Spironolactone for Acne Breakouts
Spironolactone is the generic form of Aldactone, a prescription drug. It is used to treat many different disorders like:
- Hyperaldosteronism, a condition in which the body produces an excess amount of Aldosterone hormone
- Heart failure
- Low level of potassium
- Fluid retention of Edema due to conditions like kidney and liver disease
- High blood pressure along with other medications
Spironolactone is often prescribed by doctor’s off-label for the treatment of acne break-out in women due to increased androgen levels. It is a potassium-sparing diuretic often called water pill. It acts as an anti-androgen hormone that is specifically linked to acne development. Spironolactone works by blocking the androgen receptor in the body. This prevents the cells from absorbing the androgen hormone.
However, do not use this as first-line treatment for acne breakout. It is only effective if acne is due to hormonal imbalances. Use this with other topical acne medications or contraceptives. It works best if it is used along with other acne medications instead of using it all alone.
How to Use Spironolactone
Take this medication orally. Your dose is based on the condition of your acne. The most common dose of this medication in treating acne is 50 to 100mg a day. Your dermatologist may start giving you a low dose, typically 25 mg a day.
If you will experience acne breakout again around the same time of your menstrual cycle, your doctor may prescribe you to use this medication a week prior to your menstrual cycle.
Possible Side Effects of Spironolactone
A low dose of this medication may not cause side effects unlike with higher dose. Common side effects are:
- Breast tenderness
- Irregular menstrual cycle
- Dry mouth
- Low blood pressure
- An increased level of potassium
Getting the Best Result from Spironolactone
- Always check your blood pressure and blood potassium level when taking this medication.
- This medication is not a good choice for women with kidney problems, and a history of breast, uterine and ovarian cancer.
- Take this medication with a meal to avoid stomach upset. Drink plenty of water every day because this medication acts as diuretics.
- Your dermatologist may prescribe you first other acne medications like retinoid and antibiotics. If these medications won’t work, then your acne breakout may be due to hormonal imbalances.
- Good results may take up to three to four months so be patient in waiting