Spironolactone can be a fantastic medication for many skin issues. However, not everyone can take it. Whilst it’s practical, it is only suitable for particular patients.
In this blog, I will explain the process of how Spironolactone works (don’t worry, it won’t be overly complicated; I’ll give you the ins and outs of what you WANT to know) and whether it’s a suitable option for you.
How is Spironolactone monitored?
Before beginning and occasionally during treatment, your doctor may request a blood test to evaluate your potassium level. If you have cardiac or renal problems or are using other medications that impact potassium levels, you may need these checks more frequently.
What precautions should I take?
If you’re currently pregnant or trying to become pregnant, do not use this medication since it may interfere with the proper development of the baby you are expecting. Spironolactone users should utilise effective contraception to avoid pregnancy. Taking Spironolactone with combined contraceptive medication can boost its efficacy in treating acne while also providing contraception and minimising hormonal adverse effects like menstrual irregularities.
What are the common side effects of Spironolactone?
Breast tenderness/enlargement and irregular menstruation periods are common adverse effects in premenopausal women. These symptoms usually go away with continued treatment, and taking Spironolactone with the oral contraceptive pill may assist.
Spironolactone can reduce blood pressure upon rising from a sitting position (postural hypotension), which can cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting. Drowsiness, weariness, headache, decrease of libido (sex drive), and, very occasionally, disorientation and loss of coordination are common adverse effects. Because this medication is a diuretic, it may cause the body to generate more urine.
What are the rare side effects of Spironolactone?
Potassium levels in the blood may rise during spironolactone medication. This is less likely in younger patients (45 years old), those without cardiac or kidney problems, and those who do not take other medicines that impact potassium levels. It can produce abnormal blood counts and allergic reactions in rare cases.
Animal studies with very high dosages of Spironolactone revealed a possible link to cancer, although this has not been observed in human trials.
Am I able to drink alcohol whilst taking Spironolactone?
Some spironolactone side effects, such as dizziness, may be exacerbated by alcohol consumption. It is recommended that you moderate your alcohol use by following the prescribed guidelines.
Lastly, make sure to tell your doctor if you’re taking any of the following medications:
- Diuretics (sometimes known as “water tablets”).
- Supplements for potassium
- ACE Inhibitors (for example, quinapril captopril)
- Blood pressure medication
- Aspirin, indomethacin (an analgesic/anti-inflammatory medication)
- Digoxin (used to treat cardiac problems)
- Trimethoprim and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (antibiotic kinds)