Theoretical Steroid Curve Plotter

Equivalent HC: 0 mg

#Steroid TypeIngest TimeDose Amount (mg)
#Steroid TypeDose TimeDose Amount (U/hr)

Gone are the days where doctors are suggesting just twice daily dosing of hydrocortisone to achieve that “normal” life with Adrenal Insufficiency. We are smarter now. We have learned that cortisol levels vary throughout the day, following the circadian rhythm. We have learned the benefit of splitting up our dosage and combining different types of steroids to give us a more even coverage over 24 hours.

But there wasn’t an easy way to visualize this theoretical steroid curve.

Until now.

Limitations of This Tool

This tool plots the theoretical cortisol curve based off of mathematical formulas for each steroid. It is assumed that the value in the blood stream increases in a linear fashion until the medicine “kicks in.” It will then exponentially decay according to the biological half life. All values are given in terms of equivalent hydrocortisone. The following properties were used:

Steroid Type“Kick In”Biological Half LifeHC Equivalent
Hydrocortisone30 minutes1.5 hours1 mg
Prednisone2 hour4 hours4 mg
Dexamethasone4 hours36 hours26.67 mg

Please note that these are theoretical values. Each individual absorbs and clears medicine at different rates and absorption is effected by many different factors. Additionally, your body does not absorb all of the medicine that you take. Dusty over at Addison’s Support Advocacy has an excellent blog post explaining more about this. This tool does not currently take into account the systematic availability of hydrocortisone.

You will also note that there is no scale on the y-axis. This tool is designed to only provide a rough idea of a curve and not actual numerical data.Also realize that blood work does not provide an accurate representation for oral steroid replacements. Please consult with your doctor and base your individual steroid treatment off of your symptoms and what works best for you. We are all incredibly different. This is definitely not a one-size-fits-all disease.

The purpose of this tool is to start conversations that could improve your quality of life. We do not have to live miserably with Adrenal Insufficiency. We can be Clearly Alive.

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