Adrenal insufficiency (AI) is a chronic condition associated with increased mortality and morbidity. The treatment of AI in the last years has been object of important changes due to the development of a dual-release preparation of hydrocortisone. It differs from previous therapeutic strategy as it contemplates a once-daily tablet that allows more closely mimicking the physiological circadian cortisol rhythm. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effects of dual-release hydrocortisone treatment on the glycometabolic profile and health-related quality of life of patients with AI.
Design and Methods
In this clinical open trial, we enrolled ten patients with primary AI (41 ± 2.67 years) and nine patients with AI secondary to hypopituitarism (53.2 ± 17.7 years). We evaluated the glycometabolic profile before and 3, 6, 9 and 12 months after dual-release hydrocortisone administration. We also evaluated health-related quality of life, estimated by the AddiQol questionnaire. The mean dose administered of dual-release hydrocortisone was 28.33 ± 6.68 mg/day.
One female hypopituitary patient dropped out from the study. After 12 months of treatment, the mean dosage administered of dual-release hydrocortisone was significantly lower (P < 0.05) and all patients reported improved quality of life and well-being. The glycometabolic profile improved and the glycosylated hemoglobin decreased significantly in patients with primary AI (6.25 ± 0.2 vs 5.35 ± 0.17, P < 0.05). In contrast, hypopituitary patients had worse glycometabolic profile and a trend toward hypertriglyceridemia.
Dual-release hydrocortisone treatment improved the quality of life of patients with AI, and it allowed a decrease of cortisol dosage administered in the absence of side effects. The glycometabolic profile worsened in hypopituitary patients.