficiency leading to a fatal outcome may occur if glucocorticoids are withdrawn abruptly. Drug-induced secondary adrenocortical insufficiency may therefore be minimized by gradual reduction of dosage. This type of relative insufficiency may persist for months after discontinuation of therapy; therefore, in any situation of stress occurring during that period, hormone therapy should be reinstituted. A steroid “withdrawal syndrome,” seemingly unrelated to adrenocortical insufficiency, may also occur following abrupt discontinuance of glucocorticoids. This syndrome includes symptoms such as: anorexia, nausea, vomiting, lethargy, headache, fever, joint pain, desquamation, myalgia, weight loss, and/or hypotension. These effects are thought to be due to the sudden change in glucocorticoid concentration rather than to low corticosteroid levels. Because glucocorticoids can produce or aggravate Cushing's syndrome, glucocorticoids should be avoided in patients with Cushing's disease. There is an enhanced effect of corticosteroids on patients with hypothyroidism.

18. Cardiac Effects:

Adverse effects of glucocorticoids on the cardiovascular system, such as dyslipidemia and hypertension, may predispose treated patients with existing cardiovascular risk factors to additional cardiovascular effects, if high doses and prolonged courses are used. Accordingly, corticosteroids should be employed judiciously in such patients and attention should be paid to risk modification and additional cardiac monitoring if needed. Low dose therapy may reduce the incidence of complications in corticosteroid therapy. Systemic corticosteroids should be used with caution, and only if strictly necessary, in cases of congestive heart failure.

Special precautions:

Particular care is required when considering the use of systemic corticosteroids in patients with the following conditions and frequent patient monitoring is necessary.

1. Osteoporosis is generally associated with long-term use and large doses of glucocorticoids. Corticosteroids should be used with caution in patients with osteoporosis(post-menopausal females are particularly at risk).

2. Hypertension.

3. Existing or previous history of severe affective disorders (especially previous steroid psychosis).

4. Corticosteroids, including hydrocortisone, can increase blood glucose, worsen pre-existing diabetes, and predispose those on long-term corticosteroid therapy to diabetes mellitus (or a family history of diabetes).

5. History of tuberculosis.

6. Glaucoma (or a family history of glaucoma).

7. Previous corticosteroid-induced myopathy.

8. Liver failure or cirrhosis.

9. Corticosteroids should be used with caution in patients with renal insufficiency.

10. Epilepsy.

11. Peptic ulceration.

12. Fresh intestinal anastomoses.

13. Predisposition to thrombophlebitis.

14. Abscess or other pyogenic infections.

15. Ulcerative colitis.

16. Diverticulitis.

17. Myasthenia gravis.

18. Recent myocardial infarction (myocardial rupture has been reported).

19. Kaposi's sarcoma has been reported to occur in patients receiving corticosteroid therapy. Discontinuation of corticosteroids may result in clinical remission.

20. Pheochromocytoma crisis, which can be fatal, has been reported after administration of systemic corticosteroids. Corticosteroids should only be administered to patients with suspected or identified pheochromocytoma after an appropriate risk/benefit evaluation.

21. Investigations:

Hydrocortisone can cause elevation of blood pressure, salt and water retention and increased excretion of potassium. Dietary salt restriction and potassium supplementation may be necessary. All corticosteroids increase calcium excretion.

22. Psychiatric effects:

Patients and/or carers should be warned that potentially severe psychiatric adverse reactions may occur with systemic steroids. Symptoms typically emerge within a few days or weeks of starting treatment. Risks may be higher with high doses/systemic exposure that can increase the risk of side effects), although dose levels do not allow prediction of the onset, type, severity or duration of reactions. Most reactions recover after either dose reduction or withdrawal, although specific treatment may be necessary. Patients/carers should be encouraged to seek medical advice if worrying psychological symptoms develop, especially if depressed mood or suicidal ideation is suspected. Patients/carers should be alert to possible psychiatric disturbances that may occur either during or immediately after dose tapering/withdrawal of systemic steroids, although such reactions have been reported infrequently.

Particular care is required when considering the use of systemic corticosteroids in patients with existing or previous history of severe affective disorders in themselves or in their first degree relatives. These would include depressive or manic-depressive illness and previous steroid psychosis.

23. Gastrointestinal effect:

High doses of corticosteroids may produce acute pancreatitis. There is no universal agreement on whether corticosteroids per se are responsible for peptic ulcers encountered during therapy; however, glucocorticoid therapy may mask the symptoms of peptic ulcer so that perforation or hemorrhage may occur without significant pain. Glucocorticoid therapy may mask peritonitis or other signs or symptoms associated with gastrointestinal disorders such as perforation, obstruction or pancreatitis. In combination with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), the risk of developing gastrointestinal ulcers is increased.

24. Other:

Since complications of treatment with glucocorticoids are dependent on the size of the dose and the duration of treatment, a risk/benefit decision must be made in each individual case as to dose and duration of treatment as to whether daily or intermittent therapy should be used.

The lowest possible dose of corticosteroid should be used to control the condition under treatment and when reduction in dosage is possible, the reduction should be gradual.

Co-treatment with CYP3A inhibitors, including cobicistat-containing products, is expected to increase the risk of systemic side-effects. The combination should be avoided unless the benefit outweighs the increased risk of systemic corticosteroid side-effects, in which case patients should be monitored for systemic corticosteroid side-effects.

Aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents should be used cautiously in conjunction with corticosteroids (see section

Acute adrenal insufficiency

Acute adrenal insufficiency may develop in patients with known adrenal insufficiency who are on inadequate daily doses or in situations with increased cortisol need. Events have been reported in patients treated with Genkort. Adrenal crisis can develop in patients with acute adrenal insufficiency. Therefore, patients should be advised of the signs and symptoms of acute adrenal insufficiency and of adrenal crisis and the need to seek immediate medical attention.

During adrenal crisis parenteral, preferably intravenous administration of hydrocortisone in high doses, together with sodium chloride 9 mg/ml (0.9%) solution for infusion, should be administered according to current treatment guidelines.

Concomitant infections

<'Use in intercurrent illness'. The patient must be carefully informed how to act in these situations and also advised to immediately seek medical attention should an acute deterioration occur; especially in cases of gastroenteritis, vomiting and/or diarrhoea leading to fluid and salt loss, as well as to inadequate absorption of oral hydrocortisone.

Patients with adrenal insufficiency and concomitant retroviral infection, such as HIV, need careful dose adjustment due to potential interaction with antiretroviral medicinal products and increased hydrocortisone dose due to the infection.

Scientific reports do not support immunosuppressive effects of hydrocortisone in doses that have been used for replacement therapy in patients with adrenal insufficiency. Therefore, there is no reason to believe that replacement doses of hydrocortisone will exacerbate any systemic infection or worsen the outcome of such an infection. Moreover, there is no reason to believe that doses of hydrocortisone used for replacement therapy in adrenal insufficiency may reduce the response to vaccines and increase the risk of generalised infection with live vaccines.

Gastric emptying and motility disorders

Modified-release tablets are not recommended in patients with increased gastrointestinal motility, i.e. chronic diarrhoea, due to the risk of impaired cortisol exposure. There are no data in patients with confirmed slow gastric emptying or decreased motility disease/disorder. The clinical response should be monitored in patients with these conditions.

Using higher than normal doses of hydrocortisone

High (supra-physiological) dosages of hydrocortisone can cause elevation of blood pressure, salt and water retention, and increased excretion of potassium. Long-term treatment with higher than physiological hydrocortisone doses can lead to clinical features resembling Cushing´s syndrome with increased adiposity, abdominal obesity, hypertension and diabetes, and thus result in an increased risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.

Old age and low body mass index are known risk factors for common adverse reactions of pharmacological doses of glucocorticoids such as osteoporosis, thinning of skin, diabetes mellitus, hypertension and increased susceptibility to infections.

All glucocorticoids increase calcium excretion and reduce the bone-remodelling rate. Patients with adrenal insufficiency on long-term glucocorticoid replacement therapy have been found to have reduced bone mineral density.

Prolonged use of high doses of glucocorticoids may produce posterior subcapsular cataracts, and glaucoma with possible damage to the optic nerves. Such effects have not been reported in patients receiving replacement therapy with glucocorticoids in doses used in adrenal insufficiency.

Psychiatric adverse reactions may occur with systemic glucocorticoids. This may occur during commencement of treatment and during dose adjustments. Risks may be higher when high doses are given. Most reactions resolve after dose reduction, although specific treatment may be necessary.

Thyroid function

Patients with adrenal insufficiency should be monitored for thyroid dysfunction as both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism may markedly influence the exposure of administered hydrocortisone.

Treatment of primary adrenal insufficiency often warrants addition of a mineralocorticoid.

General precautions common to all corticosteroid therapy should be observed during treatment with Genkort, especially in the case of young children. Treatment should be administered with caution in patients with severe ulcerative disease because of their predisposition to perforation of the bowel wall. Although uncommon at this dosage local irritation may occur.

Patients/and or carers should be warned that potentially severe psychiatric adverse reactions may occur with systemic steroids.), although dose levels do not allow prediction of the onset, type, severity or duration of reactions. Most reactions recover after either dose reduction or withdrawal, although specific treatment may be necessary. Patients/carers should be encouraged to seek medical advice if worrying psychological symptoms develop, especially if depressed mood or suicidal ideation is suspected. Patients/carers should also be alert to possible psychiatric disturbances that may occur either during or immediately after dose tapering/withdrawal of systemic steroids, although such reactions have been reported infrequently.

Particular care is required when considering the use of systemic corticosteroids in patients with existing or previous history of severe affective disorders in themselves or in their first degree relatives. These would include depressive or manic-depressive illness and previous steroid psychosis.

WARNINGS

In patients on corticosteroid therapy subjected to unusual stress, increased dosage of rapidly acting corticosteroids before, during, and after the stressful situation is indicated.

Corticosteroids may mask some signs of infection, and new infections may appear during their use. Infections with any pathogen including viral, bacterial, fungal, protozoan or helminthic infections, in any location of the body, may be associated with the use of corticosteroids alone or in combination with other immunosuppressive agents that affect cellular immunity, humoral immunity, or neutrophil function.1

These infections may be mild, but can be severe and at times fatal. With increasing doses of corticosteroids, the rate of occurrence of infectious complications increases.2 There may be decreased resistance and inability to localize infection when corticosteroids are used.

Prolonged use of corticosteroids may produce posterior subcapsular cataracts, glaucoma with possible damage to the optic nerves, and may enhance the establishment of secondary ocular infections due to fungi or viruses.

Usage In Pregnancy

Since adequate human reproduction studies have not been done with corticosteroids, the use of these drugs in pregnancy, nursing mothers or women of childbearing potential requires that the possible benefits of the drug be weighed against the potential hazards to the mother and embryo or fetus. Infants born of mothers who have received substantial doses of corticosteroids during pregnancy, should be carefully observed for signs of hypoadrenalism.

Average and large doses of hydrocortisone or cortisone can cause elevation of blood pressure, salt and water retention, and increased excretion of potassium. These effects are less likely to occur with the synthetic derivatives except when used in large doses. Dietary salt restriction and potassium supplementation may be necessary. All corticosteroids increase calcium excretion.

Administration of live or live, attenuated vaccines is contraindicated in patients receiving immunosuppressive doses of corticosteroids. Killed or inactivated vaccines may be administered to patients receiving immunosuppressive doses of corticosteroids; however, the response to such vaccines may be diminished. Indicated immunization procedures may be undertaken in patients receiving nonimmunosuppressive doses of corticosteroids.

The use of Genkort Tablets in active tuberculosis should be restricted to those cases of fulminating or disseminated tuberculosis in which the corticosteroid is used for the management of the disease in conjunction with an appropriate antituberculous regimen.

If corticosteroids are indicated in patients with latent tuberculosis or tuberculin reactivity, close observation is necessary as reactivation of the disease may occur. During prolonged corticosteroid therapy, these patients should receive chemoprophylaxis.

Persons who are on drugs which suppress the immune system are more susceptible to infections than healthy individuals. Chicken pox and measles, for example, can have a more serious or even fatal course in non-immune children or adults on corticosteroids. In such children or adults who have not had these diseases, particular care should be taken to avoid exposure. How the dose, route and duration of corticosteroid administration affects the risk of developing a disseminated infection is not known. The contribution of the underlying disease and/or prior corticosteroid treatment to the risk is also not known. If exposed to chicken pox, prophylaxis with varicella zoster immune globulin (VZIG) may be indicated. If exposed to measles, prophylaxis with pooled intramuscular immunoglobulin (IG) may be indicated. (See the respective package inserts for complete VZIG and IG prescribing information.) If chicken pox develops, treatment with antiviral agents may be considered. Similarly, corticosteroids should be used with great care in patients with known or suspected Strongyloides (threadworm) infestation. In such patients, corticosteroid-induced immunosuppression may lead to Strongyloides hyperinfection and dissemination with widespread larval migration, often accompanied by severe enterocolitis and potentially fatal gram-negative septicemia.

REFERENCES

1 Fekety R. Infections associated with corticosteroids and immunosuppressive therapy. In: Gorbach SL, Bartlett JG, Blacklow NR, eds. Infectious Diseases. Philadelphia: WB Saunders Company 1992:1050–1.

2 Stuck AE, Minder CE, Frey FJ. Risk of infectious complications in patients taking glucocorticoids. Rev Infect Dis 1989:11(6):954–63.

PRECAUTIONS

General Precautions

Drug-induced secondary adrenocortical insufficiency may be minimized by gradual reduction of dosage. This type of relative insufficiency may persist for months after discontinuation of therapy; therefore, in any situation of stress occurring during that period, hormone therapy should be reinstituted. Since mineralocorticoid secretion may be impaired, salt and/or a mineralocorticoid should be administered concurrently.

There is an enhanced effect of corticosteroids on patients with hypothyroidism and in those with cirrhosis.

Corticosteroids should be used cautiously in patients with ocular herpes simplex because of possible corneal perforation.

The lowest possible dose of corticosteroid should be used to control the condition under treatment, and when reduction in dosage is possible, the reduction should be gradual.

Psychic derangements may appear when corticosteroids are used, ranging from euphoria, insomnia, mood swings, personality changes, and severe depression, to frank psychotic manifestations. Also, existing emotional instability or psychotic tendencies may be aggravated by corticosteroids.

Steroids should be used with caution in nonspecific ulcerative colitis, if there is a probability of impending perforation, abscess or other pyogenic infection; diverticulitis; fresh intestinal anastomoses; active or latent peptic ulcer; renal insufficiency; hypertension; osteoporosis; and myasthenia gravis.

Growth and development of infants and children on prolonged corticosteroid therapy should be carefully observed.

Kaposi's sarcoma has been reported to occur in patients receiving corticosteroid therapy. Discontinuation of corticosteroids may result in clinical remission.

Although controlled clinical trials have shown corticosteroids to be effective in speeding the resolution of acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis, they do not show that corticosteroids affect the ultimate outcome or natural history of the disease. The studies do show that relatively high doses of corticosteroids are necessary to demonstrate a significant effect. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.)

Since complications of treatment with glucocorticoids are dependent on the size of the dose and the duration of treatment, a risk/benefit decision must be made in each individual case as to dose and duration of treatment and as to whether daily or intermittent therapy should be used.

Effects on ability to drive and use machines

The information provided in Effects on ability to drive and use machines of Genkort is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Genkort of the medicine (Hydrocortisone). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Effects on ability to drive and use machines in the instructions to the drug Genkort directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Eye ointment; Lyophilizate for the preparation of solution for intravenous and intramuscular administration; Ointment for external use; Substance-powder; Suspension for intramuscular and intraarticular administration
Powder and solvent for solution for injection
Film-coated tablet; Modified-release tablet
Coated tablet

None known.

The effect of corticosteroids on the ability to drive or use machinery has not been systematically evaluated. Undesirable effects, such as syncope, vertigo, and convulsions are possible after treatment with corticosteroids. If affected, patients should not drive or operate machinery.

Genkort has minor influence on the ability to drive and use machines. Fatigue and episodes of short-lasting vertigo have been reported.

Untreated and poorly replaced adrenal insufficiency may affect the ability to drive and use machines.

None known.

Undesirable effects

The information provided in Undesirable effects of Genkort is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Genkort of the medicine (Hydrocortisone). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Undesirable effects in the instructions to the drug Genkort directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Eye ointment; Lyophilizate for the preparation of solution for intravenous and intramuscular administration; Ointment for external use; Substance-powder; Suspension for intramuscular and intraarticular administration
Powder and solvent for solution for injection
Film-coated tablet; Modified-release tablet
Coated tablet
Pills

Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in clinical practice.

The most frequent adverse reactions reported for PANDEL during clinical trials were application site reactions, including burning in 4, stinging in 2, and moderate paresthesia in 1 out of 226 subjects.

Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during postapproval use of PANDEL because these reactions were reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

These adverse reactions are as follows:

Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue Disorders:rash, papulovesicular rash

Application Site Reactions: dryness, erythema, pruritus, allergic contact dermatitis.

The following local adverse reactions are reported with topical corticosteroids, and they may occur more frequently with the use of occlusive dressings. These reactions are listed in an approximate decreasing order of occurrence: itching, irritation, dryness, folliculitis, hypertrichosis, acneiform eruptions, hypopigmentation, perioral dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, secondary infections, skin atrophy, striae, and miliaria.

Treatment with Genkort is usually well tolerated but treatment should be stopped if symptoms of hypersensitivity occur.

Reporting of suspected adverse reactions

Reporting suspected adverse reactions after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via the Yellow Card Scheme at www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard.

Since Genkort is normally employed on a short-term basis it is unlikely that side effects will occur; however, the possibility of side effects attributable to corticosteroid therapy should be recognised. Such side effects include:

Adverse Reactions table

System Organ Class

Frequency Not Known

(Cannot be estimated from available data)

Infections and infestations

Opportunistic infection

Neoplasms benign, malignant and unspecified (including cysts and polyps)

Kaposi's sarcoma (has been reported to occur in patients receiving corticosteroid therapy)

Blood and lymphatic system disorders

Leucocytosis

Immune system disorders

Drug hypersensitivity; Anaphylactic reaction; Anaphylactoid reaction

Endocrine disorders

Cushingoid; Hypopituitarism; Steroid withdrawal syndrome WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS - Too rapid a reduction of corticosteroid dosage following prolonged treatment can lead to acute adrenal insufficiency, hypotension and death. However, this is more applicable to corticosteroids with an indication where continuous therapy is given ; A 'withdrawal syndrome' may also occur including, fever, myalgia, arthralgia, rhinitis, conjunctivitis, painful itchy skin nodules and loss of weight

Metabolism and nutrition disorders

Metabolic acidosis; Sodium retention; Water retention; Alkalosis hypokalaemic; Dyslipidaemia; Glucose tolerance impaired; Increased insulin requirement (or oral hypoglycemic agents in diabetics); Lipomatosis; Increased appetite; Weight increased

Psychiatric disorders

Affective disorders (including Depression, Euphoric mood, Affect lability, Drug dependence, Suicidal ideation); Psychotic disorder (including Mania, Delusion, Hallucination, and aggravation of Schizophrenia); Mental disorder; Personality change; Confusional state; Anxiety; Mood swings; Abnormal behaviour; Insomnia; Irritability.

Nervous system disorders

Epidural lipomatosis; Increased intra-cranial pressure with papilloedema in children (pseudotumour cerebri) has been reported, usually after treatment withdrawal of hydrocortisone; Benign intracranial hypertension; Seizure; Amnesia; Cognitive disorder; Dizziness; Headache.

Eye disorders

Central serous chorioretinopathy ; Cataract; Glaucoma; Exophthalmos; Increased intra-ocular pressure, with possible damage to the optic nerve; Corneal or scleral thinning; Exacerbation of ophthalmic viral or fungal disease;

Ear and labyrinth disorders

Vertigo

Cardiac disorders

Cardiac failure congestive (in susceptible patients); Myocardial rupture following a myocardial infarction

Vascular disorders

Thrombosis including Thromboembolism; Hypertension; Hypotension

Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders

Pulmonary embolism; Hiccups

Gastrointestinal disorders

Peptic ulcer (with possible Peptic ulcer perforation and Peptic ulcer haemorrhage); Intestinal perforation; Gastric haemorrhage; Pancreatitis; Oesophageal ulceration; Oesophageal candidiasis; Abdominal distension; Abdominal pain; Diarrhoea; Dyspepsia; Nausea

Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders

Angioedema; Hirsutism; Petechiae; Ecchymosis; Skin atrophy; Erythema; Hyperhidrosis; Skin striae; Rash; Pruritus; Urticaria; Acne; Skin hypopigmentation; Telangiectasia; Skin hyperpigmentation;

Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders

Muscular weakness; Myalgia; Myopathy; Muscle atrophy; Osteoporosis Osteonecrosis; Pathological fracture; Neuropathic arthropathy; Arthralgia; Growth retardation

Reproductive system and breast disorders

Menstruation irregular; Amenorrhoea

General disorders and administration site conditions

Impaired healing; Oedema peripheral; Fatigue

Abscess sterile; Malaise; Injection site reaction

Investigations

Carbohydrate tolerance decreased; Blood potassium decreased; Urine calcium increased; Alanine aminotransferase increased; Aspartate aminotransferase increased; Blood alkaline phosphatase increased; Blood urea increased; Suppression of reactions to skin tests*

Injury, poisoning and procedural complications

Spinal compression fracture; Tendon rupture (particularly of the Achilles tendon)

* Not a MedDRA PT

Reporting of suspected adverse reactions

Reporting suspected adverse reactions after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via the Yellow Card Scheme at www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard.

Summary of the safety profile

Hydrocortisone is given as replacement therapy aimed at restoring normal cortisol levels. The adverse reaction profile in the treatment of adrenal insufficiency is therefore not comparable to that in other conditions requiring much higher doses of oral or parenteral glucocorticoids.

Overall, the frequency and type of adverse reactions were similar for Genkort once daily modified-release tablets and hydrocortisone tablets given three times daily in a 12-week study. Fatigue has been reported as very common.

Tabulated list of adverse reactions

A total of 80 patients (173 patient-years of data) have been treated with modified-release hydrocortisone in clinical studies. Adverse reactions from these studies and from postmarketing surveillance are listed below by system organ class and frequency as follows:

Very common (>1/10); Common (>1/100 to <1/10).

MedDRA System Organ Class

Frequency of adverse reactions

Very common

Common

Nervous system disorders

Vertigo

Headache

Gastrointestinal disorders

Diarrhoea

Upper abdominal pain

Nausea

Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders

Pruritus

Rash

Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders

Arthralgia

General disorders and administration site conditions

Fatigue

In addition the following adverse reactions have been reported for other hydrocortisone medicinal products given for indications other than adrenal insufficiency replacement therapy in higher doses (frequencies not known).

Immune system disorders

Activation of infection (tuberculosis, fungal and viral infections including herpes).

Endocrine disorders

Induction of glucose intolerance or diabetes mellitus.

Metabolism and nutrition disorders

Sodium and water retention and oedema tendency, hypertension, hypokalemia.

Psychiatric disorders

Euphoria and psychosis, insomnia.

Eye disorders

Increased intraocular pressure and cataract.

Gastrointestinal disorders

Dyspepsia and deterioration of existing gastric ulcer.

Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders

Cushing-like symptoms, stria, ecchymoses, acne and hirsutism, impaired wound healing.

Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders

Osteoporosis with spontaneous fractures.

Reporting of suspected adverse reactions

Reporting suspected adverse reactions after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via the United Kingdom Yellow Card Scheme Website: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard.

Although uncommon at this dosage, irritation may occur.

Side effects are very unusual with Genkort, but long term frequent use may cause problems in some people. This is particularly so if the medicine is not used as directed. Although uncommon at this dosage, the following side effects may occur; unexpected fattening of the face, neck and body, periods may stop unexpectedly and hair starts to grow on the face (in women), dusky complexion with purple markings, local irritation.

A wide range of psychiatric reactions including affective disorders (such as irritable, euphoric, depressed and labile mood, and suicidal thoughts), psychotic reactions (including mania, delusions, hallucinations, and aggravation of schizophrenia), behavioural disturbances, irritability, anxiety, sleep disturbances, and cognitive dysfunction including confusion and amnesia have been reported. Reactions are common and may occur in both adults and children. In adults, the frequency of severe reactions has been estimated to be 5-6%. Psychological effects have been reported on withdrawal of corticosteroids; the frequency is unknown.

Reporting of suspected adverse reactions

Reporting suspected adverse reactions after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via the Yellow Card Scheme at:

www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard

Fluid And Electrolyte Disturbances

Sodium retention
Fluid retention
Congestive heart failure in susceptible patients
Potassium loss
Hypokalemic alkalosis
Hypertension

Musculoskeletal

Muscle weakness
Steroid myopathy
Loss of muscle mass
Osteoporosis
Tendon rupture, particularly of the Achilles tendon
Vertebral compression fractures
Aseptic necrosis of femoral and humeral heads
Pathologic fracture of long bones

Gastrointestinal

Peptic ulcer with possible perforation and hemorrhage
Pancreatitis
Abdominal distention
Ulcerative esophagitis
Increases in alanine transaminase (ALT, SGPT), aspartate transaminase (AST, SGOT) and alkaline phosphatase have been observed following corticosteroid treatment. These changes are usually small, not associated with any clinical syndrome and are reversible upon discontinuation.

Dermatologic

Impaired wound healing
Thin fragile skin
Petechiae and ecchymoses
Facial erythema
Increased sweating
May suppress reactions to skin tests

Neurological

Increased intracranial pressure with papilledema (pseudotumor cerebri) usually after treatment
Convulsions
Vertigo
Headache

Endocrine

Development of Cushingoid state
Suppression of growth in children
Secondary adrenocortical and pituitary unresponsiveness, particularly in times of stress, as in trauma, surgery or illness
Menstrual irregularities
Decreased carbohydrate tolerance
Manifestations of latent diabetes mellitus
Increased requirements for insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents in diabetics

Ophthalmic

Posterior subcapsular cataracts
Increased intraocular pressure
Glaucoma
Exophthalmos

Metabolic

Negative nitrogen balance due to protein catabolism

Overdose

The information provided in Overdose of Genkort is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Genkort of the medicine (Hydrocortisone). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Overdose in the instructions to the drug Genkort directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Eye ointment; Lyophilizate for the preparation of solution for intravenous and intramuscular administration; Ointment for external use; Substance-powder; Suspension for intramuscular and intraarticular administration
Powder and solvent for solution for injection
Film-coated tablet; Modified-release tablet
Coated tablet
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No Information Provided

No special precautions or antidotes are likely to be needed.

There is no clinical syndrome of acute overdosage with corticosteroids. Hydrocortisone is dialysable. In the event of overdosage, no specific antidote is available; treatment is supportive and symptomatic.

Reports of acute toxicity and/or deaths following hydrocortisone overdose are rare. No antidote is available. Symptoms may range from excitement/arousal to mania or psychosis. Signs include high blood pressure, elevated plasma glucose levels and hypokalaemia. Treatment is probably not indicated for reactions due to chronic poisoning unless the patient has a condition that would render him/her unusually susceptible to ill effects from hydrocortisone. In which case, symptomatic treatment should be instituted as necessary.

Not applicable.

No information provided.

Pharmacodynamic properties

The information provided in Pharmacodynamic properties of Genkort is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Genkort of the medicine (Hydrocortisone). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Pharmacodynamic properties in the instructions to the drug Genkort directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Cream; Foam; Gel/Jelly; Kit; Liquid; Lotion; Ointment; Pad; Paste; Solution; Spray; Stick
Eye ointment; Lyophilizate for the preparation of solution for intravenous and intramuscular administration; Ointment for external use; Substance-powder; Suspension for intramuscular and intraarticular administration
Powder and solvent for solution for injection
Film-coated tablet; Modified-release tablet
Coated tablet
Vasoconstrictor Assay

Studies performed with PANDEL indicate that it is in the medium range of potency as demonstrated in vasoconstrictor trials in healthy subjects when compared with other topical corticosteroids. However, similar blanching scores do not necessarily imply therapeutic equivalence.

Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis Suppression

In an open label HPA axis suppression trial, 19 adult subjects (ages 23 to 82 years) with atopic dermatitis or plaque psoriasis covering greater than 20% Body Surface Area (BSA) were treated with PANDEL twice daily for 21 days and were assessed for HPA axis suppression. At baseline, the mean disease BSA involvement was 36%. The criterion for HPA axis suppression was a serum cortisol level of less than or equal to 18 micrograms per deciliter at 30-minutes after cosyntropin stimulation. Of these subjects, 15 were considered evaluable with respect to their adrenal axis function post-treatment. One of the evaluable subjects (6.7%) showed laboratory evidence of suppression on Day 22. This subject had psoriasis covering 48% of BSA at baseline and was reported to have received 98% of the twice-daily applications of PANDEL over the 21 day treatment period. It is not known if this subject had recovery of adrenal function because follow-up testing was not performed.

Genkort is a corticosteroid which has anti-inflammatory activity.

Pharmacotherapeutic group: Glucocorticoids, ATC code: H02AB09

Glucocorticoids, naturally occurring and synthetic, are adrenocortical steroids.

Naturally occurring glucocorticoids (hydrocortisone and cortisone), which also have salt-retaining properties, are used as replacement therapy in adrenocortical deficiency states. Their synthetic analogs are primarily used for their anti-inflammatory effects in disorders of many organ systems

Hydrocortisone sodium succinate has the same metabolic and anti-inflammatory actions as hydrocortisone. When given parenterally and in equimolar quantities, the two compounds are equivalent in biologic activity. The highly water-soluble sodium succinate ester of hydrocortisone permits the immediate intravenous administration of high doses of hydrocortisone in a small volume of diluent and is particularly useful where high blood levels of hydrocortisone are required rapidly. Following the intravenous injection of hydrocortisone sodium succinate, demonstrable effects are evident within one hour and persist for a variable period.

Glucocorticoids cause profound and varied metabolic effects. In addition, they modify the body's immune response to diverse stimuli.

The relative potency of methylprednisolone sodium succinate and hydrocortisone sodium succinate, as indicated by depression of eosinophil count, following intravenous administration, is five to one. This is consistent with the relative oral potency of methylprednisolone and hydrocortisone.

Pharmacotherapeutic group: Corticosteroids for systemic use, glucocorticoids. ATC code: H02AB09.

Pharmacodynamic action

Hydrocortisone is a glucocorticoid and the synthetic form of endogenously produced cortisol. Glucocorticoids are important steroids for intermediary metabolism, immune function, musculoskeletal and connective tissue and the brain. Cortisol is the principal glucocorticoid secreted by the adrenal cortex.

Naturally-occurring glucocorticoids (hydrocortisone and cortisol), which also have salt-retaining properties, are used as replacement therapy in adrenal insufficiency. They are also used for their potent anti-inflammatory effects in disorders of many organ systems. Glucocorticoids cause profound and varied metabolic effects. In addition they modify the body's immune responses to diverse stimuli.

Clinical efficacy

The pivotal study was a randomised, two-period 12-week crossover multi-centre trial in 64 patients with primary adrenal insufficiency, 11 of whom had concomitant diabetes mellitus and 11 had hypertension. The study compared modified-release tablets given once daily with conventional tablets given three times daily using the same daily dose of hydrocortisone (20 to 40 mg).

Compared to conventional tablets given three times daily, once daily modified-release tablets resulted in an increased cortisol exposure during the first four hours after intake in the morning but reduced exposure in the late afternoon/evening and over the 24-hour period (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Observed mean serum cortisol concentration versus clock time following single and multiple dosing in primary adrenal insufficiency patients (n=62) after oral administration of Genkort given once daily and hydrocortisone thrice daily.

The use of topically applied steroids in the treatment of ulcerative colitis, proctosigmoiditis and granular proctitis is well known.

Pharmacokinetic properties

The information provided in Pharmacokinetic properties of Genkort is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Genkort of the medicine (Hydrocortisone). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Pharmacokinetic properties in the instructions to the drug Genkort directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Eye ointment; Lyophilizate for the preparation of solution for intravenous and intramuscular administration; Ointment for external use; Substance-powder; Suspension for intramuscular and intraarticular administration
Powder and solvent for solution for injection
Film-coated tablet; Modified-release tablet
Coated tablet

Not applicable.

The pharmacokinetics of hydrocortisone in healthy male subjects demonstrated nonlinear kinetics when a single intravenous dose of hydrocortisone sodium succinate higher than 20 mg was administered, and the corresponding pharmacokinetic parameters of hydrocortisone are presented in Table 2

Table 2. Mean (SD) hydrocortisone pharmacokinetic parameters following single intravenous doses

Healthy Male Adults (21-29 years; N = 6)

Dose (mg)

5

10

20

40

Total Exposure (AUC0-∞; ng·h/mL)

410 (80)

790 (100)

1480 (310)

2290 (260)

Clearance (CL; mL/min/m2)

209 (42)

218 (23)

239 (44)

294 (34)

Volume of Distribution at Steady State (Vdss; L)

20.7 (7.3)

20.8 (4.3)

26.0 (4.1)

37.5 (5.8)

Elimination Half-life (t1/2; hr)

1.3 (0.3)

1.3 (0.2)

1.7 (0.2)

1.9 (0.1)

AUC0-∞ = Area under the curve from time zero to infinity.

Absorption

Following administration of 5, 10, 20, and 40 mg single intravenous doses of hydrocortisone sodium succinate in healthy male subjects, mean peak values obtained at 10 minutes after dosing were 312, 573, 1095, and 1854 ng/mL, respectively. Hydrocortisone sodium succinate is rapidly absorbed when administered intramuscularly.

Distribution

Hydrocortisone is widely distributed into the tissues, crosses the blood-brain barrier, and is secreted in breast milk. The volume of distribution at steady state for hydrocortisone ranged from approximately 20 to 40 L (Table 2). Hydrocortisone binds to the glycoprotein transcortin (i.e., corticosteroid binding globulin) and albumin. The plasma protein binding of hydrocortisone in humans is approximately 92%.

Metabolism

Hydrocortisone (i.e., cortisol) is metabolized by 11β-HSD2 to cortisone, and further to dihydrocortisone and tetrahydrocortisone. Other metabolites include dihydrocortisol, 5α-dihydrocortisol, tetrahydrocortisol, and 5α-tetrahydrocortisol. Cortisone can be converted to cortisol through 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1). Hydrocortisone is also metabolized by CYP3A4 to 6β-hydroxycortisol (6β-OHF), and 6β-OHF varied from 2.8% to 31.7% of the total metabolites produced, demonstrating large inter-individual variability.

Excretion

Excretion of the administered dose is nearly complete within 12 hours. When hydrocortisone sodium succinate is administered intramuscularly, it is excreted in a pattern similar to that observed after intravenous injection.

Absorption

Following oral administration, hydrocortisone is rapidly and well absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and the absorption has been reported to be more than 95% for an oral 20 mg dose (tablets). Hydrocortisone is a class II active substance according to the biopharmaceutical classification system (BCS) with a high intestinal permeability and a low dissolution rate, especially at higher doses. The modified-release tablet has an outer coating layer that provides an immediate release of the drug and an extended release core. The immediate-release part provides a rapid onset of absorption and the extended release part provides a more extended plasma profile of cortisol. The bioavailability (AUC0-24h) is 20% lower with the modified-release tablet compared to the same daily dose of hydrocortisone given as conventional tablets three times daily. When the oral dose is increased the total plasma exposure of cortisol increased less than proportional. The exposure increased three-fold when the dose of hydrocortisone modified-release increased from 5 mg to 20 mg.

The absorption rate of hydrocortisone was reduced after food intake resulting in a delay in the time to maximal concentration in plasma from on average less than 1 hour to over 2.5 hours. On the other hand, the extent of absorption and bioavailability was approximately 30% higher for the 20 mg tablet after food intake compared to fasting and there was no absorption failure or dose dumping.

Distribution

In plasma, cortisol is bound to corticosteroid-binding globulin (CBG, also called transcortin) and albumin. The binding is about 90%.

Elimination

The terminal half-life has been reported to be about 1.5 hours following intravenous and oral dosing of hydrocortisone tablets. The terminal half-life of cortisol following administration of Genkort was about 3 hours and formulation release controlled. This terminal half-life is similar to the pharmacokinetics of endogenous cortisol that also is secretion-controlled.

Hydrocortisone (cortisol) is a lipophilic drug that is eliminated completely via metabolism with a low clearance and accordingly low intestinal and hepatic extraction ratios.

Hydrocortisone is eliminated completely by metabolism by 11ßHSD type 1 and type 2 enzymes and CYP 3A4 in the liver and in peripheral tissue. CYP 3A4 is involved in the clearance of cortisol by the formation of 6β-hydroxycortisol which is excreted in urine. The transport of cortisol across membranes is expected to be mediated mainly by passive diffusion and therefore renal and biliary clearances are negligible.

Special populations

Renal impairment

A small amount of cortisol is excreted in the urine unchanged (<0.5% of the daily production), meaning that cortisol is eliminated completely by metabolism. Since severe renal impairment may affect medicinal products completely eliminated via metabolism, dose adjustment may be needed.

Hepatic impairment

No study has been performed in patients with hepatic impairment, however data in the literature for hydrocortisone support that no dose adjustment is required in mild to moderate hepatic impairment. In case of severe hepatic impairment, the functional liver mass decreases and thus the metabolising capacity for hydrocortisone. This may require dose individualisation.

Paediatric population

No pharmacokinetic data are available in children or adolescents.

The topically applied steroid acts locally and so pharmacokinetics are not relevant to its activity.

Pharmacotherapeutic group

The information provided in Pharmacotherapeutic group of Genkort is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Genkort of the medicine (Hydrocortisone). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Pharmacotherapeutic group in the instructions to the drug Genkort directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Lyophilizate for the preparation of solution for intravenous and intramuscular administration; Powder and solvent for solution for injection
Film-coated tablet; Modified-release tablet
Glucocorticoids, ATC code: H02AB09
Corticosteroids for systemic use, glucocorticoids. ATC code: H02AB09.

Preclinical safety data

The information provided in Preclinical safety data of Genkort is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Genkort of the medicine (Hydrocortisone). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Preclinical safety data in the instructions to the drug Genkort directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Eye ointment; Lyophilizate for the preparation of solution for intravenous and intramuscular administration; Ointment for external use; Substance-powder; Suspension for intramuscular and intraarticular administration
Powder and solvent for solution for injection
Film-coated tablet; Modified-release tablet
Coated tablet

There are no preclinical safety data of relevance to the consumer.

Carcinogenesis:

Hydrocortisone did not increase tumor incidences in male and female rats during a 2-year carcinogenicity study.

Mutagenesis:

Corticosteroids, a class of steroid hormones that includes hydrocortisone, are consistently negative in the bacterial mutagenicity assay. Hydrocortisone and dexamethasone induced chromosome aberrations in human lymphocytes in vitro and in mice in vivo. However, the biological relevance of these findings is not clear since hydrocortisone did not increase tumor incidences in male and female rats during a 2-year carcinogenicity study. Fludrocortisone (9α-fluorohydrocortisone, structurally similar to hydrocortisone) was negative in the human lymphocyte chromosome aberration assay.

Reproductive toxicity:

Corticosteroids have been shown to reduce fertility when administered to rats. Male rats were administered corticosterone at doses of 0, 10, and 25 mg/kg/day by subcutaneous injection once daily for 6 weeks and mated with untreated females. The high dose was reduced to 20 mg/kg/day after Day 15. Decreased copulatory plugs were observed, which may have been secondary to decreased accessory organ weight. The numbers of implantations and live fetuses were reduced. Corticosteroids have been shown to be teratogenic in many species when given in doses equivalent to the human dose. In animal reproduction studies, glucocorticoids have been shown to increase the incidence of malformations (cleft palate, skeletal malformations), embryo-fetal lethality (e.g., increase in resorptions), and intra-uterine growth retardation. With hydrocortisone, cleft palate was observed when administered to pregnant mice and hamsters during organogenesis

Animal experiments have shown that prenatal exposure to very high doses of glucocorticoids can induce malformations (cleft palate, skeletal malformations). Animal studies have also shown that prenatal exposure to high doses of glucocorticoids (but lower than teratogenic doses) may be associated with increased risk of intrauterine growth retardation, cardiovascular disease in adulthood and permanent changes in glucocorticoid receptor density, neurotransmitter turnover and behaviour.

None stated.

Incompatibilities

The information provided in Incompatibilities of Genkort is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Genkort of the medicine (Hydrocortisone). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Incompatibilities in the instructions to the drug Genkort directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Eye ointment; Lyophilizate for the preparation of solution for intravenous and intramuscular administration; Ointment for external use; Substance-powder; Suspension for intramuscular and intraarticular administration
Powder and solvent for solution for injection
Film-coated tablet; Modified-release tablet
Coated tablet

None known.

Not applicable.

Not applicable

None known.

Special precautions for disposal and other handling

The information provided in Special precautions for disposal and other handling of Genkort is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Genkort of the medicine (Hydrocortisone). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Special precautions for disposal and other handling in the instructions to the drug Genkort directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Eye ointment; Lyophilizate for the preparation of solution for intravenous and intramuscular administration; Ointment for external use; Substance-powder; Suspension for intramuscular and intraarticular administration
Powder and solvent for solution for injection
Film-coated tablet; Modified-release tablet
Coated tablet

None.

No special requirements.

Any unused medicinal product or waste material should be disposed of in accordance with local requirements.

SEE LEAFLET.

1 Shake the canister vigorously before each use.

2 Fill applicator so that the foam fills about ¼ of the applicator body. Only a short press is needed to do this.

3 Wait until foam has stopped expanding.

4 Repeat step 2 until the foam expands to just reach the “Fill” line. This normally takes 2-4 short press/waits.

5 Stand with one leg raised on a chair, or lie down on your left side. Insert gently into back passage and push plunger fully into the applicator.