Spironolactone is an oral medication for women with moderate acne. Spironolactone is used to treat a specific type of acne: hormonal acne. That’s because surges in the hormones progesterone and testosterone cause an increase in oil gland production, but Spironolactone is able to bind to hormone receptors, decreasing oil production during these surge periods.
Hormonal acne tends to follow a pattern of hard nodules along the jawline and chin that are painful and long-lasting. Other kinds of acne may be bacterial.
How Does It Work?
Spironolactone is especially effective for treating tender, deep-seated acne.
You may begin to see results in the form of reduced oiliness and decreased breakouts in as little as one month, but you will need to wait up to three to six months for skin to clear up.
Where Can I Get Spironolactone?
Spironolactone is the name for the generic version of the brand name drug Aldactone. It is safe to use and widely available at pharmacies with a prescription.
What Are the Precautions Associated with Spironolactone?
If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, Spironolactone is not the right medication for you. You will need to use strict birth control while you take Spironolactone since it can cause severe birth defects.
You will also need to keep tabs on your potassium level and blood pressure before you start this medication since it can affect your blood potassium levels.
You should also avoid makeup or skin products that are drying while you take this medication since it can lead to over-drying. Stick with non-pore clogging or comedogenic skin products and moisturizers.
Spironolactone is generally considered safe for women, but is not prescribed for men due to side effects.
What Are Some of the Side Effects of Spironolactone?
Like any prescription medication, Spironolactone can have some minor side effects. These include irregular or painful periods, breast enlargement, and breast tenderness. However, many women find that these side effects are decreased when they also take a birth control pill. Other minor side effects include dizziness, headache, and fatigue.
Because Spironolactone is a diuretic, you may notice that you take more frequent trips to the bathroom or feel slightly lightheaded when you go from lying to standing quickly. It is helpful to drink plenty of water throughout the day to deal with these potential issues.
Could Spironolactone Affect My Menstrual Cycle?
Spironolactone could affect your menstrual cycle by causing light spotting or irregular periods. However, taking Spironolactone along with a birth control pill can lessen these effects.
Should I Avoid Potassium Rich Foods While Taking Spironolactone?
Your doctor will advise you to avoid taking salt substitutes that contain potassium and potassium supplements and to avoid foods that are high in potassium such as bananas, spinach, and coconut water. Eating high-potassium foods while taking Spironolactone can lead to hyperkalemia, or dangerously high blood potassium levels.
What Else Do I Need to Know About Spironolactone?
Talk to your doctor if you are also taking an opioid pain medication, sleeping pill, or muscle relaxer, or if you are taking medication to treat anxiety, depression, or seizures.
Tell your doctor about all medication that you are currently taking, as well as any you start or stop while taking Spironolactone. It is especially important to discuss NSAIDs like aspirin and ibuprofen, medication to prevent blood clots, heart or blood pressure medication, and the medications cholestyramine, digoxin, lithium, or trimethoprim.
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