Florinef (Fludrocortisone) is a synthetic form of glucocorticoid, a naturally produced steroid that your body requires for functioning properly. There are certain conditions, such as Addison’s disease, which can affect the adrenal glands resulting in low levels of glucocorticoid in your blood stream. The most common cause of Addison’s disease is autoimmune adrenalitis, whereby your own immune system is attacking your adrenal cortex. Florinef is usually prescribed with hydrocortisone medicine for an effective replacement therapy to fortify your low level of steroids which may be a result of a condition called adrenal insufficiency.
Cortisol's most important function is to help the body respond to stress, such as during surgery and illness, and recover from infections. Cortisol also helps maintain blood pressure and cardiovascular functions and regulates the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Aldosterone regulates the amount of salt, potassium and water in the body, maintaining the proper balance. Symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, weakness, depression and joint and muscle pain may be indicators of adrenal insufficiency.
People with adrenal insufficiency do not produce enough of two vital hormones, called cortisol and aldosterone. Florinef can be prescribed to treat adrenal gland disorders like Addison's disease and salt-losing adrenogenital syndrome. These disorders are damaging because they stop your body from producing important steroid hormones. In particular, they block the production of a steroid called glucocorticosteroid, which is essential for blood pressure regulation, fluid balancing, and carbohydrate digestion. Florinef will supplement your missing glucocorticosteroid levels, but it cannot cure the underlying disease.
Florinef may also be prescribed to treat chronic postural hypotension, a type of low blood pressure, also known as orthostatic hypotension. Orthostatic hypotension is a form of low blood pressure that happens when you stand up from sitting or lying down; it can make you feel dizzy or lightheaded, and maybe even faint. Orthostatic hypotension is often mild, lasting a few seconds to a few minutes after standing. However, long-lasting orthostatic hypotension can be a sign of more-serious problems.
If you are still able to bear children, ask your doctor if Florinef (FLudrocortisone) is safe to take if you are pregnant, trying to conceive, or are breast feeding. Make sure to tell your doctor about other medical conditions or allergies you have, including any thyroid, muscle, eye, or stomach problems before you start taking Florinef.
Florinef can increase your susceptibility to infection, so you will need to avoid large crowds and being near people who are sick during your treatment. Do not receive an active vaccine while taking Florinef, as it may lower the efficacy.
Florinef can interact with many medications, including hormonal birth controls, blood thinners, and insulin medications, so provide your doctor with a list of current meds you take or use, including herbal remedies and dietary or vitamin supplements. Use only as directed by your doctor.
You should contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following serious side effects associated with Florinef: vision problems; severe depression; rapid weight gain; shortness of breath; pancreatitis; seizures.