Fludrocortisone is a synthetic version of a naturally occurring substance known as glucocorticoid, which is produced by the body. It is typically administered in combination with other medications, such as hydrocortisone, to treat conditions where there is a deficiency of glucocorticoids caused by adrenal gland disease. Glucocorticoids are crucial for the proper functioning of the body in various ways, including maintaining salt and water balance and regulating blood pressure. They also play a vital role in the breakdown of carbohydrates from the diet.
Uses and Dosage
Fludrocortisone is available in tablet form for oral administration. Your doctor will provide you with a personalized dosing regimen that is best suited for your condition. Be sure to carefully follow the instructions on the prescription label and seek clarification from your doctor or pharmacist if you have any doubts.
Take fludrocortisone exactly as prescribed and not to modify the dose or frequency of administration without first consulting your doctor. Abruptly discontinuing the medication can result in adverse effects such as loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, confusion, headache, fever, joint and muscle pain, skin peeling, and weight loss.
If you have been taking high doses of fludrocortisone for an extended period, your doctor may gradually decrease your dose to allow your body to adjust before stopping the medication entirely.
Pay close attention to any potential side effects as you gradually decrease your dose or after discontinuing the medication completely. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms. Your doctor may advise you to temporarily increase your dosage or resume taking the tablets.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- upset stomach
- stomach irritation
- increased hair growth
- easy bruising
- irregular or absent menstrual periods
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- skin rash
- swollen face, lower legs, or ankles
- vision problems
- cold or infection that lasts a long time
- muscle weakness
- black or tarry stool
Before taking fludrocortisone, inform your healthcare provider if you are allergic to it or have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients that can cause allergic reactions or other problems.
Inform your doctor or pharmacist about your medical history, especially if you have bleeding problems, blood clots, osteoporosis, diabetes, eye problems such as cataracts, glaucoma, or eye infection, heart problems like congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, infections such as candidiasis, valley fever, herpes, tuberculosis, kidney disease, liver disease like cirrhosis, mental or mood disorders like anxiety, depression, or psychosis, low blood minerals like calcium or potassium, stomach or intestinal problems like diverticulitis, peptic ulcer disease, or ulcerative colitis, seizures, or thyroid problems.
Fludrocortisone causes your body to retain sodium and eliminate other salts like calcium and potassium. Follow your doctor’s advice on how much salt, potassium, and calcium should be in your diet.
This medication may mask signs of infection or increase your risk of developing serious infections. Report any injuries or signs of infection, such as a persistent sore throat, fever, cough, pain while urinating, or skin sores, that occur during treatment.
Avoid exposure to chickenpox or measles infection while taking this medication, unless you have previously had these infections. If you are exposed to either of these infections and have not previously had them, seek immediate medical attention.
Using corticosteroid medications for a prolonged period can make it difficult for your body to respond to physical stress. Before having surgery or emergency treatment, or if you have a severe illness or injury, inform your doctor or dentist if you are using this medication or have used it within the past 12 months.
If you have a history of ulcers or take large doses of aspirin or other arthritis medication, limit your alcohol consumption while taking this medication to decrease the risk of stomach or intestinal bleeding.
If you have diabetes, this medication may make it harder to control your blood sugar levels. Monitor your blood sugar levels regularly and inform your doctor of the results. Your diabetic medication or diet may need to be adjusted.
This medication may slow down a child’s growth if used for an extended period. Consult the doctor or pharmacist for more information. Have your child’s height and growth regularly checked by a doctor.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially water retention, bone loss or pain, stomach or intestinal bleeding, and mental or mood changes like confusion.
During pregnancy, use this medication only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Infants born to mothers who have used this medication for an extended period may have low levels of corticosteroid hormone. If you notice symptoms such as persistent nausea or vomiting, severe diarrhea, or weakness in your newborn, contact your doctor immediately.
This medication passes into breast milk and may have adverse effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
Form and Strength
Florinef is available in the following forms and strengths:
How quickly does Florinef work?
It may take 2 to 4 weeks for fludrocortisone to start to work.
Can Florinef cause mood swings?
Like most corticosteroid medications, fludrocortisone may cause changes in your mood or behavior.