Spironolactone has caused tumors in laboratory animals. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of using this medication for your condition.
Spironolactone is used to treat certain patients with hyperaldosteronism (the body produces too much aldosterone, a naturally occurring hormone); low potassium levels; heart failure; and in patients with edema (fluid retention) caused by various conditions, including liver, or kidney disease. It is also used alone or with other medications to treat high blood pressure. Spironolactone is in a class of medications called aldosterone receptor antagonists. It causes the kidneys to eliminate unneeded water and sodium from the body into the urine, but reduces the loss of potassium from the body.
Spironolactone comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It usually is taken once or twice a day. Take spironolactone at around the same time(s) every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take spironolactone exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor may start you on a low dose of spironolactone and gradually increase your dose.
Spironolactone controls high blood pressure, edema, heart failure, and hyperaldosteronism, but does not cure these conditions. It may take about 2 weeks or longer before the full effect of spironolactone occurs. Continue to take spironolactone even if you feel well. Do not stop taking spironolactone without talking to your doctor.
Spironolactone also is used in combination with other medicines to treat precocious puberty (a condition causing children to enter puberty too soon, resulting in the development of sexual characteristics in girls usually younger than 8 years of age and in boys usually younger than 9 years of age) or myasthenia gravis (MG, a disease in which the nerves do not function properly and patients may experience weakness; numbness; loss of muscle coordination; and problems with vision, speech, and bladder control). Spironolactone also may be used to treat certain female patients with abnormal facial hair. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this medication for your condition.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Follow your doctor's directions for your meals, including advice for a reduced-salt (sodium) diet and daily exercise program. Avoid potassium-containing salt substitutes while you are taking this medication. Talk with your doctor about the amount of potassium-rich foods (e.g., bananas, prunes, raisins, and orange juice) that you may have in your diet.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
stomach pain or cramps
enlarged or painful breasts in men or women
irregular menstrual periods
vaginal bleeding in post-menopausal ('after the change of life', the end of monthly menstrual periods) women
difficulty maintaining or achieving an erection
deepening of voice
increased hair growth on parts of the body
muscle weakness, pain, or cramps
pain, burning, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
inability to move arms or legs
changes in heartbeat
unusual bleeding or bruising
lack of energy
loss of appetite
pain in the upper right part of the stomach
yellowing of the skin or eyes
difficulty breathing or swallowing
blood in stools
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
Keep this medicine in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medicine that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medicine.
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
tingling in arms and legs
loss of muscle tone
weakness or heaviness in legs
irregular or slow heartbeat
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body's response to spironolactone.
Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking spironolactone.
Do not let anyone else take your medicine. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Last Revised - 10/15/2013
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2014. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.