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How To Take Spironolactone

spironolactone spiro

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#1 Green Gables

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 01:15 PM

This is written specifically for women on spironolactone, though it can also apply to women on high doses of herbal DHT inhibitors such as saw palmetto. This covers how to take it most effectively, what side effects to expect, and what side effects should worry you. 

 

This assumes you have already read and understand The Big Hormone Post.

 

Split your Spiro in two doses each day.

Your body can only utilize so much at one time. Most doctors prescribe it so you have to anyway. I take a 50mg pill morning and a 50mg pill in the afternoon. 

 

Take the Spiro with a full meal and plenty of water. 

You're going to have digestive issues if you take them with just a granola bar, or just a fruit smoothie, or an an empty stomach. Full meal. Something with a mix of protein, fat, and carb. And a full glass of water. 

 

Take your second Spiro dose no later than 3pm.

Your androgen and thyroid levels are the highest earlier in the day. Taking it later in the day won't do as much good for your hormones, and it is more likely to cause headaches, sleep disturbances, and other side effects later in the day. 

 

Drink water like it's going out of style.

Spironolactone is a diuretic. You are going to get headaches unless you are consciously drinking water, even when you don't "feel" thirsty. It also helps to eat whole fruits with a lot of water content. (I don't recommend straight up fruit juices or gatorade-style drinks because it's too much fruit sugar in one sitting and wreaks havoc on your insulin. It's also a lot of potassium, which isn't good on spiro. Keep reading...)

 

Watch your potassium and salt like a hawk.

Spironolactone affects your potassium and electrolyte levels. It is a potassium-sparing diuretic, which means it makes you pee a lot but you don't get rid of the potassium in your pee like you would normally. This means you cannot consume too much potassium. Too much salt can also pose a problem. 

 

• Cut out dairy. Besides the bad hormonal effects it has, dairy is fortified with potassium.

• Watch potassium-rich foods, such as:

  • Tomatoes
  • Too many salted foods
  • Beets
  • Most beans
  • Soy, soybeans, soybean oil (found in most vegetable oils, sauces, salad dressings, mayonnaise...)
  • DAIRY
  • Frozen or prepared foods (many have added potassium but aren't required to put it on the label)
  • Fruit juices (many have added potassium but aren't required to put it on the label)
  • Gatorade-style drinks (many have added potassium but aren't required to put it on the label)

 

I'm having irregular periods, spotting, longer cycles, shorter cycles--in general I'm having period trouble?

This is normal and may go on for months on spiro. If it doesn't stop at about the 6 month mark, you will need to do one of the following:

 

  1. Add birth control pills to regulate your menses OR
  2. Reduce your spironolactone dosage to 50-75mg daily OR
  3. Use spironolactone for 21 days each month and then cycle off for 7 days. The 7 days off should be the same week as your period.

 

 If you are on birth control, I am assuming that you're only using one on the "good" list. 

 

Okay, at what point SHOULD I be worried about side effects?

In general, what I see over and over again, is that we try too hard to analyze the results during the treatment process. If we get a new pimple, "it's not working." If our periods are irregular, "it's not working." If we gain a few pounds, "it's not working." If we shed more hair in the shower, "it's not working." Do you get the picture?

 

You need to expect ALL of these side effects, and expect that your body is going to experience a lot of ups and downs for about a year before they level out.

 

But there are some people who don't succeed on this treatment and you may be one of them. How do you know? Here i have split up "reasonable" side effects with "unreasonable" side effects.

 

This assumes you are already doing EVERYTHING in the steps above as well as all the diet changes I list in The Big Hormone Post

 

REASONABLE side effects:

  • New pimples for up to 6 months
  • New pimples coming up at different depths and different locations
  • An "initial breakout"
  • Oily skin and hair for up to 8 months
  • Increased bloating and water retention (more than you normally get from your menstrual cycle) for up to 4 months 
  • Irregular periods, some skipped periods, or spotting up to the first 8 months
  • Temporary increased head hair shedding
  • A permanent state of minor to moderate thinner head hair. Many women with acne have thicker than normal head hair. This thins out to medium or fine texture as the acne goes away. 
  • Less facial hair and body hair. 
  • Up to 10 pounds of weight gain on the scale
  • Change in fat distribution (bigger breasts, softening of facial edges, fat deposits in hips)
  • Minor to moderate increased bruising, temporary and/or permanent
  • Headaches that subside with proper hydration and nutrition
  • Changes in libido
  • Changes in mood

UNREASONABLE side effects (this is when you should be worried)

  • If periods are completely absent for 4 consecutive months or more
  • Actual bald spots
  • Gaining 15 pounds or more with no change in diet/exercise
  • Bruising all the time from very light touches
  • More facial or body hair
  • Constant headaches that don't subside with meals and hydration
  • Skin that keeps getting oilier than when you started without any letup
  • Full-on depression (suicidal thoughts that did not exist before treatment)

Can't I get the best of both worlds by taking an antibiotic while on spiro?

Many people have followed the logic that, well if it takes 8 months to get clear on spiro, I'm going to take an antibiotic for the short-term to keep me from breaking out. Then when I wean off the antibiotic, my hormones will be in perfect shape. It's a nice thought, but I've never seen this approach actually work. So I don't personally recommend it. It's really hard to compare my experience (which was spiro only) to someone who's adding a lot of other factors in. 

 

So you don't recommend taking anything else? No creams even?

Nope. I quit everything full stop. No benzoyl peroxide, no retinoids, no acids. I washed my face once a day with distilled water, CeraVe Cleanser, and then use CeraVe Moisturizer. Very, very simple. Once the active acne is gone, you can try adding in products to clean up your skin texture, clogged pores, and scars. But I really don't recommend it while you still have lesions. 

 

What did you do about exploding whiteheads?

I don't believe that letting pus sit out on your face is a good idea. Before my daily face wash, I would gently extract the pus out of "exploded" lesions, then disinfect them with an antiseptic. Then wash as normal. I did not apply any treatment creams on the zits. 

 

Soybean oil is in EVERYTHING!! What do I replace it with?

  • I replaced vegetable cooking oil (usually "vegetable oil" is just soybean oil) with safflower oil and canola oil. 
  • I buy a mayonnaise based on olive oil. It tastes great.
  • I buy a margarine blend instead of butter or normal soybean oil margarine. It is one of the Smart Balance blends that has very little soybean oil. 
  • Salad dressings are a little harder, but just check the labels. Some of the brands don't use soybean oil. 

Edited by Green Gables, 09 December 2013 - 01:42 AM.


#2 snsdgirl14

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 09:42 AM

This is written specifically for women on spironolactone, though it can also apply to women on high doses of herbal DHT inhibitors such as saw palmetto. This covers how to take it most effectively, what side effects to expect, and what side effects should worry you. 

 

This assumes you have already read and understand The Big Hormone Post.

 

Split your Spiro in two doses each day.

Your body can only utilize so much at one time. Most doctors prescribe it so you have to anyway. I take a 50mg pill morning and a 50mg pill in the afternoon. 

 

Take the Spiro with a full meal and plenty of water. 

You're going to have digestive issues if you take them with just a granola bar, or just a fruit smoothie, or an an empty stomach. Full meal. Something with a mix of protein, fat, and carb. And a full glass of water. 

 

Take your second Spiro dose no later than 3pm.

Your androgen and thyroid levels are the highest earlier in the day. Taking it later in the day won't do as much good for your hormones, and it is more likely to cause headaches, sleep disturbances, and other side effects later in the day. 

 

Drink water like it's going out of style.

Spironolactone is a diuretic. You are going to get headaches unless you are consciously drinking water, even when you don't "feel" thirsty. It also helps to eat whole fruits with a lot of water content. (I don't recommend straight up fruit juices or gatorade-style drinks because it's too much fruit sugar in one sitting and wreaks havoc on your insulin. It's also a lot of potassium, which isn't good on spiro. Keep reading...)

 

Watch your potassium and salt like a hawk.

Spironolactone affects your potassium and electrolyte levels. It is a potassium-sparing diuretic, which means it makes you pee a lot but you don't get rid of the potassium in your pee like you would normally. This means you cannot consume too much potassium. Too much salt can also pose a problem. 

 

• Cut out dairy. Besides the bad hormonal effects it has, dairy is fortified with potassium.

• Watch potassium-rich foods, such as:

  • Tomatoes
  • Too many salted foods
  • Beets
  • Most beans
  • Soy, soybeans, soybean oil (found in most vegetable oils, sauces, salad dressings, mayonnaise...)
  • DAIRY
  • Frozen or prepared foods (many have added potassium but aren't required to put it on the label)
  • Fruit juices (many have added potassium but aren't required to put it on the label)
  • Gatorade-style drinks (many have added potassium but aren't required to put it on the label)

 

I'm having irregular periods, spotting, longer cycles, shorter cycles--in general I'm having period trouble?

This is normal and may go on for months on spiro, especially when spironolactone is combined with birth control. Birth control on its own often does this. Don't be alarmed if the spiro and/or birth control make your periods irregular for 6 months or even longer. If you are on birth control, I am assuming that you're only using one on the "good" list. 

 

Okay, at what point SHOULD I be worried about side effects?

In general, what I see over and over again, is that we try too hard to analyze the results during the treatment process. If we get a new pimple, "it's not working." If our periods are irregular, "it's not working." If we gain a few pounds, "it's not working." If we shed more hair in the shower, "it's not working." Do you get the picture?

 

You need to expect ALL of these side effects, and expect that your body is going to experience a lot of ups and downs for about a year before they level out.

 

But there are some people who don't succeed on this treatment and you may be one of them. How do you know? Here i have split up "reasonable" side effects with "unreasonable" side effects.

 

This assumes you are already doing EVERYTHING in the steps above as well as all the diet changes I list in The Big Hormone Post

 

REASONABLE side effects:

  • New pimples for up to 6 months
  • New pimples coming up at different depths and different locations
  • An "initial breakout"
  • Oily skin and hair for up to 8 months
  • Increased bloating and water retention (more than you normally get from your menstrual cycle) for up to 4 months 
  • Irregular periods, some skipped periods, or spotting up to the first 8 months
  • Temporary increased head hair shedding
  • A permanent state of minor to moderate thinner head hair. Many women with acne have thicker than normal head hair. This thins out to medium or fine texture as the acne goes away. 
  • Less facial hair and body hair. 
  • Up to 10 pounds of weight gain on the scale
  • Change in fat distribution (bigger breasts, softening of facial edges, fat deposits in hips)
  • Minor to moderate increased bruising, temporary and/or permanent
  • Headaches that subside with proper hydration and nutrition
  • Changes in libido
  • Changes in mood

UNREASONABLE side effects (this is when you should be worried)

  • If periods are completely absent for 4 consecutive months or more
  • Actual bald spots
  • Gaining 15 pounds or more with no change in diet/exercise
  • Bruising all the time from very light touches
  • More facial or body hair
  • Constant headaches that don't subside with meals and hydration
  • Skin that keeps getting oilier than when you started without any letup
  • Full-on depression (suicidal thoughts that did not exist before treatment)

Can't I get the best of both worlds by taking an antibiotic while on spiro?

Many people have followed the logic that, well if it takes 8 months to get clear on spiro, I'm going to take an antibiotic for the short-term to keep me from breaking out. Then when I wean off the antibiotic, my hormones will be in perfect shape. It's a nice thought, but I've never seen this approach actually work. So I don't personally recommend it. It's really hard to compare my experience (which was spiro only) to someone who's adding a lot of other factors in. 

 

So you don't recommend taking anything else? No creams even?

Nope. I quit everything full stop. No benzoyl peroxide, no retinoids, no acids. I washed my face once a day with distilled water, CeraVe Cleanser, and then use CeraVe Moisturizer. Very, very simple. Once the active acne is gone, you can try adding in products to clean up your skin texture, clogged pores, and scars. But I really don't recommend it while you still have lesions. 

 

What did you do about exploding whiteheads?

I don't believe that letting pus sit out on your face is a good idea. Before my daily face wash, I would gently extract the pus out of "exploded" lesions, then disinfect them with an antiseptic. Then wash as normal. I did not apply any treatment creams on the zits. 

 

Soybean oil is in EVERYTHING!! What do I replace it with?

  • I replaced vegetable cooking oil (usually "vegetable oil" is just soybean oil) with safflower oil and canola oil. 
  • I buy a mayonnaise based on olive oil. It tastes great.
  • I buy a margarine blend instead of butter or normal soybean oil margarine. It is one of the Smart Balance blends that has very little soybean oil. 
  • Salad dressings are a little harder, but just check the labels. Some of the brands don't use soybean oil. 

 

I finally have an appt with a doctor that has experience with spironolactone for acne. Before I go in, do I need to have any tests done (to check for excessive testosterone etc)? I already know my acne is mostly hormonal based on observation.

 

Thank you for this post.



#3 Green Gables

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 04:08 PM

Short answer, if I were you, no, I wouldn't bother. The test doesn't necessarily tell you anything useful. Lots of people get tested, don't see anything abnormal, still have signs of hormonal acne, still clear on spiro. 

 

If the doctor you're going to already prescribes spiro, you're probably fine just going in. Most docs (of the ones who prescribe spiro) don't test your hormones before giving you a prescription, unless you're going to a PCOS specialist or something. My doc gave me a spiro script after 20 minutes. I basically said, I've been through the antibiotics, retinoids, topicals gamut for years, I don't want to go on Accutane, I have an IUD for birth control and don't want to put birth control pills on top of that, plus I have a good friend who really cleared up on spiro so I'd like to try that. I was polite and the doc was more than happy to prescribe it. 

 

They may ask you to come in once or twice after starting spiro for a potassium test, just because spiro is a potassium-sparing diuretic. Mine basically said they would only test me if I had serious side effects that would indicate a problem.


Edited by Green Gables, 25 June 2013 - 04:12 PM.


#4 dizzyabby

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 08:06 PM

This is written specifically for women on spironolactone, though it can also apply to women on high doses of herbal DHT inhibitors such as saw palmetto. This covers how to take it most effectively, what side effects to expect, and what side effects should worry you. 

 

This assumes you have already read and understand The Big Hormone Post.

 

Split your Spiro in two doses each day.

Your body can only utilize so much at one time. Most doctors prescribe it so you have to anyway. I take a 50mg pill morning and a 50mg pill in the afternoon. 

 

Take the Spiro with a full meal and plenty of water. 

You're going to have digestive issues if you take them with just a granola bar, or just a fruit smoothie, or an an empty stomach. Full meal. Something with a mix of protein, fat, and carb. And a full glass of water. 

 

Take your second Spiro dose no later than 3pm.

Your androgen and thyroid levels are the highest earlier in the day. Taking it later in the day won't do as much good for your hormones, and it is more likely to cause headaches, sleep disturbances, and other side effects later in the day. 

 

Drink water like it's going out of style.

Spironolactone is a diuretic. You are going to get headaches unless you are consciously drinking water, even when you don't "feel" thirsty. It also helps to eat whole fruits with a lot of water content. (I don't recommend straight up fruit juices or gatorade-style drinks because it's too much fruit sugar in one sitting and wreaks havoc on your insulin. It's also a lot of potassium, which isn't good on spiro. Keep reading...)

 

Watch your potassium and salt like a hawk.

Spironolactone affects your potassium and electrolyte levels. It is a potassium-sparing diuretic, which means it makes you pee a lot but you don't get rid of the potassium in your pee like you would normally. This means you cannot consume too much potassium. Too much salt can also pose a problem. 

 

• Cut out dairy. Besides the bad hormonal effects it has, dairy is fortified with potassium.

• Watch potassium-rich foods, such as:

  • Tomatoes
  • Too many salted foods
  • Beets
  • Most beans
  • Soy, soybeans, soybean oil (found in most vegetable oils, sauces, salad dressings, mayonnaise...)
  • DAIRY
  • Frozen or prepared foods (many have added potassium but aren't required to put it on the label)
  • Fruit juices (many have added potassium but aren't required to put it on the label)
  • Gatorade-style drinks (many have added potassium but aren't required to put it on the label)

 

I'm having irregular periods, spotting, longer cycles, shorter cycles--in general I'm having period trouble?

This is normal and may go on for months on spiro, especially when spironolactone is combined with birth control. Birth control on its own often does this. Don't be alarmed if the spiro and/or birth control make your periods irregular for 6 months or even longer. If you are on birth control, I am assuming that you're only using one on the "good" list. 

 

Okay, at what point SHOULD I be worried about side effects?

In general, what I see over and over again, is that we try too hard to analyze the results during the treatment process. If we get a new pimple, "it's not working." If our periods are irregular, "it's not working." If we gain a few pounds, "it's not working." If we shed more hair in the shower, "it's not working." Do you get the picture?

 

You need to expect ALL of these side effects, and expect that your body is going to experience a lot of ups and downs for about a year before they level out.

 

But there are some people who don't succeed on this treatment and you may be one of them. How do you know? Here i have split up "reasonable" side effects with "unreasonable" side effects.

 

This assumes you are already doing EVERYTHING in the steps above as well as all the diet changes I list in The Big Hormone Post

 

REASONABLE side effects:

  • New pimples for up to 6 months
  • New pimples coming up at different depths and different locations
  • An "initial breakout"
  • Oily skin and hair for up to 8 months
  • Increased bloating and water retention (more than you normally get from your menstrual cycle) for up to 4 months 
  • Irregular periods, some skipped periods, or spotting up to the first 8 months
  • Temporary increased head hair shedding
  • A permanent state of minor to moderate thinner head hair. Many women with acne have thicker than normal head hair. This thins out to medium or fine texture as the acne goes away. 
  • Less facial hair and body hair. 
  • Up to 10 pounds of weight gain on the scale
  • Change in fat distribution (bigger breasts, softening of facial edges, fat deposits in hips)
  • Minor to moderate increased bruising, temporary and/or permanent
  • Headaches that subside with proper hydration and nutrition
  • Changes in libido
  • Changes in mood

UNREASONABLE side effects (this is when you should be worried)

  • If periods are completely absent for 4 consecutive months or more
  • Actual bald spots
  • Gaining 15 pounds or more with no change in diet/exercise
  • Bruising all the time from very light touches
  • More facial or body hair
  • Constant headaches that don't subside with meals and hydration
  • Skin that keeps getting oilier than when you started without any letup
  • Full-on depression (suicidal thoughts that did not exist before treatment)

Can't I get the best of both worlds by taking an antibiotic while on spiro?

Many people have followed the logic that, well if it takes 8 months to get clear on spiro, I'm going to take an antibiotic for the short-term to keep me from breaking out. Then when I wean off the antibiotic, my hormones will be in perfect shape. It's a nice thought, but I've never seen this approach actually work. So I don't personally recommend it. It's really hard to compare my experience (which was spiro only) to someone who's adding a lot of other factors in. 

 

So you don't recommend taking anything else? No creams even?

Nope. I quit everything full stop. No benzoyl peroxide, no retinoids, no acids. I washed my face once a day with distilled water, CeraVe Cleanser, and then use CeraVe Moisturizer. Very, very simple. Once the active acne is gone, you can try adding in products to clean up your skin texture, clogged pores, and scars. But I really don't recommend it while you still have lesions. 

 

What did you do about exploding whiteheads?

I don't believe that letting pus sit out on your face is a good idea. Before my daily face wash, I would gently extract the pus out of "exploded" lesions, then disinfect them with an antiseptic. Then wash as normal. I did not apply any treatment creams on the zits. 

 

Soybean oil is in EVERYTHING!! What do I replace it with?

  • I replaced vegetable cooking oil (usually "vegetable oil" is just soybean oil) with safflower oil and canola oil. 
  • I buy a mayonnaise based on olive oil. It tastes great.
  • I buy a margarine blend instead of butter or normal soybean oil margarine. It is one of the Smart Balance blends that has very little soybean oil. 
  • Salad dressings are a little harder, but just check the labels. Some of the brands don't use soybean oil. 

 

Thanks very much for this post! I have been taking spiro now for 2 months and have been taking my tablet later on at night, so will definitely try to take it earlier in the day now I have read this, and also try to take it with more food!

 

I'm still getting new spots, but reading this has helped me realise I have to be really patient with it and keep the faith!



#5 lissbee

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 11:59 PM

Wow thanks for making this post! It's very informative. Didn't know about the 3pm rule. I was just told to take it in the morning and at night. I'm currently on 50mg of Spiro daily and doing aztec indian masks with ACV 5x a week. I was applying BP to my breakout areas which is pretty much my entire jawline and neck and I asked my derm if it was ok to do that still and he said if I felt it was helping me then I could continue applying the BP. On the days where I give my skin a break from the mask I apply BP still. I'm debating whether I should quit the BP or not. I just feel like the mask isn't enough.

 

I have really severe acne on my neck and jawline and I just want it to go away. My strategy is if I apply the BP after the mask and apply Cerave moisturizer, it's like a double whammy of an attack against the cysts and nodules. I'm not sure though if that's working or if applying BP could make it worse. I've only done the masks and taken Spiro for a week, so it's too early to tell if it's helping. I did break out with new acne which as you state is expected. 

 

Why are you against applying BP or any other topical while on Spiro? Did you have a bad experience? 



#6 talenaabrams

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 04:55 PM

Your big hormone thread says not to use any herbal DHT inhibitors in conjunction with Spiro. Is there a reason for this?

 

I am currently taking 100mg of Spiro a day (for about 2 years now) and I was completely clear but since getting Mirena (which contains a small dose of levonorgestrel and it's making me break out a bit. I don't want to take more Spiro since I'm already on the higher end of what people take to clear acne, so I want to take something herbal to give me that extra boost.



#7 Green Gables

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 11:51 PM

Your big hormone thread says not to use any herbal DHT inhibitors in conjunction with Spiro. Is there a reason for this?

 

I am currently taking 100mg of Spiro a day (for about 2 years now) and I was completely clear but since getting Mirena (which contains a small dose of levonorgestrel and it's making me break out a bit. I don't want to take more Spiro since I'm already on the higher end of what people take to clear acne, so I want to take something herbal to give me that extra boost.

 

You could try it, it's not going to kill you. I mostly indicated not to take them together because it is possible to take your testosterone too low. A doctor isn't going to prescribe you enough spiro to do that alone, but if you start adding in saw palmetto you could reduce your testosterone too much. Many people are extremely impatient with hormonal treatment, and rather than wait out the 6+ months it takes for spiro to really work, they'll start adding in anti-androgenic herbs like mad and cause more problems than they started with. You know, the grand ol' more is better approach.

 

But to answer your question, if you're judicial with your usage, you will be fine. Go for it. 


Edited by Green Gables, 01 September 2013 - 11:52 PM.


#8 JennaBean

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 03:42 PM

Green gables: I came across a forum on sprionolactone and some users where saying that certain manufacturers don't work as well?! What the heck! What are your thoughts on this? My derm mentioned no such thing

#9 Green Gables

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 09:02 PM

Green gables: I came across a forum on sprionolactone and some users where saying that certain manufacturers don't work as well?! What the heck! What are your thoughts on this? My derm mentioned no such thing

 

Well, what happens is someone invests a lot of time and money into creating a drug, then patents it to recoup (and hopefully for them, profit) the money they spent. When the patent expires, other people can copy the basic formula and sell it themselves, but they are required to change parts of the formulation. The parts they change are called "fillers" and are SUPPOSED to not have an effect...basically you're supposed to get the same "active ingredient" but things like the color, taste, texture, etc. are different. HOWEVER, it seems that in some drugs, it is not 100% the same, and those few ingredients they change also change how well your body absorbs them. Sometimes this mean that the brand name will work better, or sometimes a generic can even work better than the brand name. But yes, several people have reported that one brand worked better than another for them.

 

I wouldn't say that it's black-and-white either, such as this brand is "good" or this brand is "bad". I mean, I'm on the Qualitest generic. A few people have complained about it, but it has worked very well for me. One lady had better results on the Mylan generic than the original brand name Aldactone. YMMV. Generally, though, if you suspect you're not responding well to a generic, USUALLY a switch to the original (Aldactone) is the safest bet, though it will cost you about three times more.

 

Depending on the drug, sometimes the pharmacist you get it from matters. When I was on Finacea, the cream was actually mixed according to a formula the Walgreens pharmacy had, and I noticed that one guy didn't mix it the same, and the cream felt different on my face.

 

Usually something like spironolactone is manufactured in a factory and sent to the pharmacy, and the pharmacist just counts them out and bottles them. Every once in a while you'll get a "bad batch" from the manufacturer. 


Edited by Green Gables, 04 September 2013 - 09:07 PM.


#10 JennaBean

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 09:05 PM

Green gables: I came across a forum on sprionolactone and some users where saying that certain manufacturers don't work as well?! What the heck! What are your thoughts on this? My derm mentioned no such thing

 
Well, what happens is someone invests a lot of time and money into creating a drug, then patents it to recoup (and hopefully for them, profit) the money they spent. When the patent expires, other people can copy the basic formula and sell it themselves, but they are required to change parts of the formulation. The parts they change are called "fillers" and are SUPPOSED to not have an effect...basically you're supposed to get the same "active ingredient" but things like the color, taste, texture, etc. are different. HOWEVER, it seems that in some drugs, it is not 100% the same, and those few ingredients they change also change how well your body absorbs them. Sometimes this mean that the brand name will work better, or sometimes a generic can even work better than the brand name. But yes, several people have reported that one brand worked better than another for them.
 
I wouldn't say that it's black-and-white either, such as this brand is "good" or this brand is "bad". I mean, I'm on the Qualitest generic. A few people have complained about it, but it has worked very well for me. One lady had better results on the Mylan generic than the original brand name Aldactone. YMMV. Generally, though, if you suspect you're not responding well to a generic, USUALLY a switch to the original (Aldactone) is the safest bet, though it will cost you about three times more.



Thanks so much for getting back to me. I really trust and value your knowledge with all of this.
I to am on the Qualitest brand. My dosage was just upped to 100mg yesterday. Do you think I should give it about 4 months to see if its working before I even consider thinking about switching?

#11 Green Gables

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 09:10 PM

 

Green gables: I came across a forum on sprionolactone and some users where saying that certain manufacturers don't work as well?! What the heck! What are your thoughts on this? My derm mentioned no such thing

 
Well, what happens is someone invests a lot of time and money into creating a drug, then patents it to recoup (and hopefully for them, profit) the money they spent. When the patent expires, other people can copy the basic formula and sell it themselves, but they are required to change parts of the formulation. The parts they change are called "fillers" and are SUPPOSED to not have an effect...basically you're supposed to get the same "active ingredient" but things like the color, taste, texture, etc. are different. HOWEVER, it seems that in some drugs, it is not 100% the same, and those few ingredients they change also change how well your body absorbs them. Sometimes this mean that the brand name will work better, or sometimes a generic can even work better than the brand name. But yes, several people have reported that one brand worked better than another for them.
 
I wouldn't say that it's black-and-white either, such as this brand is "good" or this brand is "bad". I mean, I'm on the Qualitest generic. A few people have complained about it, but it has worked very well for me. One lady had better results on the Mylan generic than the original brand name Aldactone. YMMV. Generally, though, if you suspect you're not responding well to a generic, USUALLY a switch to the original (Aldactone) is the safest bet, though it will cost you about three times more.



Thanks so much for getting back to me. I really trust and value your knowledge with all of this.
I to am on the Qualitest brand. My dosage was just upped to 100mg yesterday. Do you think I should give it about 4 months to see if its working before I even consider thinking about switching?

 

Well, if your experience mirrors mine, the 100mg jump on Qualitest makes the biggest difference. I would just give it some time.



#12 brenmc

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 09:10 PM

I'm really curious what my brand is but all I see on my bottle is Teva-Spironolactone. I googled "Teva" but couldn't determine if it was brand name or generic. Perhaps labelling is different in Canada. Anyone know?

#13 JennaBean

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 09:15 PM


 


Green gables: I came across a forum on sprionolactone and some users where saying that certain manufacturers don't work as well?! What the heck! What are your thoughts on this? My derm mentioned no such thing

 
Well, what happens is someone invests a lot of time and money into creating a drug, then patents it to recoup (and hopefully for them, profit) the money they spent. When the patent expires, other people can copy the basic formula and sell it themselves, but they are required to change parts of the formulation. The parts they change are called "fillers" and are SUPPOSED to not have an effect...basically you're supposed to get the same "active ingredient" but things like the color, taste, texture, etc. are different. HOWEVER, it seems that in some drugs, it is not 100% the same, and those few ingredients they change also change how well your body absorbs them. Sometimes this mean that the brand name will work better, or sometimes a generic can even work better than the brand name. But yes, several people have reported that one brand worked better than another for them.
 
I wouldn't say that it's black-and-white either, such as this brand is "good" or this brand is "bad". I mean, I'm on the Qualitest generic. A few people have complained about it, but it has worked very well for me. One lady had better results on the Mylan generic than the original brand name Aldactone. YMMV. Generally, though, if you suspect you're not responding well to a generic, USUALLY a switch to the original (Aldactone) is the safest bet, though it will cost you about three times more.

Thanks so much for getting back to me. I really trust and value your knowledge with all of this.
I to am on the Qualitest brand. My dosage was just upped to 100mg yesterday. Do you think I should give it about 4 months to see if its working before I even consider thinking about switching?
 
Well, if your experience mirrors mine, the 100mg jump on Qualitest makes the biggest difference. I would just give it some time.


Yeah that's what I think I'll do. I've only been on it for a month, at 50mg, and since I've been good on that, my derm decided to increase my dosage. So we'll see how it goes. It's crazy to me that some people notice results just after a few weeks! I haven't noticed anything different. Slightly less oil but that is it

I'm really curious what my brand is but all I see on my bottle is Teva-Spironolactone. I googled "Teva" but couldn't determine if it was brand name or generic. Perhaps labelling is different in Canada. Anyone know?


I don't know how it is in Canada, but in the US, the pharmacy has to put the manufacturer on the prescription. It should say: MFR: and whatever company is

#14 brenmc

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 12:14 AM

Ya, nothing on the label like that. But it's creamish peach coloured (light) and has an NN on one side. Sound familiar?

#15 JennaBean

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 11:14 AM

Ya, nothing on the label like that. But it's creamish peach coloured (light) and has an NN on one side. Sound familiar?


Hummm, it must be different in Canada. Mine doesn't have an NN anywhere on it.

#16 brenmc

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 11:19 AM

Must be different in Canada. If anyone has the same pill, I'm interested to know what manufacturer/brand it is!

#17 purple123

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 05:59 AM

This is a very interesting set of instructions but my experience has been a bit different. 

 I've taken spironolactone twice, once in my early 20s, and I needed a 100mg dose back then. It did dehydrate me to the point where I felt exhaustion.

The second time is now, in my mid-30s, after multiple courses of accutane. A single 25mg pill seems to be working well.  I did take antibiotics until spiro kicked in, and that helped greatly with the transition. I also use a topical mix of clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide, which helps keep individual spots in check, especially in the evening.

 

Also, I have tried eliminating dairy, sugar, and caffeine (individually and all together) multiple times in the past, and none of that helped me at all. 

 

So, I guess the general advice is great to have but I think it really does take some experimentation to figure out what works for each person.  If one approach someone swears by doesn't produce the same result for you, don't be discouraged, but keep trying different things in consultation with your derm... 


Edited by purple123, 01 December 2013 - 06:00 AM.


#18 Cali04

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 08:26 AM

About the 6th month mark, I noticed strands of hair falling out easily. It's not clumps. But when I put my hand through my hair one or two pieces fall out. And I notice more in the shower. The has been going on for a few weeks. Should I be concerned?

#19 Green Gables

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 01:44 AM

About the 6th month mark, I noticed strands of hair falling out easily. It's not clumps. But when I put my hand through my hair one or two pieces fall out. And I notice more in the shower. The has been going on for a few weeks. Should I be concerned?

 

Should you be concerned? No.

 

The body naturally goes through cycles of hair growth and loss. Any hormonal change can jumpstart the shift into the natural hair shedding phase. Start worrying if you start getting clumps. Increased hair shedding (not clumpy) for a while is normal.


Edited by Green Gables, 09 December 2013 - 01:44 AM.


#20 Cali04

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 06:58 AM

About the 6th month mark, I noticed strands of hair falling out easily. It's not clumps. But when I put my hand through my hair one or two pieces fall out. And I notice more in the shower. The has been going on for a few weeks. Should I be concerned?

 
Should you be concerned? No.
 
The body naturally goes through cycles of hair growth and loss. Any hormonal change can jumpstart the shift into the natural hair shedding phase. Start worrying if you start getting clumps. Increased hair shedding (not clumpy) for a while is normal.

Thanks so much for the response! It really helps knowing its normal. I bought Aveda hair thin shampoo and I think it is helping.




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