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|Systematic (IUPAC) name|
9-fluoro-11,17-dihydroxy-17- (2-hydroxyacetyl)- 10,13-dimethyl- 1,2,6,7,8,9,10,11,12, 13,14,15,16,17- tetradecahydrocyclopenta[a]phenanthren-3-one
|Biological half-life||3.5 hours|
|Molecular mass||380.45 g/mol|
|(what is this?)|
Fludrocortisone (also called 9α-fluorocortisol or 9α-fluorohydrocortisone) is a synthetic corticosteroid with moderate glucocorticoid potency and much greater mineralocorticoid potency. Therapeutically, it is used for its mineralocorticoid activity and not for its glucocorticoid activity.
The brand name in the U.S. and Canada is Florinef. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, a list of the most important medication needed in a basic health system.
Fludrocortisone has been used in the treatment of cerebral salt wasting syndrome. It is used primarily to replace the missing hormone aldosterone in various forms of adrenal insufficiency such as Addison's disease and the classic salt wasting (21-hydroxylase deficiency) form of congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Due to its effects on increasing Na+ levels, and therefore blood volume, fludrocortisone is the first line of treatment for orthostatic intolerance and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). It can be used to treat low blood pressure.
Fludrocortisone is also a confirmation test for diagnosing Conn's syndrome (aldosterone producing-adrenal adenoma), the fludrocortisone suppression test. Loading the patient with fludrocortisone would suppress serum aldosterone level in a normal patient, whereas the level will not be altered in a Conns patient.
- Sodium and water retention
- Swelling due to fluid retention (edema)
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Low blood potassium level (hypokalemia)
- Muscle weakness
- Increased susceptibility to infection
- Impaired wound healing
- Increased sweating
- Increased hair growth (hirsutism)
- Thinning of skin and stretch marks
- Disturbances of the gut such as indigestion (dyspepsia), distention of the abdomen and ulceration (peptic ulcer)
- Decreased bone density and increased risk of fractures of the bones
- Difficulty in sleeping (insomnia)
- Weight gain
- Raised blood sugar level
- Changes to the menstrual cycle
- Partial loss of vision due to opacity in the lens of the eye (cataracts)
- Raised pressure in the eye (glaucoma)
- Increased pressure in the skull (intracranial pressure)
Renin plasma, sodium, and potassium is checked through blood tests in order to verify that the correct dosage is reached.
Chemically, fludrocortisone is identical to cortisol except for the substitution of fluorine in place of one hydrogen. Fluorine is a good bioisostere for hydrogen because it is similar in size. The major difference is in its electronegativity.
- "WHO Model List of EssentialMedicines" (PDF). World Health Organization. October 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2014.
- Taplin CE, Cowell CT, Silink M, Ambler GR (December 2006). "Fludrocortisone therapy in cerebral salt wasting". Pediatrics 118 (6): e1904–8. doi:10.1542/peds.2006-0702. PMID 17101713.
- Freitas J, Santos R, Azevedo E, Costa O, Carvalho M and Falcão de Freitas A (2000). "Clinical improvement in patients with orthostatic intolerance after treatment with bisoprolol and fludrocortisone". Clinical Autonomic Research 10 (5): 293–299. doi:10.1007/BF02281112.