medication information

Spironolactone

We want to make sure you fully understand your treatment. 
Below outlines the directions, benefits and risks with Spironolactone.

Spironolactone is an oral medication used to treat acne and rosacea. A diuretic originally used to treat high blood pressure, it has useful anti-androgenic properties. Spironolactone works against the “male hormones” that cause acne.

Acne treatments work best in combination. Topical medications are an important part of your treatment and will help you stop or get to the lowest dose of spironolactone that you need.

Directions:

Take as instructed. Be consistent for best results and to minimize side effects.

Drink plenty of water. 🚰 Drink lots of fluids throughout the day to avoid feeling dizzy.

Take with food. This can help prevent nausea.

Use birth control. Spironolactone can cause birth defects. Birth control pills will help regulate your periods and prevent spotting from spironolactone.

You can take it at night. 🌙 If you are only taking this once a day, you can take it in the morning or night. But taking it at night may help minimize side effects such as dizziness.

You can eat bananas. 🍌Spironolactone can increase potassium levels, but this is unlikely if you are otherwise healthy. You don’t need to change your diet, but cut back on coconut water or low-sodium salt substitutes if you consume a lot of these.

Do NOT take this medication if:

  • You have a history of kidney or heart disease, or a history of breast, uterine or ovarian cancer.
  • Do not take with potassium supplements or drugs that increase potassium levels.

Caution:

The most common side effects are increased urination, headache, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, upset stomach/diarrhea, painful periods and cramping, irregular periods, breast tenderness, and breast enlargement.

If your dermatologist also prescribed an oral antibiotic for you, you can take both at the same time.

While elevated potassium levels are possible, it is highly unlikely in young patients without underlying cardiovascular or kidney disease. Clinical guidelines published by the American Academy of Dermatology state that lab monitoring is not necessary for this group, but your dermatologist may still recommend it.

Stop this medication and notify your doctor if you develop hives, a rash or any unusual symptoms.