Treatments for Addison's Disease in Children

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How is Addison's disease treated?
The goal of treatment is to restore your child's adrenal function by replacing essential hormones such as hydrocortisone. Sometimes, prednisone may be used in place of hydrocortisone. 

  • Hormones may be taken orally or intravenously, depending on your child's condition. In most cases, your child must continue taking them for the rest of her life.
  • Your child may need to increase her medication during times of physical stress, injury, infection or surgery.
  • Treatment may also include fludrocortisone, a synthetic form of aldosterone that helps restore the body's levels of sodium and potassium.

Because Addison's disease is rare and isn't typically tested for in an emergency situation, it's a good idea for your child to wear a Medic Alert bracelet that clearly communicates her condition to others.

Coping and support

You may have a lot of questions when your child is diagnosed with Addison's disease. We've tried to provide some answers to those questions on this site, but there are also a number of other resources to guide you and your family through diagnosis and treatment here at Boston Children's Hospital: 

Patient education
From the first office visit, our nurses will be on hand to walk you through your child's treatment and help answer any questions you may have. They will also reach out to you by phone, continuing the care and support you received while at Children's.

Parent to parent
Want to talk with someone whose child has been treated for Addison's disease? We can put you in touch with other families who have been through the same treatments that you and your child are facing, and share with you their experience at Children's.

Social work and counseling
Our clinical social workers have helped many other families in your situation. Your social worker can offer counseling and assistance with issues that stem from the stress of Addison's disease.

Learn more about Children's resources for patients and families. 

One in 10 million

A rare and mysterious disease made Katie a stranger to herself. Read her story.

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- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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