Drugs and Cortisol
Patients frequently ask me if takin a certain drug will affect cortisol levels, either in regarding to cortisol testing or if they want to raise or lower their cortisol. If a patient is undergoing testing for Cushing’s Dr. Friedman recommends discontinuing the drug for a week before testing, especially drugs in bold. Although it may be a challenge, certain drugs can be used to raise (those with low cortisol) or lower (those with high cortisol) cortisol. Cortisol has a circadian rhythm, with the highest levels in the morning and low levels at night, Therefore, in general, cortisol-lowering agents should be taken at night and cortisol-raising agents should be taken in the morning.