Iatrogenic cushing syndrome in a child with congenital adrenal hyperplasia: Erroneous compounding of hydrocortisone
J Clin Endocrinol Metab
Copyright © 2018 Endocrine Society. Context: Patients with 21-hydroxylase deficiency congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) require lifelong treatment with glucocorticoids. In growing children, the drug of choice is hydrocortisone. Commercially available hydrocortisone tablets do not conform to very low doses prescribed to infants and toddlers, and compounded hydrocortisone is often dispensed to meet therapeutic needs. However, safety, efficacy, and uniformity of compounded products are not tested. We report a case of Cushing syndrome in a child with CAH who was inadvertently receiving excessive hydrocortisone in compounded form. Design: A 20-month-old girl with CAH developed growth deceleration, excessive weight for length, irritability, increased facial fat, plethora, and excess body hair while receiving hydrocortisone from a local compounding pharmacy. The signs and symptoms persisted despite decreasing hydrocortisone dose. Iatrogenic Cushing syndrome was suspected. The prescribed hydrocortisone capsules were sent for analysis to the Sports Medicine Research & Testing Laboratory, where testing revealed that each 1-mg hydrocortisone capsule contained five to 10 times the dose prescribed and listed on the label. Conclusion: Physicians must be aware that errors in compounded medications may lead to unanticipated adverse effects. Iatrogenic Cushing syndrome should be suspected in any child receiving compounded glucocorticoid treatment who develops growth arrest and excess weight gain.
7 - 11
School of Medicine