Spironolactone Side Effects

by on July 22, 2012

Summary

The most common side effects of Spironolactone (Aldactone) are diarrhea, headache, drowsiness, stomach cramping, nausea, and vomiting. These side effects are considered less serious but if they persist or become bothersome, contact your doctor to discuss alternative solutions.

Common Spironolactone Side Effects

The most common Spironolactone side effects include the following:

  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Stomach cramping
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

The side effects listed above usually do not require medical attention as they will commonly diminish when your body adjusts to the medication. Your doctor may also be able to advise you of ways to reduce or prevent these common side effects from occurring. However, if any persist or become bothersome you should notify your doctor to discuss alternative solutions.

Serious Spironolactone Side Effects

An allergic reaction can occur with spironolactone medications. If you experience any of the following symptoms indicating an allergic reaction, get emergency medical help right away.

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Hives
  • Swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Tightness in chest

Many other side effects can occur that are not indicative of an allergic reaction but are still very serious. If you experience any of the following side effects, notify your doctor right away.

  • Irregular menstruation
  • Impotence
  • Rash
  • Irregular hair growth
  • Fluid and electrolyte imbalance symptoms such as irregular heartbeat, increased thirst, cramping, and restlessness.
  • Breast enlargement in men
  • Black tarry or bloody stools
  • Dark urine
  • Problems with coordination
  • Jaundice
  • Vomiting of coffee ground-like substance
  • Red, swollen, peeling, or blistered skin
  • Pale stools
  • Confusion
  • Decreased urination

Existing Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions may make the use of Aldactone too dangerous for you. Avoid using this medication if you have any of the following conditions; difficulty urinating, high blood potassium levels, sever kidney problems, or if you are already taking another potassium-sparing diuretic medication, aldosterone blocker, or the drug tacrolimus. Other medical conditions require that you talk to your doctor before starting this medication as you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to ensure safety while taking spironolactone.

If you have any of the following conditions talk to your doctor before taking this drug; menstrual disease, history of high blood potassium levels, any allergies to food, medications, or substances, or if you have high acidity in your body fluids. If you are pregnant or may become pregnant it is also important to talk to your doctor before starting Aldactone.

Pregnancy

Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should talk to a doctor in order to weigh the potential benefits of the drug against possible risks. This medication has been placed in category C by the FDA, which means it is unknown how this drug may affect an unborn child. Women who are breastfeeding should also discuss this medication with a doctor as the drug can pass through breast milk and the potential effects on a newborn are not known at this time. Spironolactone should be used with extreme caution in children; research has not confirmed the safety or efficacy of this drug in them.

Diet

You should avoid high salt intake in your diet while you are taking this medication. Eating too much salt can cause your body to retain fluids and make the drug less effective. It is also important to avoid salt substitutes and low sodium milk products containing potassium; these products can cause your potassium levels to increase too much while taking this medication. It is important to stay well hydrated while taking this drug as well, avoid becoming dehydrated in hot weather and while exercising by increasing your intake of fluids. It may be beneficial to talk to your doctor about what to drink as it can be dangerous to drink too much of an unbeneficial fluid.

Other Medications

It is important to tell your doctor about all over the counter, prescription, or herbal medications that you are taking prior to starting a new one. Notify your doctor if you take any of the following medications before starting Aldactone as they could cause a dangerous interaction to occur.

  • Digoxin
  • Steroids such as prednisone, fluticasone, mometasone, or dexamethasone.
  • Lithium
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, naproxen, celecoxib, diclofenac, indomethacin, or meloxicam.
  • ACE inhibitors such as benazepril, enalapril, lisinopril, fosinopril ¬†moexipril, perindopril, quinapril, captopril, ramipril, or trandolapril.

Spironolactone can be useful in ridding the body of excess fluids caused by certain medical conditions. It is important to avoid salt substitutes as well as consuming a low salt diet while taking this medication in order to obtain the maximum effectiveness from it. If you experience a serious side effect or a less serious one becomes bothersome, contact your doctor right away to discuss different options.