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Fludrocortisone: Drug information

Fludrocortisone: Drug information
(For additional information see "Fludrocortisone: Patient drug information" and see "Fludrocortisone: Pediatric drug information")

For abbreviations, symbols, and age group definitions used in Lexicomp (show table)
Brand Names: Canada
  • Florinef
Pharmacologic Category
  • Corticosteroid, Systemic
Dosing: Adult

Adrenal insufficiency, primary (Addison disease): Oral: Initial: 0.05 to 0.1 mg once daily in the morning (in combination with glucocorticoid therapy). Usual maintenance dose: 0.05 to 0.2 mg once daily. If hypertension develops, dose reduction is suggested; an antihypertensive may be necessary if hypertension remains uncontrolled (ES [Bornstein 2016]).

Congenital adrenal hyperplasia, classic (salt-losing adrenogenital syndrome): Oral: 0.05 to 0.2 mg/day in 1 or 2 divided doses (in combination with glucocorticoid therapy) (ES [Speiser 2018]).

Orthostatic hypotension (off-label use):

Note: For use in conjunction with nonpharmacologic measures (eg, high-salt diet, adequate fluid intake, head-up tilt sleeping). Ensure adequate dietary potassium intake during therapy. Use with caution or avoid in patients with heart failure or low serum albumin (EFNS [Lahrmann 2006]; ESC [Brignole 2018]; Palma 2020).

Oral: Initial: 0.05 to 0.1 mg once daily (Palma 2020; Schoffer 2007; Ten Harkel 1992). May adjust dose (eg, in 0.05 to 0.1 mg/day increments) at weekly intervals if needed based on response; usual dose range: 0.05 to 0.2 mg/day administered in 1 or 2 divided daily doses (Campbell 1976; EFNS [Lahrmann 2006]; Palma 2020; Schoffer 2007; Ten Harkel 1992; van Lieshout 2000). Doses >0.2 mg/day have been associated with an increased risk of adverse effects without added benefit (EFNS [Lahrmann 2006]; Palma 2020).

Septic shock (off-label use): Note: Corticosteroids should only be used for septic shock that is not responsive to volume resuscitation and vasopressors (Rhodes 2017; SCCM/ESICM [Annane 2017]). Oral: 0.05 mg once daily (via nasogastric tube) for 7 days (in combination with IV hydrocortisone) (Annane 2002; Annane 2018).

Dosage adjustment for concomitant therapy: Significant drug interactions exist, requiring dose/frequency adjustment or avoidance. Consult drug interactions database for more information.

Dosing: Kidney Impairment: Adult

There are no dosage adjustments provided in the manufacturer's labeling; use with caution.

Dosing: Hepatic Impairment: Adult

There are no dosage adjustments provided in the manufacturer's labeling; use with caution.

Dosing: Pediatric

(For additional information see "Fludrocortisone: Pediatric drug information")

Note: Dosing should be individualized to lowest effective dose.

Adrenal insufficiency, autoimmune (primary adrenal insufficiency, aldosterone deficiency component Addison disease); replacement therapy: Limited data available: Infants, Children, and Adolescents: Oral: 0.05 to 0.2 mg daily (Betterle 2002; Endocrine Society [Bornstein 2016]; Kliegman 2020).

Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (salt losers) (eg, 21-hydroxylase deficiency): Limited data available: Note: Use in combination with glucocorticoid therapy (eg, hydrocortisone); concurrent sodium replacement therapy may be required, particularly in young infants.

Maintenance therapy:

Infants, Children, and Adolescents (actively growing): Oral: Usual range: 0.05 to 0.2 mg daily in 1 or 2 divided doses; doses as high as 0.3 mg/day may be necessary (AAP 2000; Endocrine Society [Speiser 2018]).

Adolescents (fully grown): Oral: 0.05 to 0.2 mg once daily (Endocrine Society [Speiser 2018]).

Dosage adjustment for concomitant therapy: Significant drug interactions exist, requiring dose/frequency adjustment or avoidance. Consult drug interactions database for more information.

Dosing: Kidney Impairment: Pediatric

There are no dosage adjustments provided in the manufacturer's labeling; use with caution.

Dosing: Hepatic Impairment: Pediatric

There are no dosage adjustments provided in the manufacturer's labeling.

Dosing: Older Adult

Refer to adult dosing.

Dosage Forms: US

Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling.

Tablet, Oral, as acetate:

Generic: 0.1 mg

Generic Equivalent Available: US

Yes

Dosage Forms: Canada

Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling.

Tablet, Oral, as acetate:

Florinef: 0.1 mg

Administration: Adult

Oral: Administer without regard to food; if GI upset, may take with food. For septic shock (off-label use), administer via nasogastric tube (Annane 2002; Annane 2018)

Administration: Pediatric

Oral: May administer without regard to food; if GI upset, may take with food. Tablets may be crushed and mixed with about 1 teaspoon of water or soft food such as applesauce, chocolate syrup, jelly, or yogurt.

Use: Labeled Indications

Adrenal insufficiency, primary (Addison disease): Partial replacement therapy for primary adrenocortical insufficiency

Congenital adrenal hyperplasia, classic (salt-losing adrenogenital syndrome): Treatment of classic congenital adrenal hyperplasia (salt-losing adrenogenital syndrome)

Use: Off-Label: Adult

Orthostatic hypotension; Septic shock

Medication Safety Issues
Sound-alike/look-alike issues:

Florinef may be confused with Fioricet, Fiorinal, Floranex, Florastor

Adverse Reactions

The following adverse drug reactions and incidences are derived from product labeling unless otherwise specified. Frequency not defined.

Cardiovascular: Cardiac failure, cardiomegaly, edema, hypertension

Central nervous system: Delirium, depression, emotional lability, euphoria, hallucination, headache, increased intracranial pressure, insomnia, malaise, nervousness, personality changes, pseudotumor cerebri, psychiatric disturbance, psychosis, seizure, vertigo

Dermatologic: Acne vulgaris, atrophic striae, diaphoresis, erythema, hyperpigmentation, maculopapular rash, skin atrophy, skin rash, suppression of skin test reaction, urticaria

Endocrine & metabolic: Cushing’s syndrome, diabetes mellitus, glycosuria, growth suppression, hirsutism, HPA-axis suppression, hyperglycemia, hypokalemia, hypokalemic alkalosis, impaired glucose tolerance, menstrual disease, negative nitrogen balance

Gastrointestinal: Abdominal distention, esophageal ulcer, pancreatitis, peptic ulcer

Hematologic & oncologic: Bruise, petechia, purpura

Hypersensitivity: Anaphylaxis (generalized)

Local: Lipoatrophy at injection site

Neuromuscular & skeletal: Amyotrophy, bone fracture, myasthenia, myopathy, osteonecrosis (femoral and humeral heads), osteoporosis, vertebral compression fracture

Ophthalmic: Cataract, exophthalmos, glaucoma, increased intraocular pressure

Miscellaneous: Wound healing impairment

Contraindications

Hypersensitivity to fludrocortisone or any component of the formulation; systemic fungal infections

Documentation of allergenic cross-reactivity for corticosteroids is limited. However, because of similarities in chemical structure and/or pharmacologic actions, the possibility of cross-sensitivity cannot be ruled out with certainty.

Warnings/Precautions

Concerns related to adverse effects:

• Adrenal suppression: May cause hypercortisolism or suppression of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, particularly in younger children or in patients receiving high doses for prolonged periods. HPA axis suppression may lead to adrenal crisis. Withdrawal and discontinuation of a corticosteroid should be done slowly and carefully.

• Anaphylactoid reactions: Rare cases of anaphylactoid reactions have been observed in patients receiving corticosteroids.

• Immunosuppression: Prolonged use may increase risk of infection, mask acute infection (including fungal infections), prolong or exacerbate viral infections, or limit response to killed or inactivated vaccines. Exposure to chickenpox or measles should be avoided. Corticosteroids should not be used for cerebral malaria or viral hepatitis. Close observation is required in patients with latent tuberculosis (TB) and/or TB reactivity. Restrict use in active TB (only fulminating or disseminated TB in conjunction with antituberculosis treatment). Amebiasis should be ruled out in any patient with recent travel to tropic climates or unexplained diarrhea prior to initiation of corticosteroids. Use with extreme caution in patients with Strongyloides infections; hyperinfection, dissemination and fatalities have occurred.

• Kaposi sarcoma: Prolonged treatment with corticosteroids has been associated with the development of Kaposi sarcoma (case reports); if noted, discontinuation of therapy should be considered (Goedert 2002).

• Myopathy: Acute myopathy has been reported with high-dose corticosteroids, usually in patients with neuromuscular transmission disorders; may involve ocular and/or respiratory muscles; monitor creatine kinase; recovery may be delayed.

• Psychiatric disturbances: Corticosteroid use may cause psychiatric disturbances, including euphoria, insomnia, mood swings, personality changes, severe depression to psychotic manifestation. Preexisting psychiatric conditions may be exacerbated by corticosteroid use.

Disease-related concerns:

• Cardiovascular disease: Use with caution in patients with HF and/or hypertension; use may be associated with fluid retention, electrolyte disturbances, and hypertension. Use with caution following acute MI; corticosteroids have been associated with myocardial rupture.

• Diabetes: Use corticosteroids with caution in patients with diabetes mellitus; may alter glucose production/regulation leading to hyperglycemia.

• Gastrointestinal disease: Use with caution in patients with GI diseases (diverticulitis, fresh intestinal anastomoses, active or latent peptic ulcer, ulcerative colitis, abscess or other pyogenic infection) due to perforation risk.

• Hepatic impairment: Use with caution in patients with hepatic impairment, including cirrhosis; long-term use has been associated with fluid retention.

• Myasthenia gravis: Use may cause transient worsening of myasthenia gravis (MG) (eg, within first 2 weeks of treatment); monitor for worsening MG (AAN [Narayanaswami 2021]).

• Ocular disease: Use with caution in patients with cataracts and/or glaucoma; increased intraocular pressure, open-angle glaucoma, and cataracts have occurred with prolonged use. Use with caution in patients with a history of ocular herpes simplex; corneal perforation has occurred; do not use in active ocular herpes simplex. Consider routine eye exams in chronic users.

• Osteoporosis: Use with caution in patients with osteoporosis; high doses and/or long-term use of corticosteroids have been associated with increased bone loss and osteoporotic fractures.

• Renal impairment: Use with caution in patients with renal impairment; fluid retention may occur.

• Seizure disorders: Use corticosteroids with caution in patients with a history of seizure disorder; seizures have been reported with adrenal crisis.

• Systemic sclerosis: Use with caution in patients with systemic sclerosis; an increase in scleroderma renal crisis incidence has been observed with corticosteroid use. Monitor BP and renal function in patients with systemic sclerosis treated with corticosteroids (EULAR [Kowal-Bielecka 2017]).

• Thyroid disease: Changes in thyroid status may necessitate dosage adjustments; metabolic clearance of corticosteroids increases in hyperthyroid patients and decreases in hypothyroid ones.

Special populations:

• Elderly: Because of the risk of adverse effects, use with caution in the elderly with the smallest possible effective dose for the shortest duration.

• Pediatric: May affect growth velocity; growth and development should be routinely monitored in pediatric patients.

Other warnings/precautions:

• Discontinuation of therapy: Withdraw therapy with gradual tapering of dose.

• Stress: Patients may require higher doses when subject to stress (ie, trauma, surgery, severe illness).

Warnings: Additional Pediatric Considerations

May cause osteoporosis (at any age) or inhibition of bone growth in pediatric patients. Use with caution in patients with osteoporosis. In a population-based study of children, risk of fracture was shown to be increased with >4 courses of corticosteroids; underlying clinical condition may also impact bone health and osteoporotic effect of corticosteroids (Leonard 2007). Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy has been reported in premature neonates.

Metabolism/Transport Effects

Substrate of CYP3A4 (minor); Note: Assignment of Major/Minor substrate status based on clinically relevant drug interaction potential

Drug Interactions

Abrocitinib: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the immunosuppressive effect of Abrocitinib. Management: The use of abrocitinib in combination with other immunosuppressants is not recommended. Doses equivalent to more than 2 mg/kg or 20 mg/day of prednisone (for persons over 10 kg) administered for 2 or more weeks are considered immunosuppressive. Risk D: Consider therapy modification

Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors. Increased muscular weakness may occur. Risk C: Monitor therapy

Aldesleukin: Corticosteroids may diminish the antineoplastic effect of Aldesleukin. Risk X: Avoid combination

Amphotericin B: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the hypokalemic effect of Amphotericin B. Risk C: Monitor therapy

Androgens: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the fluid-retaining effect of Androgens. Risk C: Monitor therapy

Antacids: May decrease the bioavailability of Corticosteroids (Oral). Management: Consider separating doses by 2 or more hours. Budesonide enteric coated tablets could dissolve prematurely if given with drugs that lower gastric acid, with unknown impact on budesonide therapeutic effects. Risk D: Consider therapy modification

Antidiabetic Agents: Hyperglycemia-Associated Agents may diminish the therapeutic effect of Antidiabetic Agents. Risk C: Monitor therapy

Aprepitant: May increase the serum concentration of Corticosteroids (Systemic). Management: No dose adjustment is needed for single 40 mg aprepitant doses. For other regimens, reduce oral dexamethasone or methylprednisolone doses by 50%, and IV methylprednisolone doses by 25%. Antiemetic regimens containing dexamethasone reflect this adjustment. Risk D: Consider therapy modification

Axicabtagene Ciloleucel: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may diminish the therapeutic effect of Axicabtagene Ciloleucel. Management: Avoid use of corticosteroids as premedication before axicabtagene ciloleucel. Corticosteroids may, however, be required for treatment of cytokine release syndrome or neurologic toxicity. Risk D: Consider therapy modification

Baricitinib: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the immunosuppressive effect of Baricitinib. Management: The use of baricitinib in combination with potent immunosuppressants is not recommended. Doses equivalent to more than 2 mg/kg or 20 mg/day of prednisone (for persons over 10 kg) administered for 2 or more weeks are considered immunosuppressive. Risk D: Consider therapy modification

BCG Products: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of BCG Products. Specifically, the risk of vaccine-associated infection may be increased. Corticosteroids (Systemic) may diminish the therapeutic effect of BCG Products. Risk X: Avoid combination

Bile Acid Sequestrants: May decrease the absorption of Corticosteroids (Oral). Risk C: Monitor therapy

Brincidofovir: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may diminish the therapeutic effect of Brincidofovir. Risk C: Monitor therapy

Calcitriol (Systemic): Corticosteroids (Systemic) may diminish the therapeutic effect of Calcitriol (Systemic). Risk C: Monitor therapy

Cladribine: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the immunosuppressive effect of Cladribine. Risk X: Avoid combination

Coccidioides immitis Skin Test: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may diminish the diagnostic effect of Coccidioides immitis Skin Test. Management: Consider discontinuing systemic corticosteroids (dosed at 2 mg/kg or 20 mg/day of prednisone (for persons over 10 kg) administered for 2 or more weeks) several weeks prior to coccidioides immitis skin antigen testing. Risk D: Consider therapy modification

Corticorelin: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may diminish the therapeutic effect of Corticorelin. Specifically, the plasma ACTH response to corticorelin may be blunted by recent or current corticosteroid therapy. Risk C: Monitor therapy

Cosyntropin: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may diminish the diagnostic effect of Cosyntropin. Risk C: Monitor therapy

COVID-19 Vaccine (Adenovirus Vector): Corticosteroids (Systemic) may diminish the therapeutic effect of COVID-19 Vaccine (Adenovirus Vector). Risk C: Monitor therapy

COVID-19 Vaccine (Inactivated Virus): Corticosteroids (Systemic) may diminish the therapeutic effect of COVID-19 Vaccine (Inactivated Virus). Risk C: Monitor therapy

COVID-19 Vaccine (mRNA): Corticosteroids (Systemic) may diminish the therapeutic effect of COVID-19 Vaccine (mRNA). Management: Consider administration of a 3rd dose of COVID-19 vaccine, at least 28 days after completion of the primary 2-dose series, in patients 5 years of age or older taking immunosuppressive therapies. Risk D: Consider therapy modification

COVID-19 Vaccine (Subunit): Corticosteroids (Systemic) may diminish the therapeutic effect of COVID-19 Vaccine (Subunit). Risk C: Monitor therapy

Deferasirox: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Deferasirox. Specifically, the risk for GI ulceration/irritation or GI bleeding may be increased. Risk C: Monitor therapy

Dengue Tetravalent Vaccine (Live): Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Dengue Tetravalent Vaccine (Live). Specifically, the risk of vaccine associated infection may be increased. Corticosteroids (Systemic) may diminish the therapeutic effect of Dengue Tetravalent Vaccine (Live). Risk X: Avoid combination

Denosumab: May enhance the immunosuppressive effect of Corticosteroids (Systemic). Management: Consider the risk of serious infections versus the potential benefits of coadministration of denosumab and systemic corticosteroids. If combined, monitor patients for signs/symptoms of serious infections. Risk D: Consider therapy modification

Desirudin: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the anticoagulant effect of Desirudin. More specifically, corticosteroids may increase hemorrhagic risk during desirudin treatment. Management: Discontinue treatment with systemic corticosteroids prior to desirudin initiation. If concomitant use cannot be avoided, monitor patients receiving these combinations closely for clinical and laboratory evidence of excessive anticoagulation. Risk D: Consider therapy modification

Desmopressin: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the hyponatremic effect of Desmopressin. Risk X: Avoid combination

Echinacea: May diminish the therapeutic effect of Corticosteroids (Systemic). Management: Consider avoiding echinacea in patients receiving immunosuppressants, such as systemic corticosteroids. Doses more than 2 mg/kg or 20 mg/day of prednisone (for persons over 10 kg) administered for 2 or more weeks are considered immunosuppressive. Risk D: Consider therapy modification

Estrogen Derivatives: May increase the serum concentration of Corticosteroids (Systemic). Risk C: Monitor therapy

Fosaprepitant: May increase the serum concentration of Corticosteroids (Systemic). The active metabolite aprepitant is likely responsible for this effect. Management: Reduce the dose of corticosteroids, such as dexamethasone or oral methylprednisolone, by 50% when coadministered with fosaprepitant. Reduce intravenous methylprednisolone doses by 25% during coadministration with fosaprepitant. Risk D: Consider therapy modification

Gallium Ga 68 Dotatate: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may diminish the diagnostic effect of Gallium Ga 68 Dotatate. Risk C: Monitor therapy

Growth Hormone Analogs: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may diminish the therapeutic effect of Growth Hormone Analogs. Growth Hormone Analogs may decrease serum concentrations of the active metabolite(s) of Corticosteroids (Systemic). Risk C: Monitor therapy

Hyaluronidase: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may diminish the therapeutic effect of Hyaluronidase. Management: Patients receiving corticosteroids (particularly at larger doses) may not experience the desired clinical response to standard doses of hyaluronidase. Larger doses of hyaluronidase may be required. Risk D: Consider therapy modification

Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may diminish the therapeutic effect of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors. Management: Carefully consider the need for corticosteroids, at doses of a prednisone-equivalent of 10 mg or more per day, during the initiation of immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy. Use of corticosteroids to treat immune related adverse events is still recommended Risk D: Consider therapy modification

Indium 111 Capromab Pendetide: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may diminish the diagnostic effect of Indium 111 Capromab Pendetide. Risk X: Avoid combination

Inebilizumab: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the immunosuppressive effect of Inebilizumab. Risk C: Monitor therapy

Influenza Virus Vaccines: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may diminish the therapeutic effect of Influenza Virus Vaccines. Management: Administer influenza vaccines at least 2 weeks prior to initiation of systemic corticosteroids at immunosuppressive doses. Influenza vaccines administered less than 14 days prior to or during such therapy should be repeated 3 months after therapy. Risk D: Consider therapy modification

Isoniazid: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may decrease the serum concentration of Isoniazid. Risk C: Monitor therapy

Leflunomide: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the immunosuppressive effect of Leflunomide. Management: Increase the frequency of chronic monitoring of platelet, white blood cell count, and hemoglobin or hematocrit to monthly, instead of every 6 to 8 weeks, if leflunomide is coadministered with immunosuppressive agents, such as systemic corticosteroids. Risk D: Consider therapy modification

Licorice: May increase the serum concentration of Corticosteroids (Systemic). Risk C: Monitor therapy

Loop Diuretics: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the hypokalemic effect of Loop Diuretics. Risk C: Monitor therapy

Lutetium Lu 177 Dotatate: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may diminish the therapeutic effect of Lutetium Lu 177 Dotatate. Management: Avoid repeated use of high-doses of corticosteroids during treatment with lutetium Lu 177 dotatate. Use of corticosteroids is still permitted for the treatment of neuroendocrine hormonal crisis. The effects of lower corticosteroid doses is unknown. Risk D: Consider therapy modification

Macimorelin: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may diminish the diagnostic effect of Macimorelin. Risk X: Avoid combination

Mifamurtide: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may diminish the therapeutic effect of Mifamurtide. Risk X: Avoid combination

MiFEPRIStone: May diminish the therapeutic effect of Corticosteroids (Systemic). MiFEPRIStone may increase the serum concentration of Corticosteroids (Systemic). Management: Avoid mifepristone in patients who require long-term corticosteroid treatment of serious illnesses or conditions (eg, for immunosuppression following transplantation). Corticosteroid effects may be reduced by mifepristone treatment. Risk X: Avoid combination

Natalizumab: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the immunosuppressive effect of Natalizumab. Risk X: Avoid combination

Neuromuscular-Blocking Agents (Nondepolarizing): May enhance the adverse neuromuscular effect of Corticosteroids (Systemic). Increased muscle weakness, possibly progressing to polyneuropathies and myopathies, may occur. Management: If concomitant therapy is required, use the lowest dose for the shortest duration to limit the risk of myopathy or neuropathy. Monitor for new onset or worsening muscle weakness, reduction or loss of deep tendon reflexes, and peripheral sensory decriments Risk D: Consider therapy modification

Nicorandil: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Nicorandil. Gastrointestinal perforation has been reported in association with this combination. Risk C: Monitor therapy

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents (COX-2 Selective): Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents (COX-2 Selective). Risk C: Monitor therapy

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents (Nonselective): Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents (Nonselective). Risk C: Monitor therapy

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents (Topical): May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Corticosteroids (Systemic). Specifically, the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, ulceration, and perforation may be increased. Risk C: Monitor therapy

Ocrelizumab: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the immunosuppressive effect of Ocrelizumab. Risk C: Monitor therapy

Ofatumumab: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the immunosuppressive effect of Ofatumumab. Risk C: Monitor therapy

Pidotimod: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may diminish the therapeutic effect of Pidotimod. Risk C: Monitor therapy

Pimecrolimus: May enhance the immunosuppressive effect of Corticosteroids (Systemic). Risk X: Avoid combination

Pneumococcal Vaccines: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may diminish the therapeutic effect of Pneumococcal Vaccines. Risk C: Monitor therapy

Poliovirus Vaccine (Live/Trivalent/Oral): Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Poliovirus Vaccine (Live/Trivalent/Oral). Specifically, the risk of vaccine-associated infection may be increased. Corticosteroids (Systemic) may diminish the therapeutic effect of Poliovirus Vaccine (Live/Trivalent/Oral). Risk X: Avoid combination

Polymethylmethacrylate: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Polymethylmethacrylate. Specifically, the risk for hypersensitivity or implant clearance may be increased. Management: Use caution when considering use of bovine collagen-containing implants such as the polymethylmethacrylate-based Bellafill brand implant in patients who are receiving immunosuppressants. Consider use of additional skin tests prior to administration. Risk D: Consider therapy modification

Quinolones: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Quinolones. Specifically, the risk of tendonitis and tendon rupture may be increased. Risk C: Monitor therapy

Rabies Vaccine: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may diminish the therapeutic effect of Rabies Vaccine. Management: Complete rabies vaccination at least 2 weeks before initiation of immunosuppressant therapy if possible. If post-exposure rabies vaccination is required during immunosuppressant therapy, administer a 5th dose of vaccine and check for rabies antibodies. Risk D: Consider therapy modification

Ritodrine: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Ritodrine. Risk C: Monitor therapy

Rubella- or Varicella-Containing Live Vaccines: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Rubella- or Varicella-Containing Live Vaccines. Specifically, the risk of vaccine-associated infection may be increased. Corticosteroids (Systemic) may diminish the therapeutic effect of Rubella- or Varicella-Containing Live Vaccines. Risk X: Avoid combination

Ruxolitinib (Topical): Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the immunosuppressive effect of Ruxolitinib (Topical). Risk X: Avoid combination

Salicylates: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Corticosteroids (Systemic). These specifically include gastrointestinal ulceration and bleeding. Corticosteroids (Systemic) may decrease the serum concentration of Salicylates. Withdrawal of corticosteroids may result in salicylate toxicity. Risk C: Monitor therapy

Sargramostim: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the therapeutic effect of Sargramostim. Specifically, corticosteroids may enhance the myeloproliferative effects of sargramostim. Risk C: Monitor therapy

Sipuleucel-T: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may diminish the therapeutic effect of Sipuleucel-T. Management: Consider reducing the dose or discontinuing immunosuppressants, such as systemic corticosteroids, prior to initiating sipuleucel-T therapy. Doses equivalent to more than 2 mg/kg or 20 mg/day of prednisone given for 2 or more weeks are immunosuppressive. Risk D: Consider therapy modification

Sphingosine 1-Phosphate (S1P) Receptor Modulator: May enhance the immunosuppressive effect of Corticosteroids (Systemic). Risk C: Monitor therapy

Succinylcholine: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the neuromuscular-blocking effect of Succinylcholine. Risk C: Monitor therapy

Tacrolimus (Systemic): Corticosteroids (Systemic) may decrease the serum concentration of Tacrolimus (Systemic). Conversely, when discontinuing corticosteroid therapy, tacrolimus concentrations may increase. Risk C: Monitor therapy

Tacrolimus (Topical): Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the immunosuppressive effect of Tacrolimus (Topical). Risk X: Avoid combination

Talimogene Laherparepvec: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Talimogene Laherparepvec. Specifically, the risk of infection from the live, attenuated herpes simplex virus contained in talimogene laherparepvec may be increased. Risk X: Avoid combination

Tertomotide: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may diminish the therapeutic effect of Tertomotide. Risk X: Avoid combination

Thiazide and Thiazide-Like Diuretics: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the hypokalemic effect of Thiazide and Thiazide-Like Diuretics. Risk C: Monitor therapy

Tisagenlecleucel: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may diminish the therapeutic effect of Tisagenlecleucel. Management: Avoid use of corticosteroids as premedication or at any time during treatment with tisagenlecleucel, except in the case of life-threatening emergency (such as resistant cytokine release syndrome). Risk D: Consider therapy modification

Tofacitinib: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the immunosuppressive effect of Tofacitinib. Management: Coadministration of tofacitinib with potent immunosuppressants is not recommended. Doses equivalent to more than 2 mg/kg or 20 mg/day of prednisone (for persons over 10 kg) administered for 2 or more weeks are considered immunosuppressive. Risk D: Consider therapy modification

Typhoid Vaccine: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Typhoid Vaccine. Specifically, the risk of vaccine-associated infection may be increased. Corticosteroids (Systemic) may diminish the therapeutic effect of Typhoid Vaccine. Risk X: Avoid combination

Upadacitinib: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the immunosuppressive effect of Upadacitinib. Management: Coadministration of upadacitinib with systemic corticosteroids at doses equivalent to greater than 2 mg/kg or 20 mg/day of prednisone (for persons over 10 kg) administered for 2 or more weeks. Risk D: Consider therapy modification

Urea Cycle Disorder Agents: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may diminish the therapeutic effect of Urea Cycle Disorder Agents. More specifically, Corticosteroids (Systemic) may increase protein catabolism and plasma ammonia concentrations, thereby increasing the doses of Urea Cycle Disorder Agents needed to maintain these concentrations in the target range. Risk C: Monitor therapy

Vaccines (Inactivated): Corticosteroids (Systemic) may diminish the therapeutic effect of Vaccines (Inactivated). Management: Administer vaccines at least 2 weeks prior to immunosuppressive corticosteroids if possible. If patients are vaccinated less than 14 days prior to or during such therapy, repeat vaccination at least 3 months after therapy if immunocompetence restored. Risk D: Consider therapy modification

Vaccines (Live): Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Vaccines (Live). Specifically, the risk of vaccine-associated infection may be increased. Corticosteroids (Systemic) may diminish the therapeutic effect of Vaccines (Live). Management: Avoid live vaccines during and for 1 month after therapy with immunosuppressive doses of corticosteroids (equivalent to prednisone > 2 mg/kg or 20 mg/day in persons over 10 kg for at least 2 weeks). Give live vaccines prior to therapy whenever possible. Risk D: Consider therapy modification

Vitamin K Antagonists (eg, warfarin): Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the anticoagulant effect of Vitamin K Antagonists. Risk C: Monitor therapy

Yellow Fever Vaccine: Corticosteroids (Systemic) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Yellow Fever Vaccine. Specifically, the risk of vaccine-associated infection may be increased. Corticosteroids (Systemic) may diminish the therapeutic effect of Yellow Fever Vaccine. Risk X: Avoid combination

Pregnancy Considerations

Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with fludrocortisone; adverse events have been observed with corticosteroids in animal reproduction studies. Some studies have shown an association between first trimester systemic corticosteroid use and oral clefts (Park-Wyllie 2000; Pradat 2003). Systemic corticosteroids may also influence fetal growth (decreased birth weight); however, information is conflicting (Lunghi 2010). Hypoadrenalism may occur in newborns following maternal use of corticosteroids in pregnancy; monitor.

When systemic corticosteroids are needed in pregnancy, it is generally recommended to use the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration of time, avoiding high doses during the first trimester (Leachman 2006; Lunghi 2010). Fludrocortisone may be used to treat women during pregnancy who require therapy for congenital adrenal hyperplasia or primary adrenal insufficiency (Endocrine Society [Bornstein 2016; Speiser 2018]).

Breastfeeding Considerations

It is not known if fludrocortisone is excreted in breast milk; corticosteroids are excreted in breast milk. The manufacturer recommends that caution be exercised when administering fludrocortisone to nursing women.

Dietary Considerations

Systemic use of mineralocorticoids/corticosteroids may require a diet with increased potassium, vitamins A, B6, C, D, folate, calcium, zinc, and phosphorus, and decreased sodium. With fludrocortisone, a decrease in dietary sodium is often not required as the increased retention of sodium is usually the desired therapeutic effect.

Monitoring Parameters

Blood pressure; blood glucose, electrolytes, weight; growth and development in children; HPA axis suppression.

Mechanism of Action

Very potent mineralocorticoid with high glucocorticoid activity; used primarily for its mineralocorticoid effects. Promotes increased reabsorption of sodium and loss of potassium from renal distal tubules.

Pharmacokinetics

Metabolism: Hepatic

Half-life elimination: Plasma: ≥3.5 hours; Biological: 18 to 36 hours

Pricing: US

Tablets (Fludrocortisone Acetate Oral)

0.1 mg (per each): $0.75 - $0.79

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Brand Names: International
  • Astonin (ES);
  • Astonin H (AT, CO, CZ, DE, HN, RO);
  • Astonin-H (HR, HU, LU);
  • Cortineff (BG, LV, PL, RU, UA);
  • Floricot (IN);
  • Florinef (AU, CH, CL, DK, FI, GB, GR, HK, IS, JP, KR, MT, MY, NL, NO, NZ, SE, SG, SI, TH, TW, VN, ZA);
  • Florinefe (BR);
  • Lonikan (AR)


For country abbreviations used in Lexicomp (show table)

REFERENCES

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  5. Annane D, Sebille V, Charpentier C, et al, “Effect of Treatment With Low Doses of Hydrocortisone and Fludrocortisone on Mortality in Patients With Septic Shock,” JAMA, 2002, 288(7):862-71. [PubMed 12186604]
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