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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.
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.
Fludrocortisone dosage comes in a .01-mg tablet. Patients take this medication by mouth.
Take fludrocortisone exactly as directed. This medication can be taken with or without food.
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.
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 fludrocortisoneside effects rarely occur. If your child experiences any of these, contact your doctor or transplant coordinator right away.
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.
Store fludrocortisone at room temperature, away from moisture and sunlight.
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.
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.
Children's Hospital's main campus is located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Our main hospital address is:
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
One Children’s Hospital Way
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
In addition to the main hospital, Children's has many convenient locations in other neighborhoods throughout the greater Pittsburgh region.
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Interested in giving to Children's Hospital? Visit Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation's website to make a donation online.