This information from Lexicomp® explains what you need to know about this medication, including what it’s used for, how to take it, its side effects, and when to call your healthcare provider.
Brand Names: Canada
What is this drug used for?
- It is used to treat Addison’s disease.
- It is used to treat salt-losing diseases.
- It may be given to your child for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell the doctor BEFORE my child takes this drug?
- If your child is allergic to this drug; any part of this drug; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell the doctor about the allergy and what signs your child had.
- If your child has any of these health problems: A fungal infection or malaria infection in the brain, a herpes infection in the eye, or nerve problems in the eye.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell the doctor and pharmacist about all of your child’s drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe to give this drug with all of your child’s other drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug your child takes without checking with the doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while my child takes this drug?
- Tell all of your child’s health care providers that your child is taking this drug. This includes your child’s doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Have your child’s blood work checked often. Talk with your child’s doctor.
- High blood pressure has happened with this drug. Have your child’s blood pressure checked as you have been told by the doctor.
- This drug may affect certain lab tests. Tell all of your child’s health care providers and lab workers that your child takes this drug.
- If your child has been taking this drug for many weeks, talk with your child’s doctor before stopping. You may want to slowly stop this drug.
- Tell the doctor if your child has missed a dose or recently stopped this drug and feels very tired, weak, or shaky, or has a fast heartbeat, confusion, sweating, or dizziness.
- Your child may have more chance of getting infections. Have your child wash hands often. Avoid crowds and people with infections, colds, or flu.
- Chickenpox and measles can be very bad or even deadly in some people taking steroid drugs like this drug. Avoid having your child near anyone with chickenpox or measles if your child has not had these health problems before. If your child has been exposed to chickenpox or measles, talk with the doctor.
- This drug may lower how much natural steroid is in your child’s body. If your child has a fever, an infection, surgery, or is hurt, talk with the doctor. Your child may need extra doses of oral steroids. These extra steroids will help your child’s body deal with these stresses. Carry a warning card saying that there may be times when your child needs extra steroids.
- Long-term use may raise the chance of cataracts, glaucoma, or weak bones (osteoporosis). Talk with your child’s doctor.
- Your child may need to have a bone density test. Talk with the doctor.
- Have your child’s eye pressure checked if your child is on this drug for a long time. Talk with the doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before your child gets any vaccines. Use of some vaccines with this drug may either raise the chance of very bad infection or make the vaccine not work as well.
- If your child has high blood sugar (diabetes), you will need to watch your child’s blood sugar closely.
- Alcohol may interact with this drug. Be sure your child does not drink alcohol.
- You may need to lower how much salt is in your child’s diet and give your child extra potassium. Talk with your child’s doctor.
- This drug may affect growth in children and teens in some cases. They may need regular growth checks. Talk with the doctor.
If your child is pregnant or breast-feeding a baby:
- Talk with the doctor if your child is pregnant, becomes pregnant, or is breast-feeding a baby. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to your child and the baby.
What are some side effects that I need to call my child’s doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your child’s doctor or get medical help right away if your child has any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of infection like fever, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or wound that will not heal.
- Signs of high blood sugar like confusion, feeling sleepy, unusual thirst or hunger, passing urine more often, flushing, fast breathing, or breath that smells like fruit.
- Signs of Cushing’s disease like weight gain in the upper back or belly, moon face, very bad headache, or slow healing.
- Signs of a weak adrenal gland like a severe upset stomach or throwing up, severe dizziness or passing out, muscle weakness, feeling very tired, mood changes, decreased appetite, or weight loss.
- Signs of high blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, or change in eyesight.
- Signs of electrolyte problems like mood changes; confusion; muscle pain, cramps, or spasms; weakness; shakiness; change in balance; an abnormal heartbeat; seizures; loss of appetite; or severe upset stomach or throwing up.
- Signs of a pancreas problem (pancreatitis) like very bad stomach pain, very bad back pain, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up.
- Shortness of breath, a big weight gain, or swelling in the arms or legs.
- Skin changes (pimples, stretch marks, slow healing, hair growth).
- Bone or joint pain.
- Change in eyesight.
- Mental, mood, or behavior changes that are new or worse.
- Any unexplained bruising or bleeding.
- Stomach pain; black, tarry, or bloody stools; throwing up blood; or throw up that looks like coffee grounds.
If your child has menstrual periods:
- Period (menstrual) changes.
What are some other side effects of this drug?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your child’s doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother your child or do not go away:
- Trouble sleeping.
- Sweating a lot.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your child’s doctor. Call your child’s doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.
How is this drug best given?
Give this drug as ordered by your child’s doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Give in the morning if giving once a day.
- Give with or without food. Give with food if it causes your child to have an upset stomach.
What do I do if my child misses a dose?
- Give a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your child’s next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your child’s normal time.
- Do not give 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
How do I store and/or throw out this drug?
- Store at room temperature in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Protect from heat.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
General drug facts
- If your child’s symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your child’s doctor.
- Do not share your child’s drug with others and do not give anyone else’s drug to your child.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your child’s doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
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