Fludrocortisone is a synthetic form of a natural substance (corticosteroid) made by the body. It is useful along with other medications (such as hydrocortisone) for the treatment of low glucocorticoid levels caused by adrenal gland disease (such as Addison's disease, adrenocortical insufficiency, salt-losing adrenogenital syndrome).
Corticosteroids involve in a wide range of physiologic processes, such as stress management, immunity, inflammation regulation, carbohydrate metabolism, protein catabolism, and blood electrolyte levels control.
How does fludrocortisone work to raise low blood pressure?
Fludrocortisone is a synthetic form of corticosteroid, hormones of cortisol and aldosterone that produce naturally by the adrenal glands. Corticosteroids have many important functions on every organ system. They affect the strength of heart muscle and its response to natural chemicals affecting heart rate. They affect the water and salt balance within the body and enable the body to cope with stress (temperature, pain, fear, anxiety and illness).
Stress in general is detrimental, in particular, if your body in not able to cope due to low corticosteroid levels. Corticosteroids help to respond to stress by increasing the force and rate of the heartbeat; this increases blood supply loaded with nutrient and oxygen to brain and muscles. It also raises blood-glucose level and thus increases energy levels, which are must to cope with stress.
Available fludrocortisone brands of low blood pressure medications
The brand name in the U.S. and Canada is Florinef.
Who can use fludrocortisone medications?
Fludrocortisone is a corticosteroid, is useful to control the sodium and fluid levels in your body. It is for the treatment of Addison's disease and syndromes where excess sodium is lost with the urine. Fludrocortisone is also useful to increase blood pressure by reducing sodium excretion, increasing heart rate and force when there is a requirement.
How do you take fludrocortisone drugs?
There is controversial information available regarding storage of florinef; one says it can store at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C), and anther says it should store in a refrigerator at 2 to 8 degrees C.
You require storing florinef away from heat, moisture, and light. Keep the container tightly closed and keep it out of reach of children. You require taking florinef tablets in the morning to mimic the natural corticosteroid’s secrets by your body. Take it after food to minimize stomach irritation. You should not suddenly stop taking this medication, particularly if you are taking for more than three weeks.
What you can expect from fludrocortisone drug medication?
Fludrocortisone often considers as low blood-pressure medication due to dehydration. This medication helps increase your blood volume thus raises blood pressure. Fludrocortisone helps in treatment of Addison's disease, adrenocortical insufficiency, salt-losing adrenogenital syndrome.
What are some possible side effects of fludrocortisone drugs?
Florinef is generally well tolerating, still some may have dizziness, hand or feet swelling, sudden weight gain, water retention, skin rash, unusual bruising, headaches (severe or continuous), weakness, joint pain.
Possible drug interaction with fludrocortisone
- Fludrocortisone may increase blood-glucose levels and thus opposes the blood glucose lowering effects of diabetes medicines. Therefore, diabetic individuals may need to increase insulin dose or oral medication.
- It may increase a risk to low blood potassium levels (hypokalemia), if you take it along with any of the following medicines (which lower potassium in the blood): acetazolamide, amphotericin, beta agonists, carbenoxolone, potassium-losing diuretics, and theophylline.
- Fludrocortisone may affect the bloods anti-clotting effect of anticoagulant medicines such as warfarin. If you take it along with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, it increases your side effects on the gut, such as stomach ulceration and bleeding.
- The following medicines may fasten the removal of fludrocortisone from your body, thus reducing its effects. Therefore, you need to increase fludrocortisone dosage if you are also taking antiepileptic medicines (such as carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital and primidone), barbiturates (such as amobarbital), rifamycin antibiotics (such as rifampicin or rifabutin).
- The following medicines may increase fludrocortisone effects. Thus, you need to reduce fludrocortisone dosage if you are taking ciclosporin (fludrocortisone may also increase the risk of side effects caused by ciclosporin), itraconazole, ketoconazole, protease inhibitors such as ritonavir.
- Fludrocortisone may decrease the body's immune response means vaccines may be less effective, because your body does not produce sufficient antibodies. It may cause serious infection due to live vaccines such as measles, mumps, rubella, MMR, oral polio, typhoid and yellow fever.
Fludrocortisone recommended daily dosage
Fludrocortisone is available as 0.1 mg tablets. Typical daily doses for mineralocorticoid replacement are between 0.05 mg to 0.2 mg. You require blood tests to check renin plasma, sodium, and potassium in order to assess correct dosage.