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Clinical data
AHFS/Drugs.comInternational Drug Names
ATC code
Pharmacokinetic data
Elimination half-life9 minutes
CAS Number
PubChem CID
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Chemical and physical data
Molar mass4757.52 g·mol−1
3D model (JSmol)

Corticorelin (INN, trade name Xerecept) is a diagnostic agent. It is a synthetic form of human corticotropin-releasing hormone (hCRH).[1]

Medical uses[edit]

The corticorelin stimulation test helps to differentiate between the causes for adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)-dependent hypercortisolism. It is used to distinguish a pituitary source of excessive ACTH secretion from a different source.

  • If corticorelin injection increases plasma levels of ACTH and cortisol, a diagnosis of Cushing's disease is achieved (ACTH of pituitary origin).
  • If corticorelin injection leads to little or no response in plasma levels of ACTH or cortisol, a diagnosis of ectopic ACTH syndrome is confirmed.

Side effects[edit]

The most common side effects (in 1% to 10% of patients) are transient dysosmia and dysgeusia (distortion of the sense of smell and taste), as well as a sensation of warmth. About 0.1 to 1% of patients experience hypersensitivity, hypotension (lowering of blood pressure), tachycardia (increased heart rate), flush, dyspnoea (breathing difficulties), a cold sensation in the throat, the urge to urinate, and dizziness. Pituitary apoplexy has been reported in patients with pituitary tumours.[2]


The effects of corticorelin are reduced by corticosteroids, antihistamines, antiserotonergics and oxytocin. They are amplified by vasopressin and its analogues.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Andoh K, Kimura T, Saeki I, et al. (June 1994). "General pharmacological properties of the human corticotropin-releasing hormone corticorelin (human)". Arzneimittelforschung. 44 (6): 715–26. PMID 8053970.
  2. ^ a b Austria-Codex (in German). Vienna: Österreichischer Apothekerverlag. 2018.