Generic Drug Name: Fludrocortisone
Other Common Names: Florinef
Fludrocortisone is a hormone used in cats and dogs to regulate sodium and potassium concentrations. It can be used in animals with hyperkalemia (high blood levels of potassium) to lower the amount of potassium in the blood. It is commonly used in small animals to treat adrenocortical insufficiency (Addison's disease).
Fludrocortisone may cause an increase in thirst and urination, weakness, fluid accumulation in the limbs, and increased appetite or weight gain.
Signs of an allergic reaction to fludrocortisone include scratching, hives, sudden diarrhea, facial swelling, vomiting, shock, seizures, cold limbs, pale gums, or coma. If these symptoms are observed, a veterinarian should be contacted immediately.
Fludrocortisone should not be used in animals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to the drug. Symptoms of an overdose include all of the normal side effects associated with the drug, as well as hypertension, edema, and hypokalemia. To protect from overdose, electrolytes should be carefully monitored and potassium supplemented if required. Emergency veterinary care should be sought if an animal displays symptoms of an overdose. Fludrocortisone should not be used in pregnant animals, as its safety has not yet been determined.
Fludrocortisone must be stored at room temperature in a light-resistant, childproof container. It should be protected from high heat.
Fludrocortisone is administered orally with or without food. The typical dose for both dogs and cats ranges from .01-.02 mg/kg once daily. It is administered twice daily for dogs when first starting treatment. When being used in ferrets, the typical dose is between .05-.1 mg/kg. Doses may vary in different species, when the drug is given by a different route or concurrently with other medications, and with regards to a patient's age, breed, and health status. A veterinarian's dosing instructions and/or those printed on the medication label should be followed closely.
If a dose is missed, it should be given immediately. If it is almost time for the next scheduled dose, the missed dose should be skipped and the scheduled dose administered. At this point, the user should return to the normal administration schedule. Two doses should not be given at the same time.