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Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2010 Aug;88(2):183-90. doi: 10.1038/clpt.2010.83. Epub 2010 Jul 14.

Biological and hemodynamic effects of low doses of fludrocortisone and hydrocortisone, alone or in combination, in healthy volunteers with hypoaldosteronism.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Pharmacology, University Hospital, Rennes 1 University, Rennes, France.


Low doses of hydrocortisone (HC) and fludrocortisone (FC) administered together improve the prognosis after septic shock; however, there continues to be disagreement about the utility of FC for this indication. The biological and hemodynamic effects of HC (50 mg intravenously) and FC (50 microg orally) were assessed in 12 healthy male volunteers with saline-induced hypoaldosteronism in a placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind, crossover study performed according to a 2 x 2 factorial design. HC and FC significantly decreased urinary sodium and potassium levels (from -58% at 4 h to -28% at 10 h and from -35% at 8 h to -24% at 12 h, respectively) with additive effects. At 4 h after administration, HC significantly increased cardiac output (+14%), decreased systemic vascular resistances (-14%), and slightly increased heart rate (+4 beats/min), whereas FC had no hemodynamic effect. At doses used in septic shock, HC induced greater mineralocorticoid effect than FC did. HC also induced transient systemic hemodynamic effects, whereas FC did not. New studies are required to better define the optimal dose of FC in septic shock.

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