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Fludrocortisone in the treatment of hypotensive disorders in the elderly.
  1. R. M. Hussain,
  2. S. J. McIntosh,
  3. J. Lawson,
  4. R. A. Kenny
  1. Cardiovascular Investigation Unit, Royal victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne.


    OBJECTIVE: To evaluate tolerance of fludrocortisone in older patients with hypotensive disorders. DESIGN: Prospective case series. SETTING: Syncope clinic. PATIENTS: 64 Consecutive patients over 65 years (mean age 80 years) with one or more hypotensive disorders (orthostatic hypotension, vasodepressor carotid sinus syncope, and/or vasodepressor neurocardiogenic syncope. INTERVENTIONS: Fludrocortisone in daily doses of 100 micrograms [corrected] (72%), 50 micrograms [corrected] (27%), and 200 micrograms [corrected] (one patient). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Adverse events, treatment withdrawal. RESULTS: During follow up 13 patients died of unrelated causes. Of the remainder 33% discontinued fludrocortisone at a mean of five months. Reasons for discontinuing treatment were hypertension, five; cardiac failure, four; depression, three; oedema, three; and unspecified, two. In those who continued treatment supine systolic and diastolic blood pressure did not differ significantly from baseline (follow up two to 21 months). Hypokalaemia developed in 24% at a mean of eight months; in no case was treatment withdrawn because of hypokalaemia. CONCLUSION: Fludrocortisone, even in low doses, is poorly tolerated in the long term in older patients with hypotensive disorders.

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