Spironolactone (By mouth)
Treats fluid retention (edema) in patients with congestive heart failure, liver cirrhosis, or kidney disorder. Also used to diagnose and treat too much aldosterone in the body (hyperaldosteronism). Also treats high blood pressure, heart failure, and low blood potassium (hypokalemia). A lower blood pressure can reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack. This medicine is a potassium-sparing diuretic (water pill).
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to spironolactone, or if you have severe kidney disease, high blood potassium, or are not able to urinate.
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about any special diet.Be sure to drink plenty of fluids if you exercise, sweat more than usual, or have diarrhea or vomiting.
If a dose is missed:
- If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you also use digoxin (Lanoxin®), lithium (Eskalith®, Lithobid®), norepinephrine, an NSAID pain or arthritis medicine (such as aspirin, diclofenac, indomethacin, naproxen, Advil®, Aleve®, Indocin®, Celebrex®, Voltaren®), a steroid medicine (such as cortisone, prednisolone, prednisone, Medrol®), or certain blood pressure medicine (such as benazepril, enalapril, lisinopril, Lotrel®, Vasotec®, Zestoretic®, Zestril®).
- Make sure your doctor knows if you also use another diuretic, such as furosemide, torsemide (Demadex®, Lasix®), amiloride (Midamor®, Moduretic®), triamterene (Dyazide®, Dyrenium®, Maxzide®), or another product that contains spironolactone (Aldactazide®).
- Ask your doctor before you use medicines, supplements, or salt substitutes that contain potassium.
- Alcohol, narcotic pain relievers, or sleeping pills may cause you to feel more lightheaded, dizzy, or faint when used with this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, or a mineral imbalance (such as high potassium or low magnesium or sodium in the blood).
- Check with your doctor right away if you are confused or have trouble breathing, fast or uneven heartbeats, numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips, or weakness or heaviness of the legs. These may signs of too much potassium in your blood.
- This medicine may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
- This medicine may cause swelling of the breasts and breast pain in some patients. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about this.
- Do not stop using the medicine without asking your doctor, even if you feel well. This medicine will not cure your high blood pressure, but it will help keep it in the normal range. You may have to take blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life.
- Your doctor will need to check your blood or urine at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Blistering, peeling, red skin rash
- Change in how much or how often you urinate
- Confusion, uneven heartbeat, trouble breathing, numbness or tingling in your hands, feet, or lips
- Dry mouth, increased thirst, muscle cramps, nausea, or vomiting
- Problems urinating, pain in your side or lower back
- Unusual tiredness or weakness
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Breast enlargement in men, trouble getting an erection
- Breast tenderness, changes in hair growth, irregular menstrual periods
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
- Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013
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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013