Your body produces a substance called glucocorticoids; these substances help regulate use of sugars at the cell level. These also control how much fats are absorbed, and thus stop internal swelling or inflammation. Glucocorticoids help treat several inflammatory conditions like arthritis, bronchial asthma, other forms of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) as well as allergies. At times, your body makes less of these corticoids and hence artificial supplements are administered. Fludrocortisone is one of its artificial versions, available in drugstores. But, what are the effects of this drug on your immune system? You must have the needful details before commencing your treatment plan.

Glucocorticoids help your system to function in many ways. Their role in maintaining a fine balance of water and salt helps your body to keep blood pressure under control. When you have a disease affecting your adrenal glands, your body may make lesser amount of these substances. Conditions such as insufficiency of adrenocortical secretion, Addison’s disease as well as adreno-genital syndromes wherein you may end up losing essential salts are the potential risk factors. Supplements of glucocorticoids are widely used when your system makes inadequate levels of this substance.

Fludrocortisone is an artificial equivalent of glucocorticoid; it is administered mainly to supplement a lower production of the aforesaid corticoids. It is taken to reduce internal swelling or inflammation. The availability of this drug in its generic form makes it less expensive. It is also used with other drugs such as hydrocortisone as part of combinatorial treatment plans. Fludrocortisone is categorized under a class of meds known as corticosteroids. Making your system to retain needful levels of salts is one of the key functions of this med.

Intake of fludrocortisone and its effect on your immunity level

You need to stay aware of some of the adverse outcomes of administering fludrocortisone. It can make your body to retain more water and salts. As a result, you may witness a high level of blood pressure or hypertension, edema or swelling, cardiac failure owing to the growth of the size of your heart. You may also encounter lower levels of potassium; this results in erratic heartbeats, tiredness and painful muscles.

Impact on your immune system

Another important outcome of using this corticosteroid is a decrease in immunity levels. In other words, you may easily get infected; also, it might become quite difficult for your body to fight infections. It is important to inform your caregiver of recent spells of microbial infections. It becomes essential to keep track of key symptoms of infections such as tremors, shaking, chills or increase in body temperature. You are advised to keep a safe distance from people who are ill or already infected. Infections such as chickenpox can be almost near-fatal; upon witnessing the first signs of any infections, share inputs about them with your caregiving team.

Other acute side effects fludrocortisone may trigger

This corticosteroid is likely to cause a few severe discomforts and acute side effects. Such serious side effects include skin conditions like rashes, hives, formation of blisters, peeling of skin and / or itchiness. You may also observe mood shifts including depression, anxieties, phobias, hallucination, etc. Those who are already diabetic may see their sugar levels increasing to a very high level; as an extended effect, you may feel hungry and thirsty at almost all times. In some users, urges to pee may become more frequent.

Adverse drug interactions between fludrocortisone and other drugs

As an extended precaution, never take shots of vaccines while you are consuming fludrocortisone. Flouting this precaution may lead to nerve problems as well as brain related conditions. In some cases, people have also reported of spinal cord related diseases. Also, never take diuretic drugs or water pills while taking this drug; those who combined these two meds saw a severe drop in potassium level in blood. Similarly, intake of cardiac meds such as digoxin may catalyse the discharge of potassium. Always remember that abnormal heartbeats, excessive levels of weariness, etc., are the typical symptoms of low potassium content.

It is not considered safe to take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (popularly known as NSAIDs) along with this corticosteroid. Intake of NSAIDs with fludrocortisone may lead to rupture of intestinal walls, resulting in the formation of ulcers. So, as an added safety measure, stay away from drugs such as ibuprofen, celecoxib, naproxen and aspirin. Also, intake of blood thinning drugs such as Coumadin or warfarin may alter the blood thinning capabilities of these drugs. Moreover, those who are taking diabetic drugs like metformin, glipizide, saxagliptin, etc. will need to keep their caregiving team updated of their medication plans.

It is a safe practice to make a list of all the medicines you are consuming. Share this list with your caregiver prior to starting your treatment. In this list, care to add prescription meds, over the counter drugs, vitamins, proteins, dietary aids or herbal supplements. Once you have shared the list to your doctor, it is unsafe to make changes to it without the consent of your caregiver.

Upon sensing any adverse side effects like inflammation of lips or other oral parts, respiratory problems such as gasping, wheezing or panting for breath after taking fludrocortisone, consult with your treating physician on an urgent mode. Those who are in the US are advised to call 911 on an emergency basis. US residents may also call the helplines of the food and drugs administration (FDA) for needful medical support. On the other hand, Canadian residents may either call Heath Canada or rush to a poison control center as quickly as you possibly can.

In sum, fludrocortisone is likely to reduce your immunity level. This is one of the reasons why it is used as an immune suppressant, especially after organ transplantation. Due to its lowering your immunity level, intake of this steroid may make you get infected. It may also lessen your capability to fight infectious conditions. Be wary of the first signs of infections; for example, signs such as soreness of throat, fever or flu / common cold. It is essential to tell your physician about prior episodes or recent spells of infections. For more details, it is strongly recommended to talk to a qualified medical practitioner to understand the impact of fludrocortisone on your immune system.

Leave a Reply