Patients need to make diet and lifestyle changes such as controlling portion sizes and getting sufficient exercise to avoid gaining weight while on hydrocortisone tablets. If the patient's illness makes these changes difficult, cognitive behavioral therapy or switching to an alternative medication may help, according to Healthgrades.
The most common medications that lead to weight gain are corticosteroids and antidepressants. Hydrocortisone is a corticosteroid prescribed to treat inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, dermatitis, asthma, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, as noted by Healthgrades.
Taking hydrocortisone tablets can lead to an increase in appetite, which results in weight gain. They also alter the manner in which the body distributes fat, causing fat to accumulate in the face, neck, back and abdomen. This side effect depends on the quantity of hydrocortisone the patient takes and the duration of the treatment. Patients should lose the weight gained while on this medication within a few months of completing the treatment, as Healthgrades explains.
Hydrocortisone is a natural substance made by the adrenal gland, and it decreases the immune system's response to various diseases to reduce symptoms such as pain and swelling. Since hydrocortisone works by weakening the immune system, it may also lower the patient's ability to fight diseases. This could lead to serious infection, as WebMD warns.