Aldactone Medication - Uses & Side Effects
SPIRONOLACTONE (Aldactone®) is a diuretic. Diuretics increase the amount of urine passed, which causes the body to lose water and salt. Spironolactone helps to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). It is not a cure. It also reduces the swelling and water retention caused by various medical conditions, such as heart, liver, or kidney disease. Spironolactone is a potassium-sparing diuretic. It does not make your body lose potassium, it can help patients who have a low blood potassium. Generic spironolactone tablets are available. Aldactone flushes excess salt and water from the body and controls high blood pressure. When used for high blood pressure, Aldactone can be taken alone or with other high blood pressure medications.
- Initial dosages of Aldactone are used to determine the presence of primary hyperaldosteronism (too much secretion of the adrenal hormone aldosterone). People can be tested with this medication over either a long or a short period of time.
- In the long test, you take 400 milligrams per day for 3 to 4 weeks. If your potassium levels and blood pressure are corrected with this dosage in this time period, your physician may assume you have this condition.
Uses of Aldactone
- It is used in the diagnosis and treatment of hyperaldosteronism, a condition in which the adrenal gland secretes too much aldosterone (a hormone that regulates the body's salt and potassium levels).
- It is also used in treating other conditions that require the elimination of excess fluid from the body. These conditions include congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, cirrhosis of the liver, kidney disease, and unusually low potassium levels in the blood.
- This medication is also used to treat low potassium levels and conditions in which the body is making too much of a natural chemical (aldosterone).
Side Effects of Aldactone
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Aldactone. Side effects may include:
- Abdominal cramps
- breast development in males
- change in potassium levels
- weak or irregular heartbeat
- deepening of voice
- excessive hairiness
- irregular menstruation
- kidney problems
- lack of coordination
- lethargy, liver problems
- mental confusion
Warnings and precautions before taking Aldactone:
- ACE inhibitors (Vasotec, Capoten), used for blood pressure and heart failure, should not be taken while using Aldactone.
- If you are taking Aldactone, your kidney function should be given a complete assessment and should continue to be monitored.
- Excessive sweating, severe diarrhea, or vomiting could cause you to lose too much water and cause your blood pressure to become too low. Signs of dehydration include thirst, dry mouth, weakness, drowsiness, muscle fatigue, muscle cramps, restlessness, reduced urination, and a rapid heartbeat. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids whenever dehydration threatens, and be careful when exercising in hot weather.
- As diuretics cause your kidneys to produce more urine, you may prefer to take this medicine in the morning rather than before going to bed, as this will reduce the likelihood of you needing to get up in the night to visit the toilet. Seek further advice from your doctor or pharmacist.
- This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Drug Interaction :-If Aldactone is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Aldactone with the following:
- ACE inhibitors such as Vasotec and Capoten
- Barbiturates such as phenobarbital and Seconal
- Digoxin (Lanoxin)
- Indomethacin (Indocin)
- Lithium (Lithonate)
- Narcotic drugs such as those containing codeine
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Advil and Aleve
- Norepinephrine (Levophed)
Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms of Aldactone overdose may include:
- Confusion, diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, patchy raised skin rash, vomiting