What Happens When You Stop Taking Spironolactone
Unlike an antibiotic, spironolactone can be taken for a prolonged period of time if its successful at treating your acne. If you want to stop taking it, consult a doctor so they can help you devise a plan for weaning off. Stopping the medication suddenly may lead to excess fluid retention and increased blood pressure.
Will My Acne Come Back If I Stop Taking Spironolactone
Your acne can come back after taking spironolactone
Spironolactone is not a cure-all pill and wont rid you of acne forever. It is prescribed to be taken daily but according to Dr Mahto, acne can return when it is discontinued. Spironolactone can be safely taken for many years if necessary, she adds.
Is It Safe To Take Spironolactone For Acne
As with any drug, spironolactone may cause side effects in some patients and not in others. Its important to discuss these side effects with your doctorand inform them of any other medications youre takingbefore taking it.
Potential side effects of spironolactone include:
- breast tenderness
- increased urination
Dr. Zeichner says many of these side effects are more likely when the medication is given at higher doses. Its worth noting that there is a black box warning on the drug, but it may not be a cause for genuine concern if you are an otherwise healthy female.
In one study in rats spironolactone caused solid organ tumors, however it has not been shown to be a problem in humans, advises Dr. Zeichner. The amount of the drug given to rats in the study was significantly higher than the one prescribed to women.
Spironolactone does not typically cause depression or mood changes. If you do notice changes in mood while taking it, let your doctor know. Sometimes, spironolactone is prescribed to promote hair growth in women because its an antiandrogenthat means it blocks the male hormones that may lead to hair loss in women.
Because the drug decreases fluid retention, you may lose a small amount of weight while taking it. There isnt any evidence that spironolactone works as a weight loss medication, but it may help with premenstrual bloating and is often prescribed to treat symptoms of PMS and premenstrual dysphoric disorder .
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How Well Does Hormonal Therapy Work And Is It Safe
The pill: Many studies have looked at how well oral contraceptive pills fight acne. The pill has been found effective at treating blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, and acne nodules and cysts.
In fact, the pill has proven so effective that the US Food and Drug Administration has approved some oral contraceptives for treating acne.
The pill is generally considered safe for women. Some women, however, should not take it. Your dermatologist can tell you whether the pill may be a safe and effective treatment option for you.
Spironolactone: Doctors prescribe this medication to treat high blood pressure. Its also prescribed for people who are retaining too much fluid.
Dermatologists have been prescribing it for many years to treat acne and excess hair growth in women. When other acne treatments dont work, it can effectively treat deep-seated, tender acne on the lower face, jawline, or neck.
Spironolactone is not prescribed to treat acne in men due to side effects. Men have developed breasts while taking this medication to treat acne.
Spironolactone is generally considered safe for healthy women.
Taking both spironolactone and the pill can increase effectiveness. This combination has another advantage. Its essential to use birth control while taking spironolactone. If you get pregnant while taking spironolactone, your baby can have serious birth defects.
A word of caution
If you can get pregnant, youll need to use birth control while taking spironolactone.
How Spironolactone Works For Acne
All of our bodies produce androgens, the hormones responsible for secondary male traits like facial hair and deeper voices. Unfortunately, these hormones can also cause our oil glands to overproduce, leading to clogged pores and consequent acne.
Hormonal fluctuations can explain why you break out before your monthly cycle, and an overproduction of androgens like testosterone can be associated with pimples and hair growth.
Thankfully, theres hope for leveling out unbalanced hormones. Spironolactone is an androgen inhibitor that blocks the production and activity of these hormones. It blocks androgen receptors and can aid in the management of acne.
Teen girls are usually recommended to try other options first, and doctors are unlikely to recommend it to men at all. Because it blocks male hormones, spironolactone is only recommended for adult women with a hormone imbalance.
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Dosage For Heart Failure
If this dose works well for you, your doctor may increase the dosage to 50 mg, once per day.
However, if you develop hyperkalemia , your doctor will likely lower the dosage to 25 mg, every other day. Or they may recommend a medication other than Aldactone.
Can You Take Spironolactone While Pregnant
More data is necessary before we can definitely make the call, but for now, the safest bet is to avoid taking spironolactone altogether while pregnant. Spironolactone should not be taken while pregnant due to potential adverse effects on the developing baby. Based on data from animal studies, oral spironolactone may interfere with the development of primary sex characteristics in male fetuses.
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Whats Involved In Taking Hormonal Therapy For Acne
These medications must be prescribed by a doctor. Each is a pill that you would take daily.
If youre wondering whether hormonal therapy could help clear your acne, you may want to make an appointment to see a dermatologist. After examining your acne and gathering the necessary information about your health, this doctor can tell you if hormonal therapy may be an option.
Before you see a dermatologist, it helps to prepare for your appointment. Youll want to be able to tell your dermatologist the following:
Medical conditions you have , including high blood pressure, heart disease, blood clots, migraines, or cancer
Medications you take
Supplements and other natural products you take
Surgeries youve had
Medical conditions of close blood relatives, including cancer, kidney disease, or heart disease
If the pill is an option for you, you will have your blood pressure taken to rule out high blood pressure. You dont need a Pap smear or pelvic exam before a dermatologist can prescribe the pill to treat acne.
Before your dermatologist prescribes spironolactone, you will need some blood tests.
If you begin hormonal therapy, you will need to keep follow-up visits with your dermatologist. Spironolactone requires that you gradually increase the dose, so youll need to see your dermatologist every 4 to 6 weeks when you start taking it.
How To Use Spironolactone
Spironolactone is taken orally via pill or liquid medication. The most common dosage is between 50mg and 100mg daily, though some individuals may require up to 200mg to see changes in their skin. While it can be taken on an empty stomach, taking it with food can help prevent an upset stomach. Additionally, it is recommended that you take it earlier in the day to avoid having to get up during the night to pee.
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Answer: Time For Spironolactone To Work
I will typically combine spironolactone with an oral contraceptive to reduce breakthrough bleeding, and I’ll add topical therapy for a faster response. If only using spironolactone, then you should see some improvement by 2 months, and ideally wait 3-4 months for more optimal results. Dr. Benjamin Barankin, Toronto Dermatology Centre.
My Relationship With Prescriptions
Interestingly, I’d taken other prescriptions like antibiotics short-term with fewer issues. But rational or not, that one bad experience with birth control influenced my teenage and now-adult brain, basically hardwiring me to resist any kind of serious medication. So instead, I’ve adopted the fairly common, “I’ll just get through it” mentality, which many of my friends and family also share. Whether this is due to a gradual increase in holistic thinking, a stubbornness to acknowledge when something might be awry, or personal and/or religious beliefs, I’m not sure.
Despite the obvious influence Western medicine has on our culture, there’s also an invisible yet omnipresent force field of pushback. Though not universal, there are the concerns doctors may default to simply prescribing a pill when there may be a more natural course of action and the idea that overall we’ve become overly dependent on medications and the quick-fix convenience of pharmaceuticals. Again, this is just one perspective out of many, but it’s worth pointing out, and to be honest, I’ve fallen into the aforementioned camp for most of my life.
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Is Spironolactone For Everyone
Spironolactone is used in female patients, as males naturally produce more androgens. Spironolactone should not be used by patients ingesting large amounts of potassium found in foods such as coconut water and bananas.
Dr. Villacorta suggests Spironolactone for “Patients who have tried several different routes to clear their hormonal acne with little/no success. I will typically prescribe Spironolactone over Accutane, for female patients who do not respond favorably to Salicylic Acid treatments and Retinoids.”
Whats Aldactones Classification Is It A Diuretic Or A Potassium
Yes, Aldactone is a diuretic , but the medication isnt like other diuretics.
Specifically, it belongs to a class of medications called aldosterone antagonists, or potassium-sparing diuretics.
Diuretics work by causing your body to get rid of sodium and water. During this process, your body also gets rid of potassium. In some cases, the loss of potassium can cause the level of potassium in your blood to become low. This is known as hypokalemia.
Aldactone works in a different area in the kidneys than other diuretics commonly used to lower blood pressure. Aldactone still causes your body to get rid of sodium and water, but it helps your body hold on to potassium.
Aldactone does lower blood pressure as well. But its effect on blood pressure isnt very strong, so Aldactone is meant to be used with other drugs for lowering blood pressure.
If you have questions about Aldactone or other diuretics, talk with your doctor.
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Learn More About Treating Hormonal Acne
If you frequently get acne breakouts, especially before and during your period, your healthcare provider may recommend spironolactone as a treatment option.
Spironolactone is an effective treatment for acne. However, its not the only option that you can use to improve your skin. From topical creams to other oral medications, a variety of treatments are available that can help you stop acne breakouts and enjoy smoother, pimple-free skin.
Our guide to hormonal acne goes into more detail on how and why acne breakouts happen, as well as the most effective acne treatments that are currently available.
What Does Spironolactone Do To Your Hormones
Spironolactone is a moderate antiandrogen. That is, it is an antagonist of the androgen receptor , the biological target of androgens like testosterone and dihydrotestosterone . By blocking the AR, spironolactone inhibits the effects of androgens in the body.
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Spironolactone Is Not Licensed For Acne In The Uk What Does This Mean
It is very important to understand that Spironolactone is an unlicensed medication for acne. For those patients receiving Spironolactone all monitoring blood tests, prescribing and follow up consultations will need to take place at our Clinic as NHS GPs are under no obligation to continue prescribing or monitoring unlicensed medications. This means that if you elect to go on Spironolactone you cannot continue this under the care of your GP. You should factor this in when considering the costs of private Spironolactone treatment.
Even though Spironolactone works for acne, it is not in the UK Guidelines for Acne Treatment. One of the reasons for this is because the quality of evidence to show benefits with Spironolactone alone compared to other established acne treatments is lacking. Low quality evidence, no matter how significant it is, means that such medications are not included in national guidelines.
Until more larger and statistically sophisticated studies are carried out, Spironolactone will remain unlicensed in the UK.
You can only receive a prescription from a doctor who has experience in using this medication for acne, and who has assessed you to deem the benefits outweigh the risks. You must also take the time to read information on unlicensed medications and agree that you feel the benefits outweigh the risks.
How Effective Is Spironolactone For Acne In Women
A number of medical reports have been published to show that Spironolactone is effective. Overall, our experience is that Spironolactone helps control hormonal acne in about 60 to 65% of women.
A large study treated 400 women with Spironolactone. In this study, 147 women had never received other acne treatments before. In this group, 93% of patients found their acne improved with Spironolactone. The other 253 patients were already on acne treatments, and adding Spironolactone improved acne in 87% of women.
A summary of studies of Spironolactone for acne have shown improvement rates of:
- 93% of 147 women who had never been treated for acne and 87% of 253 women who had previous treatment for acne improved with Spironolactone
- 71% in 70 women improved Spironolactone
- 55% in 110 women cleared completely with Spironolactone and another 30% improved significantly .
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How Aldactone Is Used
Unlike most acne treatments, Aldactone isn’t applied to the skin. Instead, it’s taken orally. When Aldactone is used as an acne treatment, the most common dosage is between 50 and 100 milligrams daily.
Your dermatologist may start you on a lower dose. It is common to start at 25 mg daily and work up to a target dose over several weeks. Your healthcare provider will base the dosage on your personal situation.
If your breakouts only happen around the time of your menstrual cycle, you may only need Aldactone during the week before your period. This can help even out the hormone spikes that trigger acne.
Aldactone is often prescribed with oral contraceptives, or birth control pills. You will probably keep using topical acne medications while using Aldactone. It tends to work best alongside other acne treatments, rather than as the sole treatment.
Financial And Insurance Assistance
If you need financial support to pay for Aldactone, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available.
Pfizer, the manufacturer of Aldactone, offers Pfizer RxPathways, which can link you to assistance programs. For more information and to find out if youre eligible for support, call 866-706-2400 or visit the program website.
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Can Spironolactone Cause More Acne
Most women should expect it to take around 3 months for the benefits to start showing. In my experience of prescribing the drug, it is not uncommon for spots to flare up initially before starting to settle. For this reason I typically prescribe a low dose for the first few weeks and gradually build it up over time.
Dosage For Edema In People With Certain Liver Or Kidney Problems
For this purpose, your doctor will likely have you start with an Aldactone dosage of 100 mg per day. They may have you take this in one single dose or divide it into two or three doses depending on what they think will work best for you.
While taking Aldactone for edema, the dosage may range from 25 to 200 mg daily. This may be taken as one single dose or divided into multiple doses. It depends on what they think will work best for you and any side effects you may have.
If you have cirrhosis, youll start taking Aldactone in a hospital. The drug may cause problems with the blood levels of fluids and electrolytes in people with cirrhosis. This can cause neurological side effects such as confusion, hand tremors, and, rarely, coma. By having you in the hospital when you start taking Aldactone, your doctor will be able to monitor you for these side effects.
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When To Take
When you take Aldactone depends on the dose your doctor prescribes. You may take Aldactone once or twice per day. Or you may take a dose every other day. It doesnt matter exactly what time of day you take Aldactone, as long as youre consistent.
To help make sure that you dont miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm on your phone or downloading a reminder app. A kitchen timer can work, too.
What Are The Possible Side Effects
To reduce the risk of a woman developing serious side effects, dermatologists carefully screen their patients before prescribing hormonal therapy. Possible side effects include the following.
The pill. Taking the pill increases the risk of:
High blood pressure
While these side effects may not seem worth the risk, most women who are healthy do not have side effects. In fact, the risk of developing blood clots is greater during pregnancy and just after having a baby than when taking the pill.
Its also important to know that there is less risk of serious side effects today than in past. Today, the pill contains less estrogen.
Some women taking the pill develop melasma, or dark patches on their face. Protecting your face from the sun can help prevent these patches.
Breakthrough bleeding is another possible side effect. You can often prevent this by taking the pill at the same time each day.
Acne and the pill
If you take the pill, you can reduce your risk of blood clots by staying active, drinking lots of water, and not smoking.
Spironolactone. When taking spironolactone without a birth control pill, the most common side effects are:
Painful periods and cramping
These side effects may be decreased when women also take the pill.
Other possible side effects of taking spironolactone include fatigue, headache, and dizziness. These rarely cause a woman to stop taking the medication.
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