Fludrocortisone acetate (Rx)
Used in the treatment of Addison's disease and is also used to regulate the body's potassium level. Tablets are usually given once daily for the life of the pet. Fludrocortisone is available in 0.1 mg tablets.
WHAT IS THIS DRUG?
- A mineralocorticoid; a steroid
- Given by mouth
REASONS FOR PRESCRIBING:
- For the treatment of hypoadrenocorticism (Addison's disease) in dogs. Addison's is not often diagnosed in cats.
- Helps to regulate the body's concentrations of sodium and potassium
WHAT DOGS/CATS SHOULD NOT TAKE THIS MEDICATION?
- Safe for use during pregnancy. Since the drug enters the milk, any mothers prescribed this drug should not nurse their puppies. Use a milk replacer to feed the puppies once they have received colostrum (first milk).
- Pets with serious bacterial, fungal or viral infections
- Pets with stomach ulcers, hypothyroidism, diabetes, liver, heart and kidney disease
- If your pet has had an allergic reaction to fludrocortisone or like products
Read and follow the label carefully.
Give the exact amount prescribed and only as often as directed. It is usually given once daily for the life of the pet. It is rarely given to cats. Ideally, give the medication at the same time daily.
Fludrocortisone may be given with food to reduce gastrointestinal side effects.
Give this medication for as long as your veterinarian directs. Do not skip doses or stop giving the medication without consulting your veterinarian.
Baseline blood work to assess your pet's health before starting this drug is recommended. Periodic blood work to monitor its effect is also advised if long-term therapy is necessary. Dose adjustments will be made based upon the results and an assessment of how your pet is responding clinically.
Do not discontinue the drug abruptly if your pet has been on the drug for several weeks. Your veterinarian will want to gradually reduce the dosage before stopping this medication.
Ensure your pet has fresh, clean drinking water at all times.
Call ahead for refills.
WHAT IF A DOSE IS MISSED?
If a dose is missed, give it as soon as you can. If it is time already for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to the normal schedule. Do not give two doses at the same time.
STORAGE AND WARNINGS:
Store in a tight, light resistant, childproof container in a cool, dry place at room temperature away from heat and direct sunlight.
Keep this and all medication out of reach of children and pets.
Call your physician immediately if you accidentally take this product.
POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS:
- Most common side effects are increased thirst, urination, fluid accumulation in the limbs, weakness, problems with diabetes control, increased appetite and weight gain. Your pet may have accidents and need to go outside more often.
- May be irritating to the stomach. Give fludrocortisone with food to alleviate this effect.
- Some effects can occur if the dose is increased or decreased too quickly. Effects could include: high blood pressure, limb swelling, low potassium levels and weakness. If your pet seems weak or its legs appear swollen, call your veterinarian immediately.
- Heart enlargement can occur with chronic overdosing
- May lead to immune system suppression, making your pet more susceptible to infections. Contact your veterinarian if your pet has a fever (over 103°F), painful or frequent urination, fatigue, sneezing, coughing or runny eyes.
- If you notice any of these symptoms or anything else unusual, contact your veterinarian
CAN THIS DRUG BE GIVEN WITH OTHER DRUGS?
- Yes, but possible interactions may occur with anticholinesterase agents, amphotericin B, anticoagulants, barbiturates, cyclosporine, digoxin, erythromycin, furosemide, glipizide, insulin, ketoconazole, macrolid antibiotics, NSAIDs, salicylate (aspirin products), phenobarbital, phenytoin, rifampin, theophylline and some vaccines.
- If your pet experiences any unusual reactions when taking multiple medications, contact your veterinarian.
Contact your veterinarian immediately if pet receives more than the prescribed amount.
WHAT TO TELL/ASK VETERINARIAN BEFORE GIVING MEDICATION?
Talk to your veterinarian about:
- When will your pet need to be rechecked
- What tests may need to be performed prior to and during treatment with this drug
- What are the risks and benefits of using this drug
Tell your veterinarian about:
- If your pet has experienced side-effects on other drugs/products
- If your pet has experienced digestive upset now or ever
- If your pet has experienced liver or kidney disease now or ever
- If your pet has experienced any other medical problems or allergies now or ever
- All medicines and supplements that you are giving your pet or plan to give your pet, including those you can get without a prescription. Your veterinarian may want to check that all of your pet's medicines can be given together.
- If your pet is pregnant or nursing or if you plan to breed your pet
WHAT ELSE SHOULD I KNOW?
Notify your veterinarian if your animal's condition does not improve or worsens despite this treatment.
As with all prescribed medicines, fludrocortisone should only be given to the pet for which it was prescribed. It should be given only for the condition for which it was prescribed.
This is just a summary of information about fludrocortisone. If you have any questions or concerns about fludrocortisone or the condition it was prescribed for, contact your veterinarian.