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  • Michael Frey, MD

Spironolactone

Spironolactone is a medication used to treat high blood pressure and is also used for women with PCOS who have problems managing excessive hair growth, acne breakouts, and male pattern balding.


What Type of Drug Is Spironolactone?

Spironolactone is known as a diuretic (a pill to expel water) and is frequently referred to as a potassium-sparing drug because it causes the body to retain potassium while excreting sodium. Its primary function is to remove excess fluids from the body.


Spironolactone also has a testosterone-suppressing effect, so it’s commonly used as an off-label treatment for the following conditions:

  • Hormonal acne

  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

  • Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

  • Hirsutism (unwanted hair growth)

  • Hair loss


Spironolactone Side Effects

Anxiety

Headache

Spotting

Weight gain

Menstrual irregularities

Depletes magnesium, sodium, and calcium

Depletes electrolytes

Increases potassium and blood sugar

Low libido

Excessive thirst

Breast tenderness or pain

Muscle pains or cramps

Drowsiness

Vomiting

Diarrhea

Gastric bleeding

Lethargy

Is Spironolactone Safe To Use While Pregnant or Breastfeeding?

This medication can cause birth defects in pregnancy and is not recommended to take while pregnant or breastfeeding. If you take spironolactone you should be on TWO forms of birth control to ensure you don't get pregnant.



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