Spironolactone
   

Spironolactone
Pronunciation
Brand Names
Foreign Brand Names
Therapeutic Categories
What key warnings should I know about before taking this medicine?
Reasons not to take this medicine
What is this medicine used for?
How does it work?
How is it best taken?
What do I do if I miss a dose?
What are the precautions when taking this medicine?
What are the common side effects of this medicine?
What should I monitor?
Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately
How should I store this medicine?
General statements

Pronunciation
(speer on oh LAK tone)

Brand Names
Aldactone®

Foreign Brand Names
Novo-Spiroton (Canada)

Therapeutic Categories
Diuretic, Potassium Sparing

What key warnings should I know about before taking this medicine?

  • Spironolactone can cause tumors in animals. These were long-term studies using larger doses than would be used in humans. For more information, talk to your healthcare.


Reasons not to take this medicine

  • If you have an allergy to spironolactone or any other part of the medicine.
  • If you have severe kidney disease or high levels of potassium in the blood.


What is this medicine used for?

  • This medicine is used to get rid of extra fluid (salt and water) slowly and gently.
  • It is used frequently in liver disease (cirrhosis).
  • It can also be used to increase potassium stores in the body.
  • It may be used in some people with heart failure.


How does it work?

  • Spironolactone gets rid of extra salt and water in the body by competing against a hormone made in the body (aldosterone). In the same way, spironolactone increases potassium stores in the body.


How is it best taken?

  • Take with food.
  • A liquid (suspension) is available if you cannot swallow pills. Those who have feeding tubes can also use the liquid. Flush the feeding tube before and after medicine is given. Shake well first.


What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as possible.
  • If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed one. Return to your regular schedule.
  • Do not take a double dose or extra doses.


What are the precautions when taking this medicine?

  • Check medicines with healthcare provider. Make sure there are no other medicines that increase potassium.
  • Avoid alcohol (includes wine, beer, and liquor). Can worsen high blood pressure or fluid gain.
  • Not for use in kidney disease. Talk with healthcare provider.
  • Avoid potassium-containing salt substitutes and potassium supplements. Talk with healthcare provider.
  • Do not use over-the-counter products that increase blood pressure. These include cough or cold remedies, diet pills, stimulants, ibuprofen or like products, and certain herbs or supplements. Talk with healthcare provider.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Make sure to tell about the allergy and how it affected you. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, throat; or any other symptoms involved.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are breast-feeding.


What are the common side effects of this medicine?

  • Lightheaded. Avoid driving, doing other tasks or activities that require you to be alert until you see how this medicine affects you.
  • Dizziness is common. Rise slowly over several minutes from sitting or lying position. Be careful climbing stairs.
  • Females: Breast tenderness, deepening of voice, increased hair growth, menstrual changes.
  • Males: Breast enlargement.
  • Nausea or vomiting. Small frequent meals, frequent mouth care, sucking hard candy, or chewing gum may help.
  • High potassium. This may make you feel weak, lightheaded, dizzy, numbness, tingling, or like passing out.
  • Change in sexual ability or desire. This can return to normal after medicine is stopped. Talk with healthcare provider about other medicines without this side effect.


What should I monitor?

  • If you are using this medicine for fluid removal, check daily weight. Report a weight gain or lack of weight loss per week.
  • Check blood pressure regularly.
  • Follow diet plan (low salt) and exercise program as recommended by healthcare provider.
  • Check blood work (potassium). Talk with healthcare provider.


Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately

  • Signs of a life-threatening reaction. These include wheezing; tightness in the chest; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; fits; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Passing out, fainting, dizziness, or lightheadedness.
  • Severe nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea.
  • Menstrual changes. This includes lots of bleeding, spotting, or bleeding between cycles.
  • Any rash.


How should I store this medicine?

  • Store in a tight, light-resistant container at room temperature.
  • Follow directions for storage of suspension.


General statements

  • Do not share your medicine with others and do not take anyone else's medicine.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Keep a list of all your medicines (prescription, herbal/supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter) with you. Give this list to healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, pharmacist, physician assistant).
  • Talk with healthcare provider before starting any new medicine, including over-the-counter or natural products (herbs, vitamins).


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