Spironolactone and the main facts
Spironolactone is a medication that belongs to the group of those classified as diuretics, which means that the conditions in which it is usually used are those that require treatment of hypertension, water retention, low levels of potassium and heart failure. It is one of those medications that cannot be obtained unless the doctor prescribes them, and once it is prescribed, it is necessary to use it exactly as the doctor suggests it. Due to the fact that its mechanism of action is based on blocking aldosterone receptors (which is why it is also known as aldosterone antagonist), the amount of water that is removed from the body increases, thus decreasing the blood volume and lowering blood pressure. However, unlike other diuretics, this one does not cause decrease in the blood levels of potassium, which is why it is also used in the treatment of hypokalemia. Since people who take it usually need to take it two or three times a day, it is recommended to have the last daily dose 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 officially approved, spironolactone can also be used in the treatment of acne in women, as well as to reduce bloating and water retention that many women suffer from during PMS. Polycystic ovarian syndrome, hair loss and hirsutism are some of the conditions that women suffer from and that this medication is efficient and helpful with.
Side effects of spironolactone
In order to make sure that the chances of experiencing side effects that are associated with this medication are minimized, it is necessary to tell the doctor in advance if the patient suffers from allergies, liver diseases, diseases that affect kidneys, or from some electrolyte and fluid related problems. Spironolactone can aggravate the symptoms of these problems, which is why it should be either used carefully and under supervision, or avoided. Besides alcohol and medications that are classified as ACE inhibitors, barbiturates, NSAIDs, narcotics, other blood pressure medications, this diuretic must not be used in combination with products or supplements that contain potassium and salt. Women who are either pregnant or breastfeeding should not use it because it belongs to the group of potentially dangerous medications in such cases.
Regarding the side effects, those that indicate increased levels of potassium and allergic reaction should be taken seriously, as well as signs of jaundice, breast enlargement and erectile dysfunction in men and breast lumps. Diarrhea, nausea, fever, and headache usually do disappear on their own.