Health Guide

Cortisone acetate (By mouth)

Cortisone Acetate (KOR-ti-sone AS-e-tate)

Treats inflammation, arthritis, and many other medical conditions. This medicine is a corticosteroid.

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to cortisone acetate.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines can affect how cortisone acetate works. Tell your doctor if you are using any of the following:
    • Aspirin, phenobarbital, phenytoin, rifampin
    • Insulin or diabetes medicine that you take by mouth
    • A blood thinner, such as warfarin
  • This medicine may interfere with vaccines. Ask your doctor before you get a flu shot or any other vaccines.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, stomach problems (such as an ulcer), heart failure, high blood pressure, thyroid disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, myasthenia gravis, or glaucoma. Tell your doctor if you have any type of infection or had a recent heart attack.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Mood or behavior changes
    • Cataracts or glaucoma (with long-term use)
    • Weak bones or osteoporosis (with long-term use)
    • High blood pressure, fluid retention, changes in salt or potassium levels in your body
    • Slow growth in children (with long-term use)
  • This medicine could cause you to get infections more easily. Tell your doctor right away if you are exposed to chicken pox, measles, or another serious infection. Tell your doctor if you had a serious infection in the past, such as tuberculosis or herpes.
  • Tell your doctor about any extra stress in your life, such as a medical emergency or surgery. Your dose might need to be changed for a short time.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Depression, unusual thoughts, feelings, or behaviors, trouble sleeping
  • Dry mouth, increased thirst, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, body aches
  • Muscle pain or weakness
  • Rapid weight gain, swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
  • Severe stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation, red or black stools, vomiting material that looks like coffee grounds
  • Vision changes, eye pain, seeing halos around lights, headache

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Round, puffy face
  • Weight gain around your neck, upper back, breasts, face, or waist

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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