Treatment of Addison’s disease involves the replacement of the cortisol and/or aldosterone that the human body is not able to produce – or does not secrete in a sufficient quantity. Your endocrinologist will determine after conducting your physical checkup and tests if you require one or both hormone replacements.
American Integrative Pharmacy (AIP) is an advanced integrative pharmacy offering safe and innovative compounding solutions to patients in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Torrance, South Bay, Orange County, and various Southern California locations. Moreover, it provides services such as online prescription refills for delivery across the United States.
Oral synthetic glucocorticoid usually replaces cortisol. This drug is required to be taken one or two times per day. Some of the generic drug names for glucocorticoids are prednisone, hydrocortisone, and dexamethasone.
The doctor’s goal will be to give the patient the least possible amount of glucocorticoid that may be needed to replace the normal cortisol production of the body. An overdose will create its own set of problems, which include obesity and even diabetes.
As cortisol is an essential hormone for your body in times of sickness and stress, a large number of people tend to take two to three times their usual dose when they have a more severe problem, such as strep throat or stomach flu. If you have to undergo surgery or are hospitalized, your dose of glucocorticoid will need to be raised further; your doctor will possibly prescribe intravenous replacement.
It is an astute idea to have an emergency dose of glucocorticoid at home that can be injected by you or a family member if you are too sick to take the pills orally.
Replacement of Aldosterone
Aldosterone is used to replace an oral mineral corticoid. The generic name of the drug is fludrocortisone. Your doctor may also ask you to increase your salt intake.
Irrespective of one or more prescription of the drugs, your doctor will give you certain dosing instructions including the number of pills to take each day, the appropriate time to use the medications, and its common side effects. He or she will monitor your symptoms closely to make sure your dose is adequate —without giving you too much of the replacement hormone(s).
Important Notes for Medication
Please make sure that you take your medication as advised by your doctor. If you throw up your medicines or are too ill to take it, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.
If you have been diagnosed with adrenal insufficiency, you should wear a medical identification bracelet or necklace all the time. This will be extremely helpful in case of a medical emergency.
Addisonian Crisis Management and Prevention
An Addisonian crisis, commonly referred to as adrenal crisis, needs urgent medical attention, because it can prove to be fatal. Some of the symptoms are, severe vomiting and diarrhea, dehydration, low blood pressure, loss of consciousness, and/or stabbing pain in legs, lower back and the abdomen.
Treatment for Addisonian crisis could include intravenous injection of sugar (dextrose), glucocorticoid, and salt water (saline).
Your doctor will assist you to recognize signs, symptoms, and stressors that may start adrenal crisis. Make sure to contact your doctor if you think you might have an adrenal crisis. At times, the crisis can be prevented with oral medicines your doctor might prescribe (i.e., prednisone or anti-nausea medicine). The doctor will also guide you when and how to give yourself a glucocorticoid injection in case of an emergency.
Although Addison’s disease is a rare but severe disorder, nearly all patients lead normal lives. Treatment—usually medicines to improve cortisol hormone levels—is needed life-long and can help you to live in a healthy manner.
AIP, led by Dr. Neema Yazdanpanah, provides compounding pharmacy solutions, including online prescription refills, to patients in Long Beach, Torrance, Los Angeles, South Bay, Orange County, Southern California areas, and nationwide.
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