What is Spironolactone?
Spironolactone is a potassium-sparing diuretic (water pill) that stops the body from absorbing too much salt and keeps the potassium levels from decreasing greatly. It is prescribed for the treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure) as well as to treat fluid retention (edema) in people with congestive heart failure, cirrhosis of the liver, or a kidney disorder called nephritic syndrome. It is also used to treat or prevent hypokalemia or low potassium levels in the blood.
Spironolactone is also prescribed for the diagnosis or treatment of a condition in which there is too much aldosterone in the body. Aldosterone is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands that helps regulate the salt and water balance in the body. Spironolactone is sold under various trade names, one of which is Aldactone (made by RPG Life Sciences).
Important Information about Spironolactone
Do not take Spironolactone (Aldactone) if you have a known allergy to it, or if you have kidney disease, high levels of potassium in your blood, or if you are unable to urinate. Do not take potassium supplements or other diuretics while you are taking Spironolactone. Also avoid salt substitutes or low sodium milk products that contain potassium. These products can shoot up your potassium levels while taking this medicine
Prior to taking Spironolactone, let your doctor know if you have liver disease, or if you take steroidal medicines or another diuretic. Avoid a high salt diet while taking this medicine. High salt intake will cause your body to retain water and can make this medicine less effective.
Do not exert more or become dehydrated while exercising and while in hot weather. Follow your doctor’s directions about the type and amount of liquids you should drink. In some instances, consuming too much liquid can be as harmful as not drinking enough. If you are being treated for high blood pressure, continue taking Spironolactone even if you don’t have any symptoms. High blood pressure doesn’t have any outwardly signs. You may have to take this medicine for the rest of your life.
Spironolactone is an FDA pregnancy category C drug. It is known that this medicine can harm an unborn baby if taken during pregnancy. Spironolactone can pass into breast milk and harm a nursing baby. Consult your doctor before taking Spironolactone if any of these cases apply to you.
Before taking Spironolactone
Before taking Spironolactone (Aldactone), take care of all precautions mentioned above. Discuss them with your doctor and clear all doubts which you may have about this drug.
How should I take Spironolactone?
Take Spironolactone strictly according to your doctor’s direction or according to the instructions on the medication label. Do not alter the dosage unless your doctor advises you to do so. Also, do not take this medication after the prescribed period is over. All medications come with a patient leaflet. Refer the instructions in them for detailed information on that particular medication. Always store this medicine in a cool and dry place.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of Spironolactone, take it as soon as you remember. Don’t take the missed dose if the time to take the next dose is almost up. Taking multiple doses near to each other can lead to excess medication in your body which can be harmful.
What if I overdose?
In case of an overdose of Spironolactone, get emergency medical attention or call the Doctor Immediately. Overdose may result in drowsiness, confusion, red skin rash, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Things and Activities to avoid while taking Spironolactone
Spironolactone may impact your thinking capability and reflexes. Take extra care while driving or other such activities that require a high level of mental awareness and alertness. Do not exert more or become dehydrated while exercising and while in hot weather. Also, do not take potassium supplements or other diuretics while you are taking Spironolactone. Also avoid salt substitutes or low sodium milk products that contain potassium. These products can shoot up your potassium levels while taking this medicine
Spironolactone Side Effects
Some common side effects of Spironolactone are reduced heart rate, dizziness, nausea, headache, or fatigue. However, if any of these side effects persist or deteriorate, seek medical attention right away.
Some serious side effects or allergic reactions due to Spironolactone are rash, itching, swelling of face, tongue, or throat, or breathing trouble, symptoms of high potassium that can be fatal (slow or irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness), unusual fatigue, sudden or unexplained weight gain, increased thirst, change in amount of urine, severe dizziness, muscle spasms, menstrual period changes, breast enlargement in men, sexual function problems, severe stomach or abdominal pain, dark urine, yellowing of eyes and skin, or persistent nausea or vomiting.
The side effects mentioned above are not the only ones that you may experience or witness due to Spironolactone. If you get any serious side effects due to this medication, contact your doctor right away.
Spironolactone Dosing Information
Spironolactone dosage may depend on a range of factors like age, sex, drug allergies, or seriousness of the condition among several other factors. Your dosage will be determined by your doctor after examining you properly. Remember to follow your doctor’s advice properly for best results.
Interaction with other drugs
The following drugs can interact with Spironolactone: lithium, digoxin, steroids, ACE inhibitors, NSAIDs. However, these are not the only drugs that can interact with Spironolactone. There may be others. Let your doctor know in advance if you use any medicines or related products such as OTC medicines, vitamin pills, or herbal products. Never start a new medication without proper medical advice.