STEROID THERAPY

Cortisol is a steroid hormone or glucocorticoid, and the use of these terms are interchangeable

For pituitary patients with secondary adrenal insufficiency, either as a direct result of the mass effects of the pituitary tumour or as a side effect of treatment (e.g. surgery, radiotherapy), steroid replacement is essential for life.

Cortisol is commonly known as the “stress hormone”, as the amount of cortisol in the blood raises to combat stressful events.

This sheet is ideal to have at home and in your car, or when you are going away. Available to download as a Word document for you to fill in your own details including next of kin contact details, medical history and medication list.

Everyone on steroid replacement therapy should have a hydrocortisone emergency kit, for the times when an intramuscular IM injection of hydrocortisone is required.

An example hydrocortisone emergency kit using a small soap box sized Tupperware, clearly labelled for emergencies, is shown below. Ask your endocrine nurse to help you set this up and show you and your family how to use it in an adrenal crisis.Hydrocortisone Emergency Kit

For details on how to set up a hydrocortisone emergency kit and step by step instructions please download our information booklet “Hydrocortisone advice for patients” on our main resources page.