Improvement of anthropometric and metabolic parameters, and quality of life following treatment with dual-release hydrocortisone in patients with Addison's disease

Endocrine. 2016 Feb;51(2):360-8. doi: 10.1007/s12020-015-0681-z. Epub 2015 Jul 17.


In patients with Addison's disease (AD), a dual-release preparation of hydrocortisone (Plenadren, PLEN) has been demonstrated to maintain cortisol levels in a more physiological range than conventional glucocorticoid therapy, and to exert positive effects. This study aimed to assess variations of anthropometric, metabolic, and hormonal parameters in patients with AD after switching from conventional hydrocortisone (HC) treatment to PLEN. In nineteen AD patients (15 F and 4 M, age 27-65 years) treated with HC 20 mg/day thrice daily, body weight, BMI, waist circumference, fasting glucose, HbA1c, serum lipids, plasma renin activity, electrolytes, and blood pressure were evaluated at baseline, and 1, 3, 6, and 12 months after switching from HC to PLEN. At baseline, and after 1 and 12 months of PLEN, blood ACTH and cortisol (at 0800 h at fasting, and 30, 60, 90, 120, and 240 min after drug ingestion), and health-related quality of life (HRQoL), using 30-AddiQoL questionnaire, were evaluated. During PLEN, waist and serum lipid progressively decreased. After 12 months of PLEN, a significant difference was observed in waist circumference (P = 0.007), HbA1c (P = 0.002), total and LDL-cholesterol levels (P < 0.05). ACTH levels at 240 min and the area under the curve (AUC) were lower (P < 0.05) during PLEN than HC, while cortisol peaks and AUC were similar. 30-AddiQoL total score also improved (P = 0.04) during PLEN. In AD patients, PLEN reduces central adiposity, and improves glucose and metabolism parameters and HRQoL.

Keywords: Addison’s disease; Dual-release hydrocortisone; Metabolism; QoL.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Addison Disease / drug therapy*
  • Addison Disease / metabolism
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Female
  • Glucocorticoids / administration & dosage
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use*
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / administration & dosage
  • Hydrocortisone / blood
  • Hydrocortisone / therapeutic use*
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Waist Circumference / drug effects


  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Lipids
  • Hydrocortisone