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Fludrocortisone acetate is a synthetic hormone that is used to treat hypoadrenocorticism (Addison's disease) in dogs and cats. Addison's disease occurs when an animal's or person's adrenal gland does not manufacture the appropriate amount of hormones. Fludrocortisone acetate replaces both glucocorticoid and mineralocortical hormones, but it is a much stronger drug for the replacement of mineralocorticoid. Mineralocorticoids have an important role in the regulation of electrolytes and water balance in the body. These hormones act upon the kidney, causing it to retain sodium and excrete potassium. When the body does not make an appropriate amount of these hormones, blood sodium levels may become dangerously low, blood potassium levels may become dangerously high, and the animal may also retain fluid. An acute episode of hypoadrenocorticism is called an Addisonian crisis. This is a true medical emergency.
Like many other drugs in veterinary medicine, fludrocortisone acetate is not FDA approved for use in animals and is not available from a veterinary pharmaceutical manufacturer. Instead, it is compounded by a specialty pharmacy.
Give this medication to your pet exactly as your veterinarian prescribes. If you miss giving your pet a dose of fludrocortisone acetate, give the next dose as soon as you remember or, if it is close to the next scheduled dose, return to the regular schedule. Do not double dose to catch up.
Your veterinarian may recommend adding more salt to your animal's diet. This recommendation will be based on the sodium levels in your pet's blood. Do not add salt without discussing it with your veterinarian.
Wash your hands after giving your pet this medication.
Be sure to discuss any side effects with your veterinarian immediately.
Some dogs may develop increased thirst and frequency or volume of urination. These animals may need to have their dose reevaluated.
Keep this and all drugs out of reach of children. Fludrocortisone acetate is a prescription drug and should be used according to your veterinarian's directions. It should only be given to the animal for which it was prescribed. Do not give this medication to a person.
Animals with decreased adrenal function may need additional corticosteroids before surgery or during times of stress.
Electrolytes and kidney function should be checked regularly while your animal is being treated.
Over time, many dogs will need increasing doses of fludrocortisone acetate in order to keep their electrolyte levels within normal range.
Fludrocortisone acetate is excreted in maternal milk. Puppies or kittens of animals receiving this drug will need to be put on milk replacement.
Be sure to review with your veterinarian any medications or supplements your pet may be receiving.
The following drugs may have interactions with fludrocortisone acetate: amphotericin B, diuretics including furosemide, and aspirin.
If you suspect your pet or another animal was overdosed accidentally or has eaten this medication inadvertently, contact your veterinarian or the A.S.P.C.A.'s Animal Poison Control Center at 888.426.4435. Always bring the prescription container with you when you take your pet for treatment.
If you or someone else has accidentally ingested this medication call the National Capital Poison Center at 800.222.1222.
Different strengths or dosage forms of fludrocortisones acetate may have different storage requirements. Read the labeling or ask your pharmacist for the storage requirements of the prescription you receive.
Dr. Barbara Forney is a veterinary practitioner in Chester County, Pennsylvania. She has a master's degree in animal science from the University of Delaware and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1982.
She began to develop her interest in client education and medical writing in 1997. Recent publications include portions of The Pill Book Guide to Medication for Your Dog and Cat, and most recently Understanding Equine Medications published by the Bloodhorse.
Dr. Forney is an FEI veterinarian and an active member of the AAEP, AVMA, and AMWA.
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This content is intended for counseling purposes only. This content is informational/educational and is not intended to treat or diagnose any disease or patient. No claims are made as to the safety or efficacy of mentioned preparations. The compounded medications featured in this content have been prescribed and/or administered by prescribers who work with Wedgewood Pharmacy. You are encouraged to speak with your prescriber as to the appropriate use of any medication. Wedgewood Pharmacy’s compounded veterinary preparations are not intended for use in food and food-producing animals. All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.