1 mg/kg IV every 8 to 12 hours for 1 to 5 days has been studied in premature and term neonates (combined n from 3 studies = 89, gestational age 23 to 40 weeks). An initial loading dose of 2 mg/kg IV was used in 1 retrospective study and another prospective, observational study used a higher maintenance dose of 3 to 6 mg/kg/day IV divided 2 to 4 times daily in a small number of patients (n = 5) with severe capillary leak syndrome and/or previous steroid treatment. In the largest prospective, randomized, placebo controlled study (n = 48, gestational age to weeks), patients receiving hydrocortisone 1 mg/kg IV every 8 hours for 5 days required significantly less vasopressor support (lower doses of dopamine and dobutamine, shorter duration of vasopressor therapy, and fewer patients requiring more than 1 vasopressor) compared to patients receiving placebo. The trend of the average mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) was also significantly higher in patients receiving hydrocortisone compared to patients receiving placebo.
Potentiated by CYP3A4 inhibitors (eg, ketoconazole, macrolides), cyclosporine, estrogens. Antagonized by CYP3A4 inducers (eg, barbiturates, phenytoin, carbamazepine, rifampin), cholestyramine. May potentiate cyclosporine (seizure risk). May antagonize oral anticoagulants (monitor), isoniazid. Increased risk of arrhythmias with digitalis. May need to adjust dose of antidiabetic agents. Monitor for hypokalemia with potassium-depleting drugs (eg, amphotericin B, diuretics). Concomitant neuromuscular blocking agents; increased risk of myopathy. Withdraw anticholinesterase agents at least 24hrs before initiating corticosteroid therapy. Aminoglutethimide may lead to loss of corticosteroid-induced adrenal suppression. Increased GI effects with aspirin, other NSAIDs. Caution with aspirin in hypoprothrombinemia. May suppress reactions to skin tests.
Corticosteroid side effects may cause weight gain, water retention, flushing (hot flashes), mood swings or insomnia, and elevated blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Any numbness or mild muscle weakness usually resolves within 8 hours in the affected arm or leg (similar to the facial numbness experienced after dental work). Patients who are being treated for chronic conditions (., heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis) or those who cannot temporarily discontinue anti-clotting medications should consult their personal physician for a risk assessment.