We have put these guidelines together to help pituitary patients stay safe.
This page contains all the vital information you need to stay safe with your pituitary condition.
The government has released new advice for those who are 'clinically vulnerable', as defined during the first wave. Please note that a pituitary condition alone does not classify you as clinically vulnerable
On the basis of current data, there is no evidence that patients with adrenal insufficiency are at increased risk of contracting coronavirus (COVID-19). However, we know that patients with Addison’s disease (primary adrenal insufficiency) and congenital adrenal hyperplasia have a slightly increased overall risk of catching infections.
Patients who take steroids for endocrine conditions are at increased risk of becoming more unwell from coronavirus, and possibly having an adrenal crisis. The government has issued a list of people considered vulnerable and this includes anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds as well as all people whose medication includes steroid tablets. Whilst adrenal insufficiency is not specifically mentioned in this guidance, both of these criteria apply to patients with adrenal insufficiency.
We are receiving lots of enquiries about vaccinations, their safety and how they will be prioritised. Click here for the latest information
There is normally no need to increase hydrocortisone medication before receiving a vaccination, but we recommend following the usual sick day rules if you feel unwell afterwards
You should ensure you have enough spare steroid medication, and should contact your GP asking for at least one extra month to be prescribed, preferably two. In the event that GP is reluctant to prescribe more, please refer them to the Society for Endocrinology’s statement regarding advice to patients who take replacement steroids (hydrocortisone, prednisolone, dexamethasone or plenadren)
If you need to ask your GP to prescribe additional hydrocortisone, you can download our letter template here >
For patient with adrenal insufficiency, it is important to follow the Hydrocortisone Sick Day Rules if you are unwell. You may need to increase your hydrocortisone dose during sickness so please read these carefully.
Our Patient Care Card is useful to have with you in the event of illness to make medical professionals aware of your condition
Please note that orders in the shop may take around a week to arrive, however all our publications can be downloaded for free from our website.
Society for Endocrinology advice for patients (28 April)
For children with AI:
Children AI patients are considerably less likely to be affected than adults with AI. The rules for adults are unlikely to apply to the majority of children. However, children should have increased oral steroids as they have been advised for any illness. It’s key that parents get medical help if the child is significantly unwell.
NHS Steroid Card
The new NHS steroid card is for adults with adrenal insufficiency and should be carried with you at all times. Hard copies of the card can be collected from your local pharmacy, GP or endo team. These cards are currently being rolled out so your pharmacy may not have them yet, but it is worth talking to them
You can also download yourself here > to print at home or use as a background on your phone.
Our Endocrine Nurse, Pauline, has put together this information answering common questions our patients may have. Last updated - April 2020, we are currently updating this page to reflect the current situation
Get Red Flagged
Now is a good time to make sure you are red flagged with your local ambulance trust (where available). Click on the below links to find your local ambulance service. You can then contact them and ask to be electronically flagged as a steroid dependent patient.
Ambulance trusts in
Advice for Self-Care
Click here to download our top tips for protecting your emotional and mental health
The Foundation will continue to follow advice from the government and our Medical Committee and we will continue to share relevant updates via our website and social media.