Brand NamesSpironolactone, Aldactone
What is Spironolactone
Spironolactone is a prescription medicine that effective as a diuretic for various conditions. It prevents your body from absorbing too much salt and keeps your potassium levels from getting too low.
Spironolactone is used to diagnose or treat a condition in which you have too much aldosterone in your body. Aldosterone is a hormone produced by your adrenal glands to help regulate the salt and water balance in your body.
Spironolactone is also effective for treating fluid retention (edema) in people with congestive heart failure, cirrhosis of the liver or a kidney disorder called nephrotic syndrome.
Side effects of Spironolactone
The most common side effects of Spironolactone include:
- stomach pain or cramps
- dry mouth
- enlarged or painful breasts in men or women
- irregular menstrual periods
- vaginal bleeding in post-menopausal ('after the change of life', the end of monthly menstrual periods) women
- difficulty maintaining or achieving an erection
- deepening of voice
- increased hair growth on parts of the body
Once you have noticed the following serious side effects, you should stop taking this medication and inform your doctor as soon as possible:
- muscle weakness, pain or cramps
- pain, burning, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
- inability to move arms or legs
- changes in heartbeat
- extreme tiredness
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- lack of energy
- loss of appetite
- pain in the upper right part of the stomach
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- fever, sore throat, cough, chills and other signs of infection
- flu-like symptoms
- cold, gray skin
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- vomiting blood
- blood in stools
- decreased urination
- blurred vision
Spironolactone is used for the following purposes:
- Diagnosing and treating primary hyperaldosteronism (overproduction of the hormone aldosterone)
- Decreasing the risk of hospitalization or death in people with severe heart failure
- Controlling high blood pressure (hypertension)
- Treating water retention (edema) due to congestive heart failure (CHF), cirrhosis of the liver, kidney disease
- Treating low levels of potassium in the blood (hypokalemia)
You should inform your doctor before taking spironolactone if you have:
- Liver disease, including cirrhosis
- Kidney disease or kidney failure
- Fluid or electrolyte problems
- Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes or preservatives
- Are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to become pregnant
Spironolactone dose for Hyperaldosteronism
The recommended starting dose is 400 mg once daily for 3-5 weeks (the "long test") or for 4 days (the "short test"). Your doctor will monitor your blood pressure and potassium levels to test whether you have hyperaldosteronism (if you do, your blood pressure and potassium levels should improve).
After the diagnosis, spironolactone can be used short-term to control hyperaldosteronism until surgery can be performed to correct the problem. It can also be used long-term for people who cannot or will not have surgery. For these uses, the dose is 100-400 mg once daily.
Spironolactone dose for Heart Failure
The recommended starting spironolactone dose for treating severe heart failure is spironolactone 25 mg once daily. Your doctor may increase your dose to 50 mg once daily or decrease it to 25 mg every other day if needed.
Spironolactone dose for High Blood Pressure
The recommended starting spironolactone dose for high blood pressure (hypertension) is 50-100 mg daily. This can be taken all at once or split up into two smaller doses per day. Your doctor may need to adjust your dose if side effects occur or if your blood pressure is not under control.
Spironolactone dose for Water Retention
The recommended starting spironolactone dose for water retention (edema) is 100 mg daily. This can be taken all at once or split up into two smaller doses per day. Your doctor may need to adjust your dose if side effects occur or if your water retention is not under control. Typical doses range from spironolactone 25-200 mg daily.
Spironolactone dose for Hypokalemia
The recommended spironolactone dose for treating low potassium levels in the blood (hypokalemia) is 25-100 mg daily (either taken all at once or split up into smaller doses).