Spironolactone, also known by the brand name Aldactone, is a prescription medication used in the treatment of several conditions. Spironolactone can be prescribed to treat high blood pressure, hyperaldosteronism, low potassium levels, or water retention. The side effects of spironolactone or Aldactone include headache, dizziness, stomach discomfort, and swelling or pain in the breasts.
According to the National Institutes of Health, taken with other medications, spironolactone helps to lower blood pressure. In people with heart failure, kidney diseases, or liver diseases, it is used to reduce swelling that results from water retention known as edema. It is also prescribed to treat hyperaldosteronism, a condition in which too much of the hormone aldosterone is produced by the body. It may also be used to combat early puberty in young children. The effects of spironolactone usually build up gradually, eventually reaching their full strength after a couple of weeks of use.
The most common side effects of spironolactone or Aldactone are stomach discomfort, vomiting, diarrhea, and high potassium levels. Pain or enlargement of the breasts can occur in both women and men who are taking spironolactone. Spironolactone can cause sexual problems including reduced libido and function. Other side effects of spironolactone include headache, dizziness, lack of energy, dry mouth, and changes in menstrual cycle in women.
According to the Mayo Clinic, serious side effects of spironolactone or Aldactone include discolored urine or stool, blood in urine, flu-like symptoms, an increased heart rate, black vomit, and yellowing of the skin or eyes. Other severe side effects of spironolactone can indicate an allergic reaction; swelling, itching, hives, skin rash, and difficulty breathing are all common signs of a drug allergy. Seek medical attention immediately if any of these serious symptoms develop.
Certain other drugs and substances can have adverse interactive effects when taken with spironolactone. WebMD reports that diuretics and spironolactone can have serious side effects when taken together. According to the UK National Health Service, aspirin, digoxin, indometacin, certain ACE inhibitors, potassium supplements, and antihypertensives may also cause complications when taken with spironolactone.
The generic drug spironolactone, also marketed as Aldactone, is prescribed for the treatment of a variety of conditions including high blood pressure, edema, hyperaldosteronism, and early puberty. Digestive malaise, increased potassium in the system, and sexual dysfunction are among the most common side effects of spironolactone. Talk to your doctor if you experience any serious side effects and about any other drugs or supplements you are taking before using spironolactone.
Spironolactone. National Health Service.
Spironolactone. National Institutes of Health.
Spironolactone Oral. WebMD.
Spironolactone (Oral Route). Mayo Clinic.