What is spironolactone?
Spironolactone is a potassium-sparing diuretic (water pill) that prevents your body from absorbing too much salt and keeps your potassium levels from getting too low.
Spironolactone is used to diagnose or treat a condition in which you have too much aldosterone in your body. Aldosterone is a hormone produced by your adrenal glands to help regulate the salt and water balance in your body.
Spironolactone also treats fluid retention (edema) in people with congestive heart failure, cirrhosis of the liver, or a kidney disorder called nephrotic syndrome. This medication is also used to treat or prevent hypokalemia (low potassium levels in the blood).
Spironolactone may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Do not use this medication if you have:
- kidney disease or are unable to urinate;
- high potassium levels (hyperkalemia); or
- if you are taking potassium supplements or other potassium-sparing diuretics such as Aldactazide, amiloride (Midamor, Moduretic), or triamterene (Dyrenium, Dyazide, Maxzide).
Before using spironolactone, tell your doctor if you have:
- heart disease;
- liver disease; or
- if you are using a steroid, or another diuretic.
If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take spironolactone.
FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
Spironolactone passes into breast milk and could cause harm to a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Avoid drinking alcohol, which can increase some of the side effects of spironolactone.
Tell your doctor if you regularly use other medicines that make you light-headed (such as cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression, or anxiety). They can add to the side effects of spironolactone.
Do not use salt substitutes or low-sodium milk products that contain potassium. These products could cause your potassium levels to get too high while you are taking spironolactone.
Avoid a diet high in salt. Too much salt will cause your body to retain water and can make this medication less effective.
Spironolactone can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.
Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated during exercise and in hot weather. Follow your doctor’s instructions about the type and amount of liquids you should drink. In some cases, drinking too much liquid can be as unsafe as not drinking enough.
Back to top
Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. Overdose symptoms may include drowsiness, confusion, red skin rash, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Back to top
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- numbness or tingly feeling;
- muscle pain or weakness;
- slow, fast, or uneven heartbeat;
- feeling drowsy, restless, or light-headed;
- urinating less than usual or not at all;
- shallow breathing;
- tremors, confusion; or
- nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Less serious side effects may include:
- mild nausea or vomiting;
- dizziness, headache;
- gas, stomach pain; or
- skin rash.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Back to top
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:
- lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid);
- digoxin (digitalis, Lanoxin);
- steroids such as prednisone, fluticasone (Advair), mometasone (Asmanex, Nasonex), dexamethasone (Decadron, Hexadrol) and others;
- an ACE inhibitor such as benazepril (Lotensin), captopril (Capoten), fosinopril (Monopril), enalapril (Vasotec), lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), moexipril (Univasc), perindopril (Aceon), quinapril (Accupril), ramipril (Altace), or trandolapril (Mavik); or
- an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), diflunisal (Dolobid), etodolac (Lodine), flurbiprofen (Ansaid), indomethacin (Indocin), ketoprofen (Orudis), ketorolac (Toradol), mefenamic acid (Ponstel), meloxicam (Mobic), nabumetone (Relafen), piroxicam (Feldene), and others.
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with spironolactone. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.
Aldactone and spironolactone
Back to top
Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04