Fludrocortisone is an artificial form of glucocorticoid, which help maintain a fine balance of salt and water. These steroids also help fight inflammation and a few other autoimmune conditions. Fludrocortisone is used when your body makes lesser (than normal) level of corticoids. Generic availability of this drug makes it quite inexpensive as compared to other manmade steroids. People living with hormonal conditions like Addison’s disease or adreno-genital syndrome (especially, the salt reducing type) are advised to take this med. But, prior to starting your treatment plan, it is important to know the side effects of fludrocortisone.

Your body is endowed with capabilities to make a few types of steroids. Of the naturally forming chemicals, glucocorticoids aids in retaining needful balance of water and salt. An imbalance of water level and salt content may destabilize your blood pressure levels. These are more likely to show up among people living with impaired adrenal glands. Clinical conditions such as Addison’s disease and insufficiency of adrenocortical production are few of the known risks.

Glucocorticoids also help regulate absorption of sugar as well as streamline the presence of salts and water. They also play a vital role in determining how much fats your cells absorb. In essence, glucocorticoids prevent the onset of autoimmune conditions such as swelling or inflammation. Owing to their anti-inflammatory properties, glucocorticoids are used for the treatment of inflammatory or autoimmune conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, other types of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) and arthritis.

Among the supplements of glucocorticoids, a widely used drug is fludrocortisone. It is commonly administered to handle steroidal deficiencies. Fludrocortisone is categorized under a class of meds known as corticosteroids. It is an artificial glucocorticoid administered to supplement a lesser production of corticoids. This med is prescribed for treating inflammation as well as a few other autoimmune ailments.

Side effects fludrocortisone is likely to trigger

It is important to know the likely outcomes and side effects of taking fludrocortisone. Foremost of all, your body tends to retain larger amounts of salts and water. Owing to this, you are likely to see build-up of blood pressure, retention of bodily fluids (a condition called edema) and a few cardiac problems (these are largely attributed to an increase in heart’s size).

This med is known to cause a few skin conditions such as onset of blisters, rashes, hives itchiness and peeling of skin. Those who have prior mental health conditions may need to take added precautions; this is because of likely incidence of mental problems like mood shifts, depression, hallucinations, being restless or anxious. Fludrocortisone and its active ingredients may boost blood sugar levels. Due to this risk, people who take diabetic drugs or are already diagnosed with diabetes mellitus need to keep away from this drug. In short, if you are experiencing symptoms like wanting to urinate frequently, staying hungry or thirsty at almost all times, your caregiving team must be informed of such signs.

Other severe side effects of taking fludrocortisone

You need to be conscious of another possible side effect while taking fludrocortisone; this is the potential loss of potassium – an important mineral. People who are taking fludrocortisone are known to have markedly low level of this essential mineral. Loss of potassium can be sensed through a few distinctive signs such as abnormal heartbeats or erratic pulse rates, being tired most of the time, changes in body weight, muscular pains, etc.

This steroidal med is also known to weaken your immune system. Owing to this side effect, users of fludrocortisone tend to get infected easily. This risk is more pronounced when you come in close contact with people who are already infected or while you visit places that may have microbial infections. It is equally essential to tell your treating physician about medical history, especially of infectious ailments. As a safety measure, you are advised to keep track of early signs of infections like fever, soreness of throat, runny nose or sneezing. Stay away from those who are infected by chicken pox or measles; also, as your immune system is relatively weak, you are more likely to get infected with such conditions.

Drugs that trigger adverse reactions when taken with fludrocortisone

Immunity boosting meds such as vaccines are a no-go while you are taking fludrocortisone. As an extended safety measure, keep away from vaccinations. Opting for such shots can result in impairment of vascular health as well as a few cerebral conditions.

Talk to your caregiving team about meds that may react adversely with this steroidal drug. It can be unsafe to consume blood thinning meds as well as water pills (diuretics) along with this med. Also, keep off drugs that can reduce potassium; tell your physician if you are taking any cardiac meds or potassium reducing drugs. Those who are being treated for diabetes mellitus must tell their doctor of all the diabetic drugs currently taken. As your blood sugar may vary all through your medication plan, keep a tab on your sugar level on a periodic basis. Beware of taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or aspirin; intake of NSAIDs may cause ulcers and rupture of intestinal lining.

Fludrocortisone is unlikely to cause any major allergic reactions. However, if you are witnessing severe side effects and / or allergies such as swelling of tongue or lips, gasping for breath, complete loss of coordination / passing out, etc., talk to your caregiving team without much delay. US residents may call 911 on an urgent mode; you may also reach out to helplines of FDA for medical support. People residing in Canada can reach out to a poison control center or dial Health Canada.

In sum, fludrocortisone helps retain salts and water in your system. You may hence experience high blood pressure, retention of fluids and an increase in size of heart. This med may increase blood sugar and hence people living with diabetes must stay off this med. You are advised to make a list of all the drugs you are presently consuming, and take the consent of your caregiver for continuing the intake of such meds. It is recommended to stay cautious of taking drugs such as warfarin, cardiac meds or potassium depleting drugs, NSAIDs such as naproxen or aspirin. To know more on other likely side effects of fludrocortisone, consult with your caregiver before commencing your treatment plan.

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