Conventional treatment of adrenal insufficiency involves cortisol replacement therapy with twice- or thrice-daily oral hydrocortisone. Recently dual-release hydrocortisone (DR-HC) administered once daily to provide high levels of cortisol during the morning, followed by a gradual decrease throughout the day is being used. This results in considerably lower cortisol exposure during the afternoon and evening compared with immediate-release thrice-daily hydrocortisone, thereby mimicking normal cortisol secretion more closely than conventional therapy.
Nilsson et al. conducted a study to evaluate the long-term safety of DR-HC and whether the difference in the incidence of adverse events persisted over time and if it was related to different levels of exposure to cortisol. They conducted a randomised, open-label, crossover trial of DR-HC or thrice-daily hydrocortisone for 3 months each (stage 1) followed by two consecutive, prospective, open-label studies of DR-HC for 6 months (stage 2) and 18 months (stage 3) at five university clinics in Sweden. The results of the study of the newly developed DR-HC showed that long-term maintenance treatment and rescue therapy was well tolerated up to 27 months of continuous treatment.
Read full article titled ‘Prospective evaluation of long-term safety of dual-release hydrocortisone replacement administered once daily in patients with adrenal insufficiency’ by Nilsson et al., European Journal of Endocrinology 171 pp 369 – 377, DOI: 10.1530/EJE-14-0327