Report on Aldactone Side Effects and Usage by AskDocWeb
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What is Aldactone?
Aldactone is the most popular brand name of the drug, spironolactone (speer oh no LAK tone). It’s also sold under the brand name of Spironol.
Aldactone is a potassium-sparing diuretic, a water pill that prevents your body from absorbing too much salt and keeps your potassium levels from getting too low.
Why is Aldactone prescribed?
Aldactone is used in the diagnoses and treatment when your adrenal gland produces too much aldosterone (hyperaldosteronism), a hormone that helps regulate the salt and water balance in your body. Aldactone has been shown to reduce the impact of male hormones on hair growth in women. It is also used to treat high blood pressure and other conditions that require the elimination of excess fluid from the body such as;
- cirrhosis of the liver
- a kidney disorder called nephrotic syndrome
- fluid retention (edema) in people with congestive heart failure
- hypokalemia (low potassium levels in the blood)
- Spironolactone may also be used for purposes other than those listed here.
Before taking Aldactone
Before using Aldactone, tell your doctor if you have any of the following.
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease or are unable to urinate
- High potassium levels (hyperkalemia)
- heart disease
Tell your doctor if you are taking;
- potassium supplements
- Or any other potassium-sparing diuretics
Most important facts about Aldactone
- Do not use Aldactone if you have kidney disease, urination problems, or high levels of potassium in your blood. Do not use potassium supplements or other diuretics while you are taking Aldactone.
- Avoid drinking alcohol, this can increase the side effects of Aldactone.
- Avoid salt. Too much salt will cause your body to retain water and can make Aldactone less effective.
- Do not use salt substitutes or low-sodium milk products that contain potassium. These products could cause your potassium levels to get too high while you are taking Aldactone.
- Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated during exercise and in hot weather. In some cases, drinking too much liquid can be as unsafe as not drinking enough. Follow your doctor’s instructions about the type and amount of liquids you should drink.
- If you have high blood pressure, you must take Aldactone regularly for it to be effective. Since blood pressure declines gradually, it may be several weeks before you get the full benefit of Aldactone; and you must continue taking it even if you are feeling well. Aldactone does not cure high blood pressure; it just keeps it under control.
- Aldactone is in the FDA pregnancy category C that means that it may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
- Aldactone passes into breast milk and could cause harm to a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
- If you need to have any surgery, including dental, tell your doctor ahead of time that you are taking Aldactone. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.
What side effects do users of Aldactone report?
Get emergency medical help if you have any signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
o Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- Abdominal cramps
- Breast development in males
- Dark urine
- Feeling drowsy, restless, or light-headed
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
- Kidney problems
- Liver problems
- Loss of appetite
- Low fever
- Mental confusion
- Muscle pain or weakness
- Numbness or tingly feeling
- Shallow breathing
- Slow, fast, or uneven heartbeat
- Stomach pain
- Urinating less than usual or not at all
Continue using spironolactone and talk with your doctor if you have any of the following less serious side effects:
- Deepening of voice
- Excessive hairiness
- Irregular menstruation
- Lack of coordination
- Mild nausea
- Nipple pain
- Postmenopausal bleeding
- Sexual dysfunction
- Skin eruptions, skin rash
- Stomach pain
- Change in potassium levels which leads to such symptoms as
- Dry mouth
- Excessive thirst
- Muscle pain
- Weak or irregular heartbeat
Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. If any side effects develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Aldactone. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.
How long does it take to work?
It may take up to 2 weeks before you get the full effect of Aldactone. Your doctor can then adjust the dosage according to your response.
For primary hyperaldosteronism, the dosage range is 100 to 400 mg per day, prior to surgery. In those who are not good candidates for surgery, Aldactone is given over the long term at the lowest effective dose.
For essential hypertension (high blood pressure), the usual starting dosage is 50 to 100 mg daily in a single dose or divided into smaller doses.
For fluid Retention in conditions such as congestive heart failure, cirrhosis of the liver, or kidney disorders, the usual starting dosage is 100 mg daily either in a single dose or divided into smaller doses. In some cases, your doctor may have you take a daily dose as low as 25 mg or as high as 200 mg.
For hypokalemia (Potassium Loss), when potassium loss can’t be treated with a potassium supplement, your doctor may have you start with a daily dosage between 25 and 100 mg of Aldactone.
How should you take Aldactone?
Take Aldactone exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or for longer than recommended by your doctor.
Take each dose with a full glass of water.
If you miss a dose
Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never take 2 doses at the same time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Store this medication at room temperature away from heat, light, moisture, and children.
Special warnings about Aldactone
Do not stop taking Aldactone suddenly. It could cause your condition to worsen.
Tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking Aldactone if you have a medical emergency, and before you have surgery or dental treatment.
If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. The symptoms of Aldactone overdose may include:
- patchy red skin rash
What should I avoid while taking Aldactone?
- Alcohol can increase some side effects.
- Avoid using other medicines that make you light-headed (such as cold medicine, muscle relaxers, pain medication, and medicine for seizures, depression or anxiety).
- Do not use salt substitutes or low-sodium milk products that contain potassium. These products could cause your potassium levels to get too high.
- Avoid a diet high in salt. Too much salt will cause your body to retain water and can make this Aldactone less effective.
- Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated during exercise and in hot weather. In some cases, drinking too much liquid can be unsafe. Follow your doctor’s instructions about the type and amount of liquids you should drink.
- Aldactone can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reaction time. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.
- Potassium supplements or other diuretics that leave your potassium levels high, such as Maxzide, should not be used while taking Aldactone unless prescribed by your doctor.
- Vasotec or Capoten, used for blood pressure and heart failure, should not be taken while using Aldactone.
Certain other drugs can change the effects of Aldactone. The affects can be increased, decreased, or altered in other ways. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Aldactone with the following:
- ACE inhibitors such as Vasotec and Capoten
- Barbiturates such as phenobarbital and Seconal
- Digoxin (Lanoxin)
- Indomethacin (Indocin)
- Lithium (Lithonate)
- Narcotic drugs such as those containing codeine
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Advil, Aleve, and Motrin
- Norepinephrine (Levophed)
- Other water pills such as Lasix and HydroDIURIL
- Procardia XL
- Steroids such as prednisone
What other drugs will affect Aldactone?
Tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:
- digoxin (Lanoxin)
- steroids (prednisone and others)
- an ACE inhibitor such as benazepril (Lotensin), captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), ramipril (Altace), and others
- indomethacin or other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), diclofenac (Voltaren), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), piroxicam (Feldene), nabumetone (Relafen), etodolac (Lodine), and others.
If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to use spironolactone or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.
Other drugs not listed may also affect spironolactone. Tell your doctor about all prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications that you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors.
Off-Label uses of Aldactone
Aldactone also tends to block testosterone, helping to stop hair loss and promote some hair re-growth. This is an off-label use and is limited to women who may be experiencing hair loss due to the presence of excessive male hormones. It is not used in men because it can cause sexual side effects.
Some women take spironolactone to counteract the hair loss caused by oral contraceptives which contain progestin, estrogen or a combination of these two hormones. Women taking oral contraceptives who are experiencing hair loss may want to talk to their physician about the use of Aldactone.
Women who are or may become pregnant should avoid this drug, just as they would avoid finasteride. Aldactone has more side effects than finasteride and does not work as well, nor does it work for hair loss in men.
Pregnant or breastfeeding?
The effects of Aldactone during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Aldactone is passed through breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If Aldactone is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until you finish treatment with Aldactone.
The symptoms of dehydration include thirst, dry mouth, weakness, drowsiness, muscle fatigue, muscle cramps, restlessness, reduced urination, and a rapid heartbeat.
Symptoms of excess potassium include tingling sensations, fatigue, weakness or paralysis, and a slow heartbeat. If you develop these problems, call your doctor immediately.
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Most recent post: November 11, 2016
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