If you are suffering from hypertension with an unknown cause, or low potassium levels, heart failure, or even swelling because of liver disease and nephrotic syndrome you may have heard of the perceptions drug Spironolactone. However, it's also possible that you've heard of a dozen more similar drugs that claim to do the same thing. And the problem is that you know very little about how these medicines work, what they treat, what they really do, as well as Spironolactone side effects.
Or maybe you want more information about side effects and would like to be informed on what to expect if you decide to take this perspiration. We understand. Knowledge is power and having the right information can motivate and empower you to make the best choices for your health. That is why we researched this drug and compiled a list of the good and bad Spironolactone side effects to make your health care journey easier. Read on to find out what we learned.
What Is Spironolactone?
Spironolactone is a prescription medicine that is typically taken as an oral tablet. This drug is the generic form of the diuretic Aldactone. Diuretics help expel salt and water while retaining potassium. It is prescribed to restore the body's natural balance of potassium and sodium. It commonly used to reduce swelling from liver disease or nephrotic syndrome. It’s also used to treat heart failure, excessive aldosterone secretion, high blood pressure, and potassium deficiencies.
How Does It Work?
Spironolactone belongs to a class of drugs called Aldosterone antagonist or blockers. This class of drugs, or a group of medicines that work similarly to treat similar conditions, are used to reduce or block Aldosterone activity. The body naturally produces the chemical Aldosterone resulting is increased water retention. This can adversely affect the liver, heart, and kidneys. By lessening the Aldosterone activity, the body stops retaining fluid and relieves pressure. Spironolactone also keeps the body from excreting potassium.
What Condition Does It Treat?
Spironolactone is a versatile drug used to treat numerous conditions. As mentioned before when the body has a lot of Aldosterone activity edema, or fluid retention occurs. This can happen as the result of several conditions including liver scarring, congestive heart failure, or kidney disease. The drug prevents additional damage to these organs by stopping the body from retaining fluid. And by blocking the effect of Aldosterone on your blood vessels, this medicine can potentially lower blood pressure.
Spironolactone is also used to correct Hypokalemia which is a potassium deficiency since it prevents the body from excreting potassium. Doctors commonly prescribe spironolactone to treat swelling resulting from kidney problems or liver disease. It can even treat severe heart failure. Because this drug inhibits the sebaceous gland, or the glands of the skin that release the oily substance sebum, many use Spironolactone to treat who suffering from persistent adult acne caused by increased levels of androgen.
In other women who produce large amounts of androgen, hair loss or abnormal hair growth, like hirsutism, may occur. Spironolactone blocks the production and action of androgen to treat hirsutism and female-pattern hair loss.
Side Effects - Good & Bad
As with all medications and treatments, there are symptoms, some good, some bad, others common and some serious. Bellow is a list of the commonly know Spironolactone side effects so that you can be informed, safe, and healthy.
Common Spironolactone Side Effects
There are several spironolactone side effects that you should be aware of before taking this drug. The first is drowsiness. You should refrain from doing any task that requires alertness such as driving or operating any heavy machinery until you know how spironolactone effects you.
Other common side effects include.
As long as the spironolactone side effects mentioned above are mild and go away within in a few days to a couple of weeks, the results are considered normal. However, if they are severe and persistent, please talk to either your pharmacist or doctor.
Serious Spironolactone Side Effects
If you suspect that you are experiencing serious side effects, please call your doctor right away. If the symptoms worsen and become a medical emergency or you believe them to be life-threatening contact the police immediately. Some serious side effects include:
If you experience any trouble breathing, difficulty swallowing or swelling of your lips, tongue, mouth or throat you may be having a severe allergic reaction. Other symptoms you may have include hives and a fever. Do not ignore these warning signs and if your symptoms seem to persist, please take action.
Severe Skin Reactions
Adverse skin reactions are some of the spironolactone side effects. This characterized by skin redness, peeling, loosening and or blistering. Keep in mind that this can occur in the mouth. Contact your doctor if you have any concerns.
High Potassium Levels
This drug does prevent the body from excreting potassium, and as a result one of the spironolactone side effects is dangerously high potassium levels. The body requires a balanced amount potassium to properly function however when these levels are altered and become abnormally high complications arise. Too much potassium in the body can be very dangerous resulting in muscle weakness or a change in heart rhythm.
If you experience extreme tiredness, muscle weakness or the inability to move your legs and arms you may be suffering from high levels of potassium. Other symptoms include a slow, irregular heart rate and or tingling and numbness of the hands or feet. These symptoms should never be overlooked as they can be fatal.
Electrolyte and Fluid Problems
Spironolactone may cause severe mouth dryness and severe thirst. Or you may not have the proper amount of electrolytes in your body and experience extreme tiredness, dizziness, fast heart rate, and dizziness. If you experience these symptoms and are unable to urinate take action because this exposes you to harmful bacteria, UTI's, infections and other serious medical conditions.
This condition is characterized by a growth in breast tissue for men and women. And like many other prescription Spironolactone can interact with other vitamins, herbs, or medications that you may be taking. These interactions can potentially change the way that the drug works so this can be dangerous and or counterproductive as the medicine may not work as well.
To avoid this, have an honest conversation with your doctor about the prescriptions or supplements you take to ensure that your medications are being managed carefully. This way you will be safe, avoid any detrimental side effects, and stay on the path to health. People with liver disease, hyperkalemia (high levels of potassium), heart disease, and Addison's disease should either refrain from using or use extreme caution when taking this medicine. Seniors, children 18 years old and under, women who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant or breastfeeding should also not take this medicine.
Spironolactone is a versatile drug. This medicine falls under the class of drugs called Aldosterone antagonist or blockers. When aldosterone levels in the body are abnormally high, many things can be adversely affected such as blood pressure. Water retention may occur, hair loss, excessive sebum production and therefore acne, and excessive hair growth can happen as well. Spironolactone works by lessening or blocking the activity of Aldosterone to combat these issues. This diuretic is the generic formula of Aldactone and is commonly used to reduce swelling from liver disease or nephrotic syndrome.
It’s also used to treat heart failure, excessive aldosterone secretion, high blood pressure, and potassium deficiencies. This drug has the potential to help with persistent adult acne in women due to increased androgen levels, and it can treat female-pattern hair loss and hirsutism. Common side effects of this drug include diarrhea abdominal cramping. Others may experience high potassium levels, drowsiness, itching, leg cramps, dry mouth, and thirst. Other common spironolactone side effects are Irregular menstrual cycles or post-menopausal vaginal bleeding, erectile dysfunction, increased hair growth, breast pain in women and deepening of the voice in women.
Serious side effects to be aware of include breast enlargement, problems urinating, high potassium levels characterized by an irregular heartbeat or muscle weakness, severe skin, and allergic reactions. If any of these symptoms occur, contact your doctor or emergency services immediately. So if you are suffering from high blood pressure, a potassium deficiency or excessive aldosterone secretion Spironolactone may be able to help you with your health issues. Just remember to talk to your doctor, express your concerns, discuss your other medications and enjoy the road to health.