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Possible Side Effects Of Spiro--Weight Gain, Depression, Muscle Pain? Am I Alone? (Read On Please)


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#1 bizz

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 11:06 PM

I've been on 50-100 milligrams of this drug since September 2009. I also admittedly struggle with dark facial hair on upper lip, cheeks, etc. I wax it off, and as the hair grows back, zits form. (Folliculitis.)

I use salicylic acid, Retin-A, and benzoyl peroxide cream to attempt to keep the surface acne at bay. (Mostly the first and third; Retin-A isn't worth the trouble, in my experience. Makes my skin hard, dry, flaky, and doesn't help with whiteheads.) I also wear Triderma anti-redness lotion under make-up. I make it a point not to wear anything with known comedogenic ingredients in it.

This medication has not helped much. I always have a few small to moderate sized persistent cysts; as soon as one deflates, another forms if I go a night without wearing some awful cream on my face (and sometimes, even then).

I was on 60 mg of Accutane for two to three years till the September I went on this, and it was awful, but my face was clear.

Now, I'm on 10 mg methylphenidate (Ritalin--have been for three years), 20 mg fluoxetine (Prozac--been on it for a year and a half), and 100 aldactone per day. I regularly struggle with muscle pain and cramps, especially when I'm stressed. I'm more prone to stress than usual, period. (I realize the Ritalin might be related, but I'm looking for side effects of aldactone others have experienced.)

In the time I've been on this, I feel like my body shape has changed--the lower half is heavier...legs and thighs in particular, even though I'm not eating or exercising differently.

At my best, I still have stubborn acne marks/scars, blackheads, and whiteheads all over, giving my skin a cottage cheese appearance.

I get bruises and cuts easily and my skin is always mottled. My pores are bigger than on Accutane, and the wrinkles I'm prone to/nasolabial folds are deeper.

I considered going on birth control with this, but I have to wonder if it's worth the side effects. (Admittedly, I can't remember why I resisted now...possibly because I didn't want to go to the OB/GYN, as the derm required.)

I feel that this medication has thinned my hair, made it brittle, and made it greasier as well...also contributing to acne. I have more grays than I used to. (I'm in my mid 20s.

I bought a blue/red light to use at home that I haven't had the guts to, yet. I just got a prescription for Solodyn (minocycline) to take with this drug.

I'm worried to go off Spiro at all, but I'm getting to the point where I would like to if the lights would do it. I'm worried about them darkening acne marks and about breaking out if I go off this drug.

But I'm miserable. I genuinely think I've hit a plateau. The results weren't that great.

As an aside--is it true "confusion" and brain fog are side effects of this medication, just as depression is exacerbated or caused by Accutane? I've definitely been struggling with that, too.

#2 scarface1

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 08:23 AM

Have you ever had any blood work done to test your hormone level? Facial hair, adult acne, and losing hair on your head are all signs of a hormonal condition. Often times for women it is due to PCOS. It took a while for me to officially be diagnosed, because my blood work would always come back normal, but when I finally went to an OB/GYN she did a scan of my ovaries and noted a number of cysts. High testosterone level can contribute to all of the symptoms you are having and the spironaldactone you are taking should help improve those symptoms rather than make them worse. Also, spiro can have some negative side effects too, because it is a diuretic. It is probably right up there along with birth control for risk factors. The best medicine is a healthy diet and exercise, but that can take a strong lifestyle change which is very hard to do. Some people have found success with natural supplements too. Might be a good idea to do some research there as well.

#3 bizz

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 09:46 AM

I am not overweight, I eat a lot of vegetables, do not drink or smoke, and eat limited red meat. I do not eat fast food on a regular basis. I exercise regularly.

I realize PCOS is a possibility. I plan to get a blood test for it, but haven't gotten around to it. I have told my PCP about it, so that's the next step.

The problem is that even if I were diagnosed with PCOS, I'm not sure what I would do next. Aldactone and hormone therapies are meant to treat PCOS.

I'm honestly thinking of giving up on this drug but I was hoping for people to confirm that the side effects aren't all just in my head. I'm angry about it, but I have had persistent, horrible cystic acne for ten years and I'm worried my face will explode once off Aldactone.

Given the flare ups during menstruation--that which spiro hasn't really helped much with--I'm wondering if I need to take birth control.

#4 LoveGreenSmoothies

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 11:24 AM

I can help with the folliculitis, maybe. Waxing can be very damaging to the skin. I use a personal shaver for women on my face. I get no irritation or bumps. It's worth a try.

The weight in lower half sounds like estrogen, which I think spiro can change in some people.

I don't know what the ritalin and other drug is doing.

Muscle pains can be a problem on spiro.
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#5 AcneMeToo

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 07:39 PM

I know what you are going thru. I started Spiro in Sep 2011 on 25mg. Within a week, my skin became less oily. Within a month, I had considerably less zits. At two months, my skin was nearly perfect. However, I feel like Spiro compromised my immune system. I got a head cold, turned sinus infection, turned bronchitis which lasted *6* weeks soon after upping my dose to 50mg in October. I was well for almost 2.5 months, then got very sick with pneumonia, turned pneumonia/pleurisy, followed by another sinus infection/chest cold. I was sick more than 50% of the time I was on Spiro. I really dont get sick all that often. I am healthy, physically fit, eat really well and thin. However, I also was gaining weight - around hips and thighs only. I gained 3/4 of an inch. I stopped taking Spiro when medicine for pleurisy took precedence. It's been almost exactly 2 months since I have been off Spiro and the ACNE IS BACK! At about 6 weeks, I noticed my skin getting very oily again. At 8 weeks, I have acne again. As for the weight and inches, I've already lost 2 lbs just this week (now that apparently the Spiro is out of my system). Yes, I do feel more alert recently as well.

Now, for WHY I went on Spiro... the progesterone in Yaz is a derivative of Spiro. I had perfectly clear skin while on Yaz. However, due to migraines and my age (42), I can no longer take estrogen birth control pills. If you are thinking about taking birth control pills and Spiro has worked for you, I would suggest you try Yaz. It worked for me and I had no side effects (other than the menstrual migraines).

So, now, what am I to do? I would rather be healthy and thin than bloated and sick with no zits. So, I'm in the market for something new to help the acne. I have rosacea and use Finacea for that. Also, I use Retin A to *try* to dry out my skin. Cetaphil cleanser, sometimes Neutrogena cleansers too. I started the ProActiv Sulfur mask today. I may go to the grocery store and get some apple cidar vinegar... some people on here say to drink 4tbsp diluted in water a day and that will help to keep you clear. Others say to take 100 mg zinc, B-complex vitamins, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Any opinions on whether or not that should do it?

Thanks!

oh, question for hj211... did you ever try the red/blue light therapy? Did it work?

Edited by AcneMeToo, 22 April 2012 - 07:35 PM.


#6 hearts

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 12:07 PM

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Edited by iheartpaul, 30 September 2012 - 12:03 PM.


#7 FSAS

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 02:08 AM

i weaned off spiro and my acne still came back after the 4th month. i tried for 4 more months to get it under control, nothing worked so now im back on it -_- i love it but i just hate relying on it

#8 LoveGreenSmoothies

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 10:34 PM

I was on an antiandrogen and I was clear, BUT-- I had the symptoms I said in an earlier post, plus night sweats (low estrogen I think), lost tons of weight to the point where I looked like I had cancer (seriously) and so much more that I can't think of right now. It also ruined my stomach, giving me ulcers and GERD that I had to take ANOTHER med for (and I'm not alone. Others have to go on stomach meds from spiro) and which I'm still taking, but may be able to stop soon. That is just scratching the surface symptoms wise, but I stayed on it, why? Because I was clear. I went off of it once, but by month 4, my acne was back, so I went back on.

I had less side effects on both courses of accutane combined. And the side effects on accutane weren't nearly as scary. I'm still worried it may have permanently damaged me in some way. My stomach is only getting better now, 6 months later. I hope my acne doesn't get to the point where I feel I need to go back on these meds. I'd advise someone to try accutane before this stuff, personally. Having been on both, my experience on 'tane was so much better side effects wise.

I'm off it again. It will be 6 months in a few weeks and I'm still pretty clear. I am on the regimen from here and it's working!! I started it before my acne came back badly, so that helped. I'm not 100% sure it will work completely, but it seems like it may. I'm also working out too because it helps with hormones.

I really highly recommend it and think anyone wanting to come off spiro should at least try it.

Edited by Prettywords, 04 May 2012 - 10:38 PM.

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#9 hearts

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 11:27 AM

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Edited by iheartpaul, 30 September 2012 - 12:03 PM.


#10 LoveGreenSmoothies

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 02:39 PM

Third or fourth month of what -- spiro or DKR?
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#11 Green Gables

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 11:58 AM

Anything is possible, but it sounds more likely that you are starting to get effects from the Ritalin/Prozac combo than spiro. Though combining those heavy meds with spiro may not be helping anything.

Now, I'm on 10 mg methylphenidate (Ritalin--have been for three years), 20 mg fluoxetine (Prozac--been on it for a year and a half),


My sister was on almost that exact combo for 3ish years.

I regularly struggle with muscle pain and cramps, especially when I'm stressed. I feel that this medication has thinned my hair, made it brittle, and made it greasier as well...also contributing to acne.


I was always the one with acne in the family, but after my sister went on Ritalin and Prozac she became a fatigued, acne-ridden, irritable zombie (her words, not mine!). After she went off those drugs, her acne and muscle cramps cleared up, but the 40+ pounds she gained on Prozac are still proving difficult.

100mg of spiro (50 mg twice a day) has helped me so far. I occasionally experience light-headedness, but this is mitigated by drinking a lot of water and making sure I take spiro right after a meal.

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How to Treat Hormonal Acne

Good and Bad Birth Control Pills and Implants for Acne

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List of Doctors Who Prescribe Spironolactone

Topicals for Hormonal Acne

 

HOW I STAY 100% CLEAR:

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#12 hearts

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 03:35 PM

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Edited by iheartpaul, 30 September 2012 - 12:03 PM.


#13 LoveGreenSmoothies

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 04:53 PM

Oh, okay. That's good!
Please only PM me if it's something that cannot be talked about on the thread or is highly personal. This way, everyone benefits.

#14 myAMBERromance

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 12:25 PM

I was very sensitive to spiro, my old dermatologist started me on 50mg with the intention of doubling to 100mg after ten days, but I couldn't even handle the 50mg. I was having trouble breathing, migraines, dizziness, fainting, low blood pressure, racing pulse, athsma attacks, it was terrible. But I was determined to stick it out, and I dropped down to 25mg, a miniscule dose. I figured I had nothing to lose. Now, 9 months later on 25mg daily, my skin is 100% clear. I was also using an antibiotic that was supposed to provide short-term relief, but it never really did much. I stayed on a low dose until recently, but I really don't need it anymore because of the spiro. Because I have been on such a low dose, I haven't had any major side effects. No weight gain, depression, aches, stomach issues. Really no noticeable side effects at all, except elevated immune response (allergies and such) due to lowered testosterone levels. But I'll take allergies any day over acne. Anyways, all that to say- maybe you should just stay on a super low dose, just enough so that it stays in your system but not enough to cause side effects. I also don't know how long you've been on spiro, but it takes a good 6 months to see full results, so if you've just been on it a few months, it probably hasn't had time to take full effect yet.

Edited by myAMBERromance, 14 May 2012 - 12:26 PM.

"Hey, girls, you're beautiful. Don't look at those stupid magazines with sticklike models. Eat healthy and exercise. That's all. Don't let anyone tell you you're not good enough. You're good enough, you are too good. Love your family with all your heart and listen to it. You are gorgeous, whether you're a size 4 or 14. It doesn't matter what you look like on the outside, as long as you're a good person, as long as you respect others. I know it's been told hundreds of times before, but it's true. Hey, girls, you are beautiful."
- Gerard Way

Current Regimen:
AM: Wash Face w/ CeraVe
Moisturize with CeraVe moisturizer and Vitamin E oil
*Spironolactone 25mg
*Bactrim 800-160mg--DISCONTINUED due to Seborrheic Dermatitis flareup

-Mist face with colloidal silver throughout the day

PM: Wash Face w/ CeraVe
Moisturize with CeraVe moisturizer and Vitamin E oil
Silver Sulfadiazine 1% cream, for treating/preventing seb derm


Clear Status- Blemish free, 100% clear for 4 months and counting!

#15 LoveGreenSmoothies

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 05:22 PM

It is a really good idea to start out low and work your way up. You may have no side effects, even at high doses, but it's easier to transition from low-high. Same goes for accutane -- that's how we did my 'tane dosing and I had practically no side effects, probably because the body adapts to any med after time.
Please only PM me if it's something that cannot be talked about on the thread or is highly personal. This way, everyone benefits.

#16 jaydeec

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 10:41 PM

I was on an antiandrogen and I was clear, BUT-- I had the symptoms I said in an earlier post, plus night sweats (low estrogen I think), lost tons of weight to the point where I looked like I had cancer (seriously) and so much more that I can't think of right now. It also ruined my stomach, giving me ulcers and GERD that I had to take ANOTHER med for (and I'm not alone. Others have to go on stomach meds from spiro) and which I'm still taking, but may be able to stop soon. That is just scratching the surface symptoms wise, but I stayed on it, why? Because I was clear. I went off of it once, but by month 4, my acne was back, so I went back on.

I had less side effects on both courses of accutane combined. And the side effects on accutane weren't nearly as scary. I'm still worried it may have permanently damaged me in some way. My stomach is only getting better now, 6 months later. I hope my acne doesn't get to the point where I feel I need to go back on these meds. I'd advise someone to try accutane before this stuff, personally. Having been on both, my experience on 'tane was so much better side effects wise.

I'm off it again. It will be 6 months in a few weeks and I'm still pretty clear. I am on the regimen from here and it's working!! I started it before my acne came back badly, so that helped. I'm not 100% sure it will work completely, but it seems like it may. I'm also working out too because it helps with hormones.

I really highly recommend it and think anyone wanting to come off spiro should at least try it.

hey read your ^ post. since I've started Spiro ( almost a month) I've had no side effects other then very uncomfortable bloating. It happened gradually, I didn't notice it at first . its been more of an issue the past week /couple of weeks. its to the point where I don't wanna eat anything because it makes the bloating/pressure in my stomach 5x's worse. And also when I eat I get slight pain but the bloating is whats really bothering me accompanied by what feels like tenderness. I didn't take the pill today to see how my stomach would feel, and to see if the medicine is really the cause for my discomfort. I got no relief today either...as soon as i woke up my stomach still felt tender (last night was pretty bad) I went to work bought some bfast ate half of it and it made it worse, as I knew it would. I thought i would have to go home early thats how uncomfortable it is. IDK the only way to describe it is like moderately severe stomach cramping (period like), gassy, pressure, tender discomfort and today i noticed how my stool is dark in color, I've noticed it before ( isn't like that always) but today it's bothering me more because I haven't taken the pill. I'm starting to get paranoid and wondering if it can be something more serious and not the Spiro, I mean I haven't been on in for long, almost a month like I said. Could it be the Sprio doing all this, have you personally experienced all or any of these side effects or know of any other person who has. Oh and today I asked the pharmacist at my job about this and she said the spiro should not be causing bloating because it is a diuretic. She told me to look into something else causing this. So now I'm more confused because I've heard that Spiro does cause abdominal discomfort but she said it shouldn't

Edited by jaydeec, 04 July 2012 - 10:42 PM.


#17 bizz

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 04:45 PM

@jaydeec: I drink a lot of coffee in addition to taking this, so maybe that's exacerbating the bloating I experience myself. (Plus, I have to take iron for anemia. I take Pepto Bismol to get through some of the worst bloating and it helps some with the yucky stomach.)

This is the thing with a diuretic--I was under the impression the body can react by trying to retain water.

(I could be wrong, of course. This drug doesn't make me happy, but I'm still prone to acne! What can I do?)

#18 Charlotte77

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 01:13 AM

It's been a long time since I logged onto this acne site...
I have been on spiro the last 2 years,so I didn't need to because my face was 100% clear!

Unfortunately,I'm coming off it right now because I have experienced significant weight gain on it.
The weight is how others describe it...mostly lower body,but also bloated stomach.
My breasts also went up two full cup sizes on this drug! I was a modest B cup and am now a voluptious D!
You'd think I'd be happy about that,and maybe I would if I didn't gain weight everywhere else too.

What I experienced may not be the same though,because also just found out I'm hypothyroid.
Slow thyroid+spiro= big weight gain for me despite exercising and barely eating.
I also had the low blood pressure,some nausea,lack of energy and all around fatigue.

BIZZ-
Just so you know,the other drugs you are on could be making your acne worse.
I know most antidepressants have acne listed as a possible side effect.(for me,lexapro and wellbutrin made my acne much worse)
So,that could be why you are not getting clear on the spiro.
And I think Ritalin is like speed,so that can probably cause acne too.
Make sure you investigate the side effects to those.

This drug is a miracle if you can handle the side effects.
I agree with the poster who said if you can,stay on the lowest dose possible of spiro.
I was fine on 25mg,but once I went up to 100mg,that is when I started with the weight gain.
Was 100% clear on Spironolactone for two years.
Coming off it due to weight gain.
Also diagnosed as being HYPOTHYROID.

Current regimen:

1000mg of vitamin D a day
fish oil
Oxy 10% face wash morning and night
5% acneFree BP foam daytime
2% SA Neutrogena rapid clear acne defense lotion at night

Status: clear

#19 cinnamon_stix

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 05:16 PM

you are not alone. i was on 100 mg spiro for a year and it ruined my life.. started off 105 pounds and now im 120. cant fit into any of my clothes and its been months since ive stopped. i look like a swollen balloon. also gave me severe anxiety and panic attacks. i was crying constantly. i was in the hospital every other week because the drug was giving me constant urinary tract infections and yeast infections. my skin turned grey. but i had clear skin. but it wasnt anywhere near worth it to have clear skin and suffer the way that i did. for me the side effects didnt go away. they just got worse. i also suffered from severe dehydration and fatigue.

#20 Green Gables

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 05:20 PM

you are not alone. i was on 100 mg spiro for a year and it ruined my life.. started off 105 pounds and now im 120. cant fit into any of my clothes and its been months since ive stopped. i look like a swollen balloon. also gave me severe anxiety and panic attacks. i was crying constantly. i was in the hospital every other week because the drug was giving me constant urinary tract infections and yeast infections. my skin turned grey. but i had clear skin. but it wasnt anywhere near worth it to have clear skin and suffer the way that i did. for me the side effects didnt go away. they just got worse. i also suffered from severe dehydration and fatigue.


Did you ever lower your dose? 100mg is too high a dose for a 105 pound woman. Dosage of spiro definitely needs to be lower for smaller women.

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I don't get notified of your response to my post unless you QUOTE my post.

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How to Treat Hormonal Acne

Good and Bad Birth Control Pills and Implants for Acne

How to take Spironolactone

List of Doctors Who Prescribe Spironolactone

Topicals for Hormonal Acne

 

HOW I STAY 100% CLEAR:

Spironolactone (anti-androgen drug)

Betaine HCL with each meal

Avoiding silicones and occlusives in skin/hair products