Spironolactone Information for Patients
Spironolactone is commonly prescribed in dermatology for acne, excessive hair growth on the face, and hair loss on the scalp. It can take a full 12 weeks to notice improvement, so be patient. Common side effects include, but are not limited to: increased urination, hyperkalemia, menstrual irregularities, breast tenderness or enlargement, and headaches. Because this medication can lower your blood pressure, some patients can also experience dizziness or fatigue. Please alert our office of any side effects.
Before taking this medication, please make sure your doctor knows if you:
- Are pregnant or are trying to become pregnant (please STOP this drug immediately if you become pregnant, as it is NOT SAFE for use during pregnancy).
- Are on ANY other blood pressure medications
- Have a history of fainting or hypotension
- Have a history of kidney or heart disease
- Are a long distance runner or participate in competitive athletics in which there are certain medications that you are banned from using
Do not take this medication in conjunction with Bactrim (trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole), Lithium, or Digoxin. This medication can increase your potassium levels. For this reason, we ask that you please avoid eating or drinking excessive amounts of foods or beverages with high potassium (such as avocados, bananas, coconut water, spinach, and sweet potato). We may or may not monitor your potassium level while adjusting the dose of your medication.
Typically, we monitor potassium in those above 40 years old, those with restrictive diets (i.e. vegan), those on other blood pressure lowering agents or antidepressants, and some others. There has been controversy around the use of spironolactone and the development of breast cancer. In animal studies, there was an increased risk of benign (non- cancerous) tumors in rats. However, a large study with 2.4 million women suggested that this medication did NOT increase the risk of cancerous or noncancerous breast tumors. While this medication is routinely prescribed by dermatologists and cardiologists nationwide, ultimately YOU need to feel comfortable with your medication and we invite you to ask any questions you might have about your regimen.