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Spiro One Year Update. Not Looking Too Good.

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#1 cinnamon_stix

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 03:17 PM

Hey everyone, I just wanted to update how im doing with spiro because its been a year now for.me so I wanted to update and report on what im feeling and experiencing with this drug. Its been a long, rather bump road with this medication. When I started, the side effects hit me hard (extreme thirst, dizziness) but I got used to it after a week. But I've noticed other, more serious side effects that makes it really hard to live a normal life. Within hours of taking 100 mg, I get agitated, I get panic attacks, or just crying spells and I feel very.depressed. and I have zero clue as to why. Im not the healthiest person on the planet. I suffer from estrogen dominance, where my body produces little estrogen andno progesterone. Right now im on a medical strength progesterone cream and soon I will be starting the estrogen. Im also positive that I suffer from adrenal fatigue as well. I don't know why spiro is making me emotional but im looking for anwsers as to why before I stop the pill that has completely cleared my skin and given me my confidence back. If anybody has anything to add to this post, or knows any information about what's wrong, please let me know. Doctors I go to don't seem to know anything about the mental effects of spiro at all. They look at me and just shrug their shoulders. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks so much for reading.

#2 atgccgataccc

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 09:48 PM

I've had depression and anxiety since staring spironolactone 3 years ago. It was much worse when I was on a higher dose (125 mg) - after gradually cutting back to 50 mg it improved, but I'm still not 100%. I guess it's a trade-off. I would suggest reducing your dosage to see if that helps with the depression.

#3 cinnamon_stix

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 07:24 AM

Wow, really? You had depression and anxiety too? Im glad im not the only one who's going through this. Why do you think spiro causes this? I don't want to give up this drug because my skin is like porcelain when im on it. Im trying really hard to make it work for me so that its tolerable. Did you still have clear skin on on 50 mg?

#4 atgccgataccc

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 01:41 PM

Wow, really? You had depression and anxiety too? Im glad im not the only one who's going through this. Why do you think spiro causes this? I don't want to give up this drug because my skin is like porcelain when im on it. Im trying really hard to make it work for me so that its tolerable. Did you still have clear skin on on 50 mg?


In my experience, anything that can alter your hormones can also affect your mood - I had the same problem on birth control but it was more extreme. I've definitely read other reviewers that say spironolactone can do that. I was on 100 - 125 mg for the first year when I started experiencing anxiety, so I cut down to 75 for a month with no changes, then 50 mg. I stayed clear on 50 mg for two years. However, I started breaking out again a couple months ago, but I think maybe that was related to grad school stress - not sure. My dermatologist increased my dose to 75 mg to get me through this breakout (which seems to be working), but I'll probably cut back to 50 again in a couple months.

I would suggest cutting back by 25-50 mg (depending on your current dose) before giving up. It definitely made a difference for me with the depression/anxiety.

#5 cinnamon_stix

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 06:33 PM

Do you think combining spiro with an anti anxiety med would help? Im just worried I wont stay clear on 50 mg. I was thinking of pairing 50 mg with an herb called pygeum extract which is supposed to be a natural anti androgen. Its just weird because my older sister takes spiro and she has no emotional side effects..

I was on 100 mg and I've been off of it for a week and my anxiety has decreased dramatically

#6 atgccgataccc

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 09:16 PM

Yea, the emotional side effects seem to differ so much from person to person. I would try 50mg for a few months and see how your skin and depression do on that dosage before adding an anti anxiety. I've never heard of pygeum extract - I tried saw palmetto for a while before I went on spiro and didn't have much luck but maybe the two combined would work. I also drink a ton of green tea since it's supposed to suppress androgen production as well. I replaced coffee with green tea because coffee tends to worsen my breakouts.

#7 cvd

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 10:11 PM

Can you see an endocronologist?

#8 LoveGreenSmoothies

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 08:16 PM

Reading your post and seeing that you're going to be going on estrogen and are already on progesterone, I really think it makes more sense for you to stop spiro and just go on the pill. You're basically hodgepodging the BCP anyway. It is much easier to get balanced estrogen/progesterone in the pill than trying to do it separately. It's very difficult to get a good ratio of estrogen/progesterone when adding them separately. You'd be better off just finding a BCP, and then you'd only be taking one pill instead of three, and maybe an antianxiety. This is assuming you have no contraindications for BCP, but if you're adding estrogen/progesterone separately, you're already on the pill.

Edited by Prettywords, 26 February 2012 - 08:17 PM.


#9 cinnamon_stix

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 02:20 PM

Thanks for all of the advice guys..I really appreciate it. I stopped spiro and its been two weeks. My skin and hair are a greasy mess. Its really sad..its like I have to watch my face deteriorate again. Its really hard for me. Yes, I am able to see any doctor, I have excellent insurance. Im not on any creams for progesterone and I never started estrogen. Went to the cleveland clinic and was tested and apparently my estrogen and progesterone are normal. One doctor says im estrogen dominant while another says not at all. Went to a naturopath and she explained things to me in serious detail. She recomended saw palmetto and im taking it but so far zero results..its only been a week though. Not a fan of birth control. I don't want to put anymore synthetic drugs into my body, although the endocrinologist recommendedd it. The naturopath I see is against. She says I probably have an adrenal/thyroid issue. Getting tested right now for it. Took synthroid awhile back and felt great and felt ZER0 side effects from the spiro. I seriously don't get it.

#10 LoveGreenSmoothies

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 10:35 PM

Maybe the spiro makes your thyroid act up? It sounds like you're either going to have to take spiro + thyroid meds (if I'm understanding you correctly and you did that before & it worked) or the BCP. Don't wait too long or it will be harder to control your acne. I recommend a topical while you're deciding.

#11 cinnamon_stix

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 12:28 AM

From what I recently researched, spironolactone increases your cortisol levels. And apparently my naturopath says that I am producing too much. So I guess that when I took the spiro, the drastic increase in cortisol starting making me feel even worse, hence the depression and anxiety. Its all starting to come together now..I think that if I were to fix my cortisol problem, I could tolerate spiro and have no problems with it.

#12 bizz

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 09:38 AM

Thank you for writing this. I thought I was insane.

I suspected this drug was worsening my anxiety/fatigue--I'm on Fluoxetine, and (admittedly) methylphenidate for adult adhd and fatigue, but I never experienced what you're describing till I went on spiro. I am SO angry. I've been on Accutane three years and I just don't want to take this anymore, but I'm not sure doxycycline is better.

Spiro messes with your potassium levels, supposedly, which can affect depression/stress.

I'm sorry you're going through this.

#13 cvd

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 10:23 AM

I think that all the above concerns about Spiro should be talked about with the derm or doc who prescribed it. Generally, the dosage of Spiro used for acne is so low (25-100mg) that there is little if any concerns about side-effects. It has been shown to be very safe to take at this dosage longterm. When researching things on the net you have to be very careful what dosage is being researched and for what condition. From what you've written, Cinnamon, it appears you may have other medical conditions that are the possible cause of your symptoms. That said...Spiro is not usually prescribed at 100 mg to be taken all at once. It is usually divided between two doses...mainly to avoid upset stomach. Talk with your doctor and see if that would be okay. I take 50mg with breakfast and 50mg with lunch. Works fine. And taking it with a meal works even better.

And after talking with your doc try lowering the dose to 75mg to see if that works. Takes about 2 months for the body to register a difference. Spiro is very slow acting --- which is why when people stop it they often stay clear for awhile. If 75mg doesn't do it then lower again to 50mg. Actually 50mg is a good maintenance dose if you are clear. I was at that dose for a long time. I didn't have to go back up to 100mg until my old derm decided last Fall to see how I would do if I stopped it completely. Terrible mistake! So my new derm is starting me on it again...at the 100mg dose and in 7 months will talk about lowering it.

Be sure to drink lots of water on Spiro. And to eat really well. Don't worry about the potassium issue...again that is an issue at much higher doses. I was told by my pharmacist that I'd have to eat several bunches of bananas to have a bad reaction...and who does that? If you are still worried then ask for a potassium level test...that will solve your worries.

Hope this helps!

#14 cinnamon_stix

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 07:04 AM

Been awhile since i replied, but just wanted to ssay that i stopped spiro and its been like 3 months and my mood stabilized. But my skin got lousy again which sucks. Your definately not crazy bizz. I know quite a few others who have had serious emotional issues while on it. I tried re introducing the drug again about a month ago, at just 25 mg, but even still, it made me feel like garbage. After a few weeks on 25 i started getting pissed off and crying over everything. Hated it. Wish there was a way for me to tolerate it.

Oh and it also made me gain 20 pounds. Which i still cant loose.