Friday, January 4, 2019

Fludrocortisone shortage

Today I share with you the January 4, 2019 notice from National Adrenal Disease Foundation. It provided an update for the ongoing fludrocortisone shortage many US adrenally-insufficient patients are facing, including Cushies without adrenal glands, like me.

I recommend that you provide a national drug code (NDC) when you call your pharmacy to ask them to find fludrocortisone acetate for you. The pharmacist tech will simply punch this NDC into their computer to locate this medication.
NDC for IMPAX/ Global is 0115-7033-01.

According to the U. S. Library of Medicine, the NDC for fludrocortisone acetate manufactured by IMPAX/ Global is 0115-7033-01.

NDC for IMPAX/ Global is 0115-7033-01.
In addition, I have my endocrinologist write my prescription for fludrocortisone for 0.1 mg bid or twice daily, even though I only take 0.2 mg fludrocortisone during the summer. This allows me to build a small stock pile of this life-saving medication during the other times of the years. It is critical for us to be prepared for times of natural disasters like fires, hurricanes, snow storms, manufacturing delays, shutdowns, or shortages. 

We have to be smart about how to keep ourselves alive. 

Download NADF's original statement here.


"This is an important update on accessibility of fludrocortisone acetate. Barr/Teva has informed us that the company is phasing out their production of fludrocortisone acetate. We want to reiterate that there are other manufacturers of our life-preserving aldosterone hormone replacement fludrocortisone acetate including Impax/Global Laboratories, Inc. and for those with government insurance, AvKARE. However, AvKARE is experiencing a manufacturing delay so that product may also be temporarily unavailable. 

To complicate matters, McKesson is one of the largest pharmaceutical distributors in the USA, and has exclusive contracts with many manufacturers on the supply side, as well as many of the large pharmacy chains and mail order pharmacies on the distribution side. In this case, McKesson has an exclusive contract with Teva/Barr for fludrocortisone acetate, and does not supply Impax products.This means that patients might find ordering fludrocortisone acetate from one of the larger pharmacies as impossible, because that pharmacy has McKesson as their pharmaceutical product supplier. 

NADF's updated (12/31/18) recommendations for obtaining fludrocortisone acetate should you run into problems: 
  • Ask your pharmacist if they have contacted their wholesaler network and exhausted all options
  • Try a smaller non-chain/local pharmacy since they are often not bound by exclusive contracts. If you have a good relationship with your pharmacist where the Rx is unavailable, ask them if they mind calling around to a few local pharmacies to check stock for you and then they can transfer the Rx electronically or via fax
  • Try a hospital pharmacy
  • If you are still not able to obtain your fludrocortisone acetate, please contact NADF at

You can share your experience getting your fludrocortisone prescription filled by taking this NADF survey. It's short--only four questions.