What Is Cortisone Acetate?

Stephany Seipel
Stephany Seipel
Peptic ulcers and high blood pressure have been found in patients who use cortisone acetate for an extended time.
Peptic ulcers and high blood pressure have been found in patients who use cortisone acetate for an extended time.

Cortisone acetate is a steroid medication that helps control inflammation, itching, redness and swelling in the body. Doctors prescribe it to relieve the symptoms of a number of diseases. It works by preventing the body from releasing the chemicals that cause inflammation.

This drug is classified as a glucocorticoid, or steroid hormone. It appears as a white powder composed of tiny crystals. Cortisone acetate has no smell and does not dissolve in water, but is easily absorbed by the body when swallowed. It binds to receptors in the body and releases proteins that inhibit leukotrienes and prostaglandins, which are the two main agents that cause inflammation.

Cortisone acetate is used to treat disorders that cause inflammation or swelling. It is commonly prescribed for conditions such as lupus, respiratory problems, arthritis and severe allergies. The doctor might also prescribe it as part of a treatment regimen for leukemia, various types of anemia and ulcerative colitis, among other conditions.

Patients usually take the drug in tablet form. The dosage varies, depending on the patient's medical condition and his or her body weight. The doctor might change the amount as needed to provide the patient with the most effective results. Individuals who have recently been ill might also need an adjustment in their medication dosage.

This medication has a variety of side effects. Like most steroids, cortisone acetate suppresses the immune system, lessening the body's ability to fight infections. People should not receive vaccinations while using this product, especially not live vaccines. Patients who have an active fungal infection should also avoid using cortisone products.

Individuals who are using cortisone acetate should avoid coming into direct contact with sick people. Diseases such as measles and chicken pox can be severe or life-threatening. This medication might also exacerbate the symptoms of amoebic infections.

Cortisone acetate might cause severe side effects in some individuals. Some patients experience seizures, vision problems, depression, confusion and headaches. Weight gain and tarry bowel movements also are potential side effects. Some patients develop severe allergic reactions to this product. The symptoms include rapid swelling around the face or mouth, hives or respiratory difficulty.

Other patients complain of bloating, acne or difficulty sleeping. People occasionally develop mental disorders while using cortisone acetate and might demonstrate symptoms that range from elation to psychosis. This drug also interacts with many other medications.

People who use this product for many years might develop vision problems because of damage to the optic nerve. Others develop peptic ulcers or high blood pressure. Patients who stop using cortisone acetate suddenly might suffer from withdrawal symptoms.

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Discussion Comments


Cortisone can be very effective and relieve many bothersome symptoms. The only down side is the side effects it causes, especially when used often. It causes weight gain and increases blood sugar. I think this is why it's not a treatment that doctors resort to immediately. If the symptoms are severe or if other treatments are not working, then the doctor will suggest cortisone.


@candyquilt-- Cortisone acetate is used for such conditions because these conditions cause inflammation which slows down healing and increases pain and discomfort.

I have a herniated disc in my lower back and I've had to use cortisone twice because of it. Because of the ruptured disc, the tissues around the disc swell and become inflamed. The swelling puts a lot of pressure on nearby nerves which causes pain, as well as issues like numbness and tingling in the legs.

Cortisone not only relieves the pain, but because it reduces inflammation, it encourages healing as well.


Why do doctors give cortisone for skeletal issues like a slipped disc? Does it work well for such conditions?

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    • Peptic ulcers and high blood pressure have been found in patients who use cortisone acetate for an extended time.
      By: rob3000
      Peptic ulcers and high blood pressure have been found in patients who use cortisone acetate for an extended time.