Spironolactone and the main facts
Spironolactone is a medication that belongs to the group of thoseclassified as diuretics, which means that the conditions in which it is usuallyused are those that require treatment of hypertension, water retention, lowlevels of potassium and heart failure. It is one of those medications thatcannot be obtained unless the doctor prescribes them, and once it isprescribed, it is necessary to use it exactly as the doctor suggests it. Due tothe fact that its mechanism of action is based on blocking aldosteronereceptors (which is why it is also known as aldosterone antagonist), the amountof water that is removed from the body increases, thus decreasing the bloodvolume and lowering blood pressure. However, unlike other diuretics, this onedoes not cause decrease in the blood levels of potassium, which is why it isalso used in the treatment of hypokalemia. Since people who take it usuallyneed to take it two or three times a day, it is recommended to have the last dailydose before 6 p.m. in order to avoid getting up at night to go to the bathroom.
Besides the conditions for the treatment of which it is officiallyapproved, spironolactone can also be used in the treatment of acne in women, aswell as to reduce bloating and water retention that many women suffer from during PMS. Polycystic ovarian syndrome, hair loss and hirsutism are some of theconditions that women suffer from and that this medication is efficient andhelpful with.
Side effects of spironolactone
In order to make sure that the chances of experiencing sideeffects that are associated with this medication are minimized, it is necessaryto tell the doctor in advance if the patient suffers from allergies, liverdiseases, diseases that affect kidneys, or from some electrolyte and fluidrelated problems. Spironolactone can aggravate the symptoms of these problems,which is why it should be either used carefully and under supervision, or avoided. Besidesalcohol and medications that are classified as ACE inhibitors, barbiturates, NSAIDs,narcotics, other blood pressure medications, this diuretic must not be used incombination with products or supplements that contain potassium and salt. Womenwho are either pregnant or breastfeeding should not use it because it belongsto the group of potentially dangerous medications in such cases.
Regarding the side effects, those that indicate increased levelsof potassium and allergic reaction should be taken seriously, as well as signsof jaundice, breast enlargement and erectile dysfunction in men and breastlumps. Diarrhea, nausea, fever, and headache usually do disappear on their own.