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What Is Spironolactone?
Spironolactone (Aldactone) is a medication that targets conditions such as high blood pressure, liver and kidney disorders, and fluid retention. It’s part of a class of drugs known as potassium-sparing diuretics and can help to keep conditions such as the aforementioned under control to help stop them from spiraling into something worse.
Spironolactone is usually taken once a day and is mostly recommended to be taken at night which is because it can cause drowsiness. Unlike some medicines it isn’t a requirement to be taken with food so can be taken right before bed should you wish.
How Does Spironolactone Work?
Spironolactone is a highly effective drug that works to target a specific hormone within the body and change its effect. For example, Aldosterone is a hormone that acts on the kidneys to increase the reabsorption of sodium and the excretion of potassium which can lead to fluid retention and higher blood pressure.
Spironolactone is an aldosterone receptor antagonist which means it works to slow this process down and stop the negative effects of this hormone. It basically binds to the aldosterone receptors which blocks the action of aldosterone and prevents sodium from being reabsorbed by the kidneys.
What Is Spironolactone Used For?
Spironolactone is used to aid with a plethora of medical conditions, mainly those that are impacted by hormone regulation and fluid balance. It is essentially used to help lower blood pressure and prevent water retention in the body.
It can also assist with other medical conditions such as those with heart failure; Spironolactone can alleviate the symptoms associated with this and improve the heart’s ability to pump blood. It can also manage edema, Primary Hyperaldosteronism, PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), Hormonal Acne, and more.
What Are the Side Effects of Spironolactone?
As with any medication, Spironolactone doesn’t come without its side effects. It’s down to the individual to speak to their medical provider and decide if the medication is right for them.
The main side effects include:
Common side effects:
- Increased Urination
- Dizziness or Lightheadedness
- Gastrointestinal Distress
- Electrolyte Imbalances
- Breast Tenderness or Enlargement
- Irregular Menstrual Cycles
- Skin Reactions
- Changes in Libido
- Mood Changes
- Muscle Cramps
- Increased Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) and Creatinine Levels
- Anaphylaxis shock
- The whites of your eyes or your skin turn yellow signaling liver issues
- A slow or irregular heartbeat, tingling feeling, muscle weakness or shortness of breath
- Severe dehydration
- Diarrhea, feeling sick or confused which can be a sign of issues with your kidney function
How to Take Spironolactone?
The way you take Spironolactone should be discussed with your healthcare provider before you take it. It is vital you follow instructions to ensure the medicine is effective and that you minimize the risk of any side effects.
A typical dose would be between 25-100 milligrams and this is usually taken once a day, with or without food. You should try and take it at the same time every day to reduce the risk of it impacting your stomach, but if you do miss a dose, it’s important you take it as soon as you remember.
Frequently Asked Questions About Spironolactone
What to Avoid While Taking Spironolactone?
When taking Spironolactone, it is important to avoid certain activities and foods as it could have an effect on how your body responds.
Here are some things to avoid:
- High-Potassium foods – Spironolactone is a potassium-sparing diuretic, meaning it helps your body get rid of sodium and water but retains potassium. Eating foods high in potassium could lead to dangerously high levels of potassium in your blood.
- Avoid low-sodium salt or salt substitutes – These usually contain a lot of potassium. Together with Spironolactone, they can lead to dangerously high levels of potassium in your blood.
- Alcohol – Alcohol can lower your blood pressure and it can also enhance some of the side effects of spironolactone such as dizziness or drowsiness.
- Heavy Exercise – In combination with Spironolactone, heavy exercise can cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.
- Extreme heat – Extreme heat can also lead to dehydration.
- Medication – Medication like other diuretics, NSAIDs, ACE inhibitors, certain steroids, and Lithium can either interact with Spironolactone or reduce its effectiveness.
The list above is in no way exhaustive and it’s important to speak. with your medical provider for more advice on what you should avoid while taking Spironolactone.
What Medication Should Not Be Taken With Spironolactone?
Spironolactone should not be taken with certain other medications as it can reduce its effectiveness, enhance its side effects, or have other negative effects.
These medications include:
- ACE inhibitors
- Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers
- Antidiabetic medications
- Antiarrhythmic drugs
- Potassium supplements
- Some antibiotics such as trimethoprim
There are many other possible drug interactions with spironolactone, so it’s important to speak to your doctor about any existing medication you are on before starting Spironolactone. Also, make sure to contact your doctor if you plan on starting any new medication while taking Spironolactone.
How Long Does It Take for Spironolactone to Work?
The time it takes for Spironolactone to work will depend on the condition it is used to treat and on the individual’s body. Here are some examples of how long it usually takes:
- High Blood Pressure – It should take a few weeks to see an effect.
- For acne – Depending on the individual and the dosage you might see some changes within weeks but it usually takes months (3 to 6) to see any significant improvements.
Again, it all depends on the individual and the condition it is used to treat. Speak with your healthcare provider to get a better idea of how long it might take for you.
What Is the Typical Dosage for Spironolactone?
The dosage of Spironolactone will depend on the condition it is being used to treat and the individual taking it.
In general, a typical dosage would be between 25-100 milligrams and this is usually taken once a day.
You should always follow your doctor’s instructions and discuss the best dosage for you with them.
Do You Need a Prescription for Spironolactone?
Yes, you need a prescription from a licensed medical professional for Spironolactone.
Can You Get Spironolactone Over-The-Counter (OTC)?
No, Spironolactone is not available over the counter (OTC). You need a prescription from a licensed medical professional to get it.
For more detailed information about spironolactone, you can refer to the following sources:
- Aldactone prescription label, Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- Spironolactone, Drugs.com.
- Spironolactone, MedlinePlus.
- Spironolactone, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
The content on this page has been medically reviewed for accuracy and comprehensiveness by Amy Dougherty, FNP-BC, AGAC
Content on the DrHouse website is written by our medical content team and reviewed by qualified MDs, PhDs, NPs, and PharmDs. We follow strict content creation guidelines to ensure accurate medical information. However, this content is for informational purposes only and not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For more information read our medical disclaimer.
Always consult with your physician or other qualified health providers about medical concerns. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it based on what you read on this website.
If you are experiencing high fever (>103F/39.4C), shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, heart palpitations, abnormal bruising, abnormal bleeding, extreme fatigue, dizziness, new weakness or paralysis, difficulty with speech, confusion, extreme pain in any body part, or inability to remain hydrated or keep down fluids or feel you may have any other life-threatening condition, please go to the emergency department or call 911 immediately.
Frequently asked questions
Can I Get a New Prescription or Refill an Existing One Through DrHouse?
Yes, you can get a new prescription or refill an existing one online through DrHouse. You just need to start a consultation with one of our licensed providers and they will be able to assess your needs and provide you with a prescription if necessary.
Please note that the final decision always rests with the doctor based on their professional judgment and your health needs.
What Medications Can't be Prescribed Online By DrHouse?
There are certain medications that cannot be prescribed online by DrHouse physicians due to safety reasons. These include controlled substances, such as opioids and other narcotics, as well as drugs with a high potential for abuse or dependence. DrHouse physicians also don’t prescribe Gabapentin, medical marijuana, muscle relaxants, and HRT medications.
How Do I Get an Online Prescription from DrHouse?
With DrHouse getting a new prescription or a refill for your current Rx is a straightforward and quick process. All you need to do is follow a few easy steps:
- Download the DrHouse telehealth app on your mobile device.
- Create an account by providing basic information and medical history.
- Start an on-demand virtual video consultation with one of our licensed physicians.
- Discuss your medical needs and concerns with one of our physicians.
- A doctor will review your medical history, symptoms, and current medications (if any) to determine if an online prescription is appropriate for you.
- If a physician approves, they will electronically send a new prescription or refill request to the pharmacy of your choice.
- Pick up your medication from the pharmacy.
DrHouse makes it easy for you to get an online prescription from the comfort of your own home. No more waiting in line at the doctor’s office or pharmacy, and no need to take time off work to see a doctor. Our telehealth platform allows you to access quality medical care from anywhere with an internet connection.
For more information about how our telehealth platform works visit our “How DrHouse Works” page.
What Will My Appointment for a New Prescription or Refill Look Like?
During your virtual consultation with a DrHouse physician, you will have the opportunity to discuss your medical needs and concerns.
The consultation will consist of a video call where a physician will assess your medical history and ask you questions about your symptoms and any other relevant information. This is to ensure that a physician has all the necessary information to make an informed decision about your prescription.
You can also ask any questions or clarify any doubts you may have about your condition or medication. Our physicians are happy to address any concerns you may have.
Once a physician has assessed your needs, they will determine if and what type of prescription is appropriate for you. If a new prescription or refill is approved, a doctor will send it electronically to your chosen pharmacy.
How Long Does It Get To Get a Prescription Online With DrHouse?
With our on-demand telehealth service, you have the opportunity to see the first available doctor in as little as 10 to 15 minutes. However, the exact consult time will depend on the complexity of your case and the thoroughness required by the healthcare provider to make an informed decision.
Is It Safe to Get an Online Prescription from DrHouse?
Absolutely, it is safe to get an online prescription from DrHouse. We are committed to ensuring the highest standards of patient safety and privacy.
All our providers are highly qualified US-based physicians and often affiliated with major hospitals. They are board-certified and from the top U.S. medical schools with an average of 20 years of experience.
We strictly adhere to HIPAA regulations, ensuring your personal and medical information is kept secure and confidential. Also, we comply with all applicable state and federal laws related to telehealth and the prescribing of medications.
Therefore, you can rest assured knowing that your safety and privacy are our top priorities when you use DrHouse’s services.
How Much Does DrHouse Cost?
DrHouse strives to provide accessible and affordable telehealth services. DrHouse urgent care, primary care, and specialist visits are $129 or your copay. This includes everything from your initial consultation through to the prescription of your medication.
The cost of a doctor’s visit may be covered fully by your insurance. A typical copay is around $25. We recommend checking with your insurance provider to understand the extent of your coverage for telehealth services.
To learn more about how much DrHouse costs, visit our pricing page
Does DrHouse Accept Insurance?
Yes, DrHouse accepts most major insurances, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, and Medicare. The extent of coverage may vary depending on your individual plan.
What Is DrHouse’s Prescription Refill Policy?
Our physicians are able to prescribe up to a 90-day prescription without labs for any previously prescribed medication if it’s medically appropriate and is not classified as a controlled substance.
DrHouse physicians also don’t prescribe Gabapentin, medical marijuana, muscle relaxants, and HRT medications.
DrHouse physicians use their medical judgment to determine whether to prescribe and the duration.
In certain cases, the prescription may be limited to 30 days or less. There also may be a 12-month cap for some prescriptions without labs. For medications requiring annual monitoring (such as blood work or imaging), the maximum prescription limit is 90 days within a year without labs.
DrHouse physicians can refer patients to labs for longer prescription periods or refills.