Do not stop taking Encortolon without talking to your doctor - you will need to reduce the dose gradually.
Taking Encortolon for many months or years can have several harmful effects on your body. It can lead to:
- thinner bones (osteoporosis)
- poorly controlled diabetes
- eyesight problems
- slower growth in children and teenagers
If you have to take Encortolon for a long time, there are steps you can take to stay as healthy as possible:
- Take regular exercise and make sure you get enough calcium in your diet to help strengthen your bones. Calcium-rich foods include milk, cheese and leafy greens. To check your bones, your doctor may arrange for you to have an occasional bone scan.
- If you have diabetes, you may need to check your blood glucose more often. Your doctor can advise you more about this.
- To reduce the chances of eyesight problems, visit an optometrist every 12 months to check for high pressure in your eye (glaucoma) and cataracts.
- Make sure that children and teenagers have their height monitored regularly by a doctor so that any stunting of growth can be picked up promptly.
Taking Encortolon makes you more likely to catch infections such as flu, the common cold and chest infections.
Keep away from people with an infectious disease, especially chickenpox or shingles. If you have never had these illnesses they could make you very ill.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
If you still have symptoms of eye irritation after you finish the Encortolon eye drops or eye ointment, call your doctor.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
What should I avoid while taking Encortolon?
Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using Encortolon. The vaccine may not work as well during this time, and may not fully protect you from disease. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), polio, rotavirus, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), zoster (shingles), and nasal flu (influenza) vaccine.
Do not receive a smallpox vaccine or you could develop serious complications.
Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Call your doctor for preventive treatment if you are exposed to chickenpox or measles. These conditions can be serious or even fatal in people who are using steroid medication.
Serious Side Effects of Encortolon
Tell your doctor right away if you experience any of the following serious side effects:
Encortolon comes in various formulations, including a tablet, a solution, a syrup, a liquid, a suspension, and a disintegrating tablet.
Your dose will depend on your condition and response to treatment.
Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. Don't take more or less Encortolon than is recommended.
Your doctor may change your dose of Encortolon if you experience unusual stress, surgery, or a serious illness.
Be sure to measure the liquid form of Encortolon with a special dose-measuring cup (not a regular spoon). Ask your pharmacist about this if you don't have a dose-measuring device.
You may need to shake the liquid well before measuring a dose.
Don't remove a disintegrating tablet from its blister pack until you're ready to take the medicine. Use dry hands when opening the package, and peel back the foil — don't push the tablet through the foil.
Let the disintegrating tablet dissolve in your mouth without chewing it. You can drink some liquid if needed.
Encortolon and Other Interactions
Encortolon may make you dizzy.
Don't drive or perform other activities that require alertness until you know how this medicine affects you.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Call your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose of Encortolon.
9. Common questions
Steroids mimic the effects of hormones your body naturally produces in your adrenal glands. The adrenal glands sit on top of your kidneys.
When prescribed in doses higher than your body's usual levels, steroids like Encortolon dampen inflammation. This can reduce the symptoms of inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis and asthma.
Steroids also damp down your immune system, which can help in autoimmune illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis, where your immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissues.
For some illnesses, you will feel better after a couple of days.
For other illnesses, you may not feel any better even though the medicine is helping you. This may be the case if you're taking Encortolon to stop your symptoms getting worse or to prevent a problem happening (for example after an organ transplant).
Ask your doctor what to expect for your illness.
This depends on your health problem.
You may only need a short course of Encortolon for up to a week.
You may need to take it for longer - even for many years or the rest of your life.
If you have to take Encortolon for more than a few weeks, the chances are that you will put on weight. Encortolon can make you hungrier and retain water, so it can be quite challenging to avoid weight gain.
Try to eat well without increasing your portion sizes. Regular exercise will also help to keep your weight stable.
Once you stop taking Encortolon, any issues around increased appetite or water retention should return to normal.
It can be dangerous to stop taking Encortolon suddenly, especially if you have been on a high dose for a long time.
Your health condition may flare up again. You may also get extra side effects including:
- severe tiredness
- body aches
- joint pain
These side effects are most likely to happen if you have taken Encortolon for more than a few weeks or you take more than 40mg daily.
Your doctor will probably want to reduce your dose gradually over several weeks to prevent these side effects.
If you need any medical or dental treatment, show your blue steroid card to the doctor or dentist so they know that you are taking Encortolon.
There are other steroids available, including:
For most health problems, these steroids are very similar to Encortolon in terms of how well they work and how safe they are.
You may notice mood changes and mental health problems while taking Encortolon, including:
- feeling depressed (including thinking about suicide)
- feeling high, or moods that go up and down
- feeling anxious, having problems sleeping, difficulty in thinking, or being confused and losing your memory
- feeling, seeing or hearing things that do not exist
- having strange and frightening thoughts, changing how you act, or having feelings of being alone
The higher the dose, the more intense the mood changes can be.
If this happens to you, talk to your doctor.
There's no firm evidence to suggest that taking Encortolon will reduce fertility in either men or women.
However, speak to a pharmacist or your doctor before taking it if you're trying to get pregnant.