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Randomized Controlled Trial
, 19 (3), 727-735

Population Pharmacokinetic-Pharmacodynamic Model of Oral Fludrocortisone and Intravenous Hydrocortisone in Healthy Volunteers

Randomized Controlled Trial

Population Pharmacokinetic-Pharmacodynamic Model of Oral Fludrocortisone and Intravenous Hydrocortisone in Healthy Volunteers

Noureddine Hamitouche et al. AAPS J.


This study aimed at describing the pharmacokinetics and the concentration-effect relationships of fludrocortisone and hydrocortisone on urinary sodium/potassium excretion in healthy volunteers. This was a placebo-controlled, randomized, double blind, crossover study, of oral fludrocortisone and intravenous hydrocortisone, given alone or in combination, in 12 healthy male volunteers. Nonlinear mixed-effects modeling was used to describe the pharmacokinetics and pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic relationships on urinary sodium/potassium ratio for each drug. A one-compartment model was used to describe fludrocortisone and hydrocortisone pharmacokinetics. Mean plasma half-life was 1.40 h (95%CI [0.80;2.10]) for fludrocortisone and 2.10 h (95%CI [1.78;2.40]) for hydrocortisone. Clearance was 40.8 L/h (95%CI [33.6;48]) for fludrocortisone and 30 L/h (95%CI [25.3;34.7]) for hydrocortisone. An indirect response model was used to describe effects on urinary sodium/potassium ratio. Fludrocortisone plasma concentrations showed a wider inter-individual dispersion than hydrocortisone plasma concentrations. Urinary sodium/potassium ratio variability was also higher with fludrocortisone as compared to hydrocortisone. The plasma concentration of drug producing 50% of maximal inhibition of urinary sodium/potassium (IC50) was about 200 times lower for fludrocortisone (0.08 μg/L, 95%CI [0.035;0.125]) than for hydrocortisone (16.7 μg/L, 95%CI [10.5;22.9]). Simulations showed that a 4-time per day administration regimen allow to achieve steady fludrocortisone plasma concentrations with stable decrease in urinary sodium/potassium ratio after the second administration of fludrocortisone. Fludrocortisone and hydrocortisone have short and similar plasma elimination half-lives in healthy subjects. Fludrocortisone plasma concentrations and effect on urinary sodium/potassium ratio had a higher inter-individual variability as compared to hydrocortisone. The administration regimen of fludrocortisone should be reconsidered.

Keywords: fludrocortisone; hydrocortisone; modeling; pharmacodynamics; pharmacokinetics.

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