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Fludrocortisone (Florinef®)

Uses

Fludrocortisone (Florinef®) is a medication that is used to decrease potassium in the blood. Potassium needs to stay at certain level in the blood so that muscle, especially heart muscle, works properly. Other drugs, like Tacrolimus and Bactrim®, can cause too much potassium to build up in the blood (hyperkalemia). In liver transplant patients, fludrocortisone may be given to counteract this.

Action

Fludrocortisone is a corticosteroid. Your body naturally produces similar corticosteroids, which help maintain the balance of minerals and water for good health. Fludrocortisone makes the kidneys retain sodium, and eliminate potassium through the urine.

Types Available

Fludrocortisone is taken by mouth and is available as a 0.1-mg tablet.

How to Take

Take fludrocortisone exactly as directed. This medication can be taken with or without food.

Missed Doses

If your child misses a dose of fludrocortisone, take it as soon as you or your child remembers. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your child’s usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Side Effects

Headaches, dizziness and weakness sometimes occur with this medication. Your child’s hands or feet may swell, or he or she may report muscle cramps. Some people taking fludrocortisone have less of an appetite than usual, or experience some nausea and vomiting. These are relatively common side effects of fludrocortisone, and not cause for alarm. If any of these persists or becomes very bothersome to your child, inform the transplant doctor or transplant coordinator.

The following side effects of fludrocortisone rarely occur. If your child experiences any of these, contact your doctor or transplant coordinator right away.

  • skin rash
  • hives
  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • itching
  • redness
  • rapid weight gain
  • severe water retention
  • unusual bruising
  • joint pain

Drug Interactions

Tell your doctor or pharmacist about any prescription or over-the-counter medication your child is taking, so you can be warned of undesirable interactions and prevent them.

How to Store

Store fludrocortisone at room temperature, away from moisture and sunlight.

Precautions

Your child should take fludrocortisone exactly as prescribed. Do not stop this medication on your own.

When taking fludrocortisone, limit your child’s salt intake; this will help minimize water retention.

Availability

Most pharmacies stock fludrocortisone.

Drug information changes periodically. For the most updated information on drugs, visit www.drugs.com.

Learn more about other Liver Transplant Drugs.

Last Update
November 20, 2010
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Last Update
November 20, 2010
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