GENERIC NAME: fludrocortisone acetate
DISCONTINUED BRANDS: Florinef
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Fludrocortisone is a man-made oral corticosteroid. It is derived from hydrocortisone, but is more potent than hydrocortisone. The effects of fludrocortisone including its effect on electrolyte balance and carbohydrate metabolism are stronger and prolonged in comparison to hydrocortisone.
Fludrocortisone mimics the actions of aldosterone which is a steroid that is naturally produced by the body. The physiological effects of fludrocortisone are dose dependent. Small oral doses of fludrocortisone cause an increase in blood pressure, sodium retention, and increases urinary potassium excretion. Larger doses of fludrocortisone inhibit the secretion of hormones from the adrenal gland. Fludrocortisone was initially approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1954. The first generic fludrocortisone tablet was approved by the FDA in March 2002.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Oral fludrocortisone is used as the partial replacement therapy for primary and secondary adrenocortical insufficiency in Addison's disease. It is also prescribed for the treatment of salt losing adrenogenital syndrome or congenital adrenal hyperplasia.
SIDE EFFECTS: Reported side effects include:
- heart problems,
- fluid retention,
- high blood pressure,
- mood or psychiatric disorders,
- trouble sleeping,
- skin problems,
- endocrine disorders,
- (low potassium),
- growth suppression,
- upset stomach,
- stomach ulcers,
- muscle weakness,
- eye problems, and
Fludrocortisone may increase the risk of infections.
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