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- What is fludrocortisone-oral, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- Is fludrocortisone-oral available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for fludrocortisone-oral?
- What are the side effects of fludrocortisone-oral?
- What is the dosage for fludrocortisone-oral?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with fludrocortisone-oral?
- Is fludrocortisone-oral safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about fludrocortisone-oral?
What is fludrocortisone-oral, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
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.
What are the side effects of fludrocortisone-oral?
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.
What is the dosage for fludrocortisone-oral?
- Addison's disease: The usual recommended dose is 0.1 mg by mouth once daily without regard to food. Dose should be reduced to 0.05 mg daily if hypertension develops. Maintenance dosage range is 0.1 to 0.2 mg 3 times weekly. Fludrocortisone is preferably administered with cortisone (10 to 37.5 mg daily) or hydrocortisone (10 to 30 mg daily).
- Salt losing adrenogenital syndrome: The recommended dose is 0.1 to 0.2 mg daily.
Which drugs or supplements interact with fludrocortisone-oral?
Oral corticosteroids may decrease the effectiveness of diabetes medications.
Medications that may decrease blood levels of corticosteroids include barbiturates, isoniazid (Nydrazid, Laniazid, INH), mitotane (Lysodren), rifampin (Rifadin, Rifadin IV), aminoglutethimide (Cytadren), primidone (Mysoline), and others.
Corticosteroids may increase the risk of adverse effects associated with live vaccine administration.
Is fludrocortisone-oral safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Although information specific to fludrocortisone is not available, corticosteroids are excreted in breast milk. Due to the risk of adverse effects in the infant, fludrocortisone should be used cautiously in nursing mothers.
Fludrocortisone acetate (Florinef) is a man-made oral corticosteroid prescribed as partial replacement therapy for primary and secondary adrenocortical insufficiency in Addison's disease. Florinef is also prescribed to treat salt losing adrenogenital syndrome. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, storage, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to taking this medicaiton.
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