addisonian crisismedical dictionary

<endocrinology> An abrupt life-threatening state which is caused by insufficient production of cortisol by the adrenal gland. A typical finding in Addison's disease. Individuals who have been taking corticosteroids (glucocorticoids) for a prolonged period of time (weeks to months) are at risk for acute adrenal crisis if the medication is stopped abruptly. For this reason, corticosteroid medication are withdrawn slowly on a diminishing dosing schedule.

Symptoms include low blood pressure (shock), weakness, headache, vomiting, fever chills, tachycardia and sweating.

Treatment includes blood pressure support and intravenous hydrocortisone.

See: addison's disease

(15 Jan 1998)