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A 23-year-old male asked:

If you take hydrocortisone for adrenal insufficiency do you still get fevers when you lets say have appendicitis or other infections? because they say it shut down your immune system?!

4 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Thomas Knecht
A Verified Doctoranswered
32 years experience
NO!: Hi. Please don't confuse replacement doses of glucocorticoids with pharmacologic does of glucocorticoids! VASTLY different things! Replacement doses, as used for treating primary or secondary adrenal insufficiency, do NOT suppress the immune system, and allow normal immune function. Hi dose glucocorticoid is used to suppress the immune system, and does an OK job at that. Ne'er the twain shall meet
Dr. David Nelson
Family Medicine 34 years experience
Maybe not: When you are on hydrocortisone, you may not respond as strongly to an infection. Therefore, you may not run a high fever but you would still run a fever and have pain.
Dr. Jovita Anyanwu
Internal Medicine 31 years experience
Yes: It is a replacement for that naturally produced by your body.
Dr. John Goldman
Rheumatology 56 years experience
Yes you get fevers: With adrenal insufficiency the hydrocortisone supplies what your body does not make. But if the body is stressed you will need extra cortisone because you will not make it on your own. You will get fevers and may be very sick and have increased stress and will need extra hydrocortisone to cover the stress. Remember to discuss this with your physicians because you will need this.
Last updated Dec 16, 2014

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