What is Spironolactone?
Spironolactone is a potassium-sparing diuretic. This medication was originally developed to treat high blood pressure. It blocks the effects of aldosterone and testosterone and has some estrogen-like effects.
What Does Spironolactone Treat?
Spironolactone is commonly used to treat cystic acne that appears along the jawline and gets worst at certain times of a women’s cycle.
It is also being used to treat hair loss, particularly in women. Estrogen increases the time that hair spends in the growing phase, so when estrogen declines, so does hair growth. In this way, estrogen has a protective role against hair loss.
During certain times, estrogen levels drop. People going through menopause, postpartum or treatment with selective estrogen receptor modulators or aromatase inhibitors are more likely to develop hair loss. Spironolactone helps to reduce these effects.
How to Use Spironolactone
Spironolactone is a prescription drug that is taken orally or compounded into topical formulations. It is typically prescribed in 100-200mg daily for a maximum of six months. This treatment is not a quick fix. It stops hair from falling out, but regrowth will take time. Your dermatologist may also need to adjust your dosage.
With age comes estrogen loss, and this can cause thinning hair and bald spots. Spironolactone can help reduce this by blocking the effects of testosterone in the body.
Precautions and Side Effects
Since spironolactone is a diuretic, it is essential that you take extra precautions against dehydration and low electrolytes. Drink plenty of water and lower your potassium intake. Your doctor may also recommend that you avoid:
- Heart or blood pressure medicine
- Medicine to prevent blood clots
Due to the estrogen-like effects of this medication, it should not be used by women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Women of childbearing potential must use a reliable form of birth control while taking spironolactone to avoid exposure during pregnancy.
Potential side effects include dizziness, breast tenderness, decreased libido, spotting, and electrolyte imbalance.
Spironolactone Prescription for Acne and Hair Loss in Women
Make a virtual appointment today with one of our online dermatologists to discuss getting a spironolactone prescription for acne and hair loss treatment in women.