Spironolactone is a medication that is utilized to manage hypertension and heart failure. Its use can reduce the risk of strokes, heart attacks, and kidney issues by controlling high blood pressure. This medication can also relieve swelling edema triggered by particular medical conditions, such as heart failure and liver disease, by eliminating excess fluid and improving associated symptoms such as breathing difficulties.
Spironolactone is effective in treating conditions where the body produces an excessive amount of a natural substance called aldosterone. Spironolactone is categorized as a “water pill” or potassium-sparing diuretic.
Uses and Dosage
Spironolactone is available in tablet and suspension forms, which are taken orally. It is usually taken once or twice a day, and the suspension should be taken consistently with or without food each time.
Take spironolactone at the same time(s) every day, following the prescription label instructions and seeking clarification from your doctor or pharmacist if needed. The medication should be taken exactly as directed and not more or less often than prescribed.
Before each use, shake the oral suspension well to ensure an even mix of the medication.
Your doctor may begin with a low dose of spironolactone and gradually increase it.
Spironolactone tablets and suspension release the medication differently in the body and cannot be substituted for one another. Only take the specific spironolactone product prescribed by your doctor and do not switch without their approval.
While spironolactone can control high blood pressure, edema, heart failure, and hyperaldosteronism, it does not provide a cure for these conditions.
It may take up to two weeks or more for spironolactone to take full effect. Continue taking the medication as prescribed, even if you feel well. Do not discontinue spironolactone without first consulting with your doctor.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- burning feeling in the chest or stomach
- decreased interest in sexual intercourse
- hair loss or thinning of the hair
- inability to have or keep an erection
- leg cramps
- loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
- pain in the nipples
- sores, welts, or blisters
- stomach upset
- swelling of the breasts or breast soreness in both females and males
- unusual dullness or feeling of sluggishness
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- muscle weakness, pain, or cramps
- pain, burning, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
- inability to move arms or legs
- changes in heartbeat
- extreme tiredness
- dry mouth, thirst, dizziness, unsteadiness, headache, or other signs of dehydration
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- lack of energy
- loss of appetite
- pain in the upper right part of the stomach
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- flu-like symptoms
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- vomiting blood
- blood in stools
- decreased urination
Prior to taking spironolactone, inform your healthcare provider or pharmacist of any allergies you may have, including allergies to its inactive ingredients, as they may cause an allergic reaction or other adverse effects.
Before using this medication, inform your healthcare provider or pharmacist of your medical history, specifically kidney problems, liver problems, untreated mineral imbalance such as high potassium or low sodium, and decreased adrenal gland function.
Spironolactone may increase your potassium levels, before using potassium supplements or salt substitutes that contain potassium, consult with your healthcare provider or pharmacist. Limit foods high in potassium, such as bananas, tomatoes, potatoes, and low-salt milk.
This medication may cause dizziness or drowsiness. Alcohol or marijuana may exacerbate these side effects. Avoid activities that require alertness, such as driving or operating machinery, until you are able to perform them safely.
During pregnancy, spironolactone should only be used if it is deemed necessary by your healthcare provider. Please discuss the risks and benefits of taking this medication while pregnant with your doctor.
This medication can pass into breast milk, although it is unlikely to cause harm to a nursing infant. Speak with your doctor before breastfeeding while taking this medication.
Form and Strength
Aldactone is available in the following forms and strengths:
Should I drink a lot of water with Aldactone?
In some cases, people who take spironolactone can become dehydrated. Be sure to drink adequate water. Watch for signs of dehydration.
How quickly does Aldactone work?
For oedema, spironolactone usually starts working after 2 or 3 days, but it can sometimes take longer. For high blood pressure (hypertension), it can take up to 2 weeks for spironolactone to work.