What is the most important information I should know about fludrocortisone?
You should not use this medicine if you have a fungal infection anywhere in your body.
What is fludrocortisone?
Fludrocortisone is a steroid that helps reduce inflammation in the body.
Fludrocortisone is used to treat conditions in which the body does not produce enough of its own steroids, such as Addison's disease, and salt-losing adrenogenital syndrome.
Fludrocortisone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking fludrocortisone?
You should not use fludrocortisone if you are allergic to it, or if you have a fungal infection anywhere in your body.
Fludrocortisone can weaken your immune system, making it easier for you to get an infection or worsening an infection you already have or have recently had. Tell your doctor about any illness or infection you have had within the past several weeks.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- tuberculosis (or if anyone in your household has tuberculosis);
- a thyroid disorder;
- heart problems, high blood pressure;
- glaucoma or cataracts;
- herpes infection of the eyes;
- a stomach ulcer;
- ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis;
- a colostomy or ileostomy;
- cirrhosis or other liver disease;
- kidney disease;
- mental illness or psychosis;
- osteoporosis; or
- myasthenia gravis.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant. Taking fludrocortisone during pregnancy may cause adrenal gland problems in the baby. Make sure any doctor caring for your pregnancy or your baby knows you haven taken fludrocortisone during pregnancy.
It may not be safe to breastfeed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.
Fludrocortisone is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.
How should I take fludrocortisone?
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
You may need frequent medical tests. Even if you have no symptoms, tests can help your doctor determine if this medicine is effective.
Your dose needs may change due to surgery, illness, stress, or a recent asthma attack. Do not change your medication dose or schedule without your doctor's advice.
This medicine can affect the results of certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using fludrocortisone.
You should not stop using fludrocortisone suddenly. Follow your doctor's instructions about tapering your dose.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
In case of emergency, wear or carry medical identification to let others know you use steroid medication.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Overdose symptoms may include swelling, weight gain, feeling short of breath, leg cramps, irregular heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, muscle weakness, severe headache, or pounding in your neck or ears.
What should I avoid while taking fludrocortisone?
Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Call your doctor for preventive treatment if you are exposed to chickenpox or measles. These conditions can be serious or even fatal in people who are using fludrocortisone.
Do not receive a smallpox vaccine while using fludrocortisone. Ask your doctor before receiving any other vaccines while you are taking this medicine.
What are the possible side effects of fludrocortisone?
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- swelling of feet or lower legs, rapid weight gain;
- muscle weakness, loss of muscle mass;
- blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights;
- bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood;
- unusual changes in mood or behavior;
- a seizure;
increased pressure inside the skull --severe headaches, ringing in your ears, dizziness, nausea, vision problems, pain behind your eyes;
low potassium level --leg cramps, constipation, irregular heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, increased thirst or urination, numbness or tingling, muscle weakness or limp feeling;
pancreatitis --severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting; or
increased adrenal gland hormones --weight gain in your face and shoulders, slow wound healing, skin discoloration, thinning skin, increased body hair, tiredness, mood changes, menstrual changes, sexual changes.
Common side effects may include:
- increased blood pressure;
- stomach pain, bloating;
- facial redness;
- acne, increased sweating;
- sleep problems (insomnia);
- pitting, scars, or bumps under your skin;
- stretch marks; or
- increased hair growth of body hair.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect fludrocortisone?
Tell your doctor about all your current medicines. Many drugs can affect fludrocortisone, especially:
- a diuretic or "water pill";
- insulin or oral diabetes medicine;
- birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy;
- an anabolic steroid (such as oxandrolone or oxymetholone);
- barbiturates (such as butabarbital, phenobarbital, or secobarbital);
- a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin, or Jantoven); or
- drugs that weaken the immune system such as cancer medicine, steroids, and medicines to prevent organ transplant rejection.
This list is not complete and many other drugs may affect fludrocortisone. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.
Where can I get more information?
Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about fludrocortisone.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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