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25 mg, 50 mg or 100 mg of Spironolactone.
Calcium sulfate dihydrate, colloidal silicon dioxide, croscarmellose sodium, crospovidone, hypromellose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, peppermint flavor, polydextrose, polyethethylene glycol, povidone, pregelatinized (corn) starch, sodium lauryl sulfate, titanium dioxide and triacetin.
Items marked with orange can be irritating and over-drying, especially to acne-prone skin.
The list of ingredients above is provided for informational purposes only. Always check the actual product label in your possession for the most accurate ingredient information due to product changes or upgrades that may not yet be reflected on our web site.
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Let me preface by noting that I have had cystic acne all of my adult life. I am middle aged and have tried everything from Accutane (ugh) to topical prescriptions. Because I am also hypersensitive to most oral and topical medications, typically I have unusual and/or severe reactions. With that being said, I feel like I am the poster child for what symptoms an individual could possibly experience on the "negative side effects" end of the spectrum.
It should also be noted that about two months prior to beginning treatment with Spironolactone, I began using a topical solution of vitamin B3 (niacinamide 5%) by Gia Naturals in place of my very expensive Dr. Dennis Gross moisturizer. The results were noticeably positive but not spectacular. Additionally, I use Bare Minerals liquid foundation, GloMinerals compressed powder, and Lancôme blush to avoid makeup based flare ups. Regardless, I was still having trouble with slow healing and (mostly) hormone related cysts.
At my wit's end, I went back to my dermatologist. He prescribed an initial dose of 50mg of Spironolactone to start my treatment. I took the first pill around 7pm and within hours developed a severe dehydration-type headache that lasted all night and part of the next day. I called my dermatologist and after explaining my symptoms, he instructed me to cut the 50mg pill in half and try the lower dose before deciding to give up on the Spironolactone. I did and, thankfully, had no more headaches. I continued to take the reduced 25mg dosage for a couple of weeks (along with the above-mentioned products) and was seeing signs of improvement! About five days ago, with my menstrual cycle looming, I got brave and began taking the entire 50mg Spironolactone pill. I am happy to report that the headaches did not reappear and I made it through the worst of my period with no new cysts. The only side effect I have experienced over the past five days on the increased dosage is a notable tiredness. Bear in mind though, I am a 7th grade English teacher and my tiredness could be symptomatic of dealing with 85 twelve to thirteen year olds with spring fever while I am on my period!!
Overall, I am cautiously optimistic about Spironolactone. My side effects have been manageable, the results thus far have been notable, and most importantly, the long term use of Spironolactone poses no significant physiological or psychological threat to users according to long term research findings. If you are considering Spironolactone, it is probably a safe bet to at least give it a try. As the poster child for side effects, however, I suggest starting with a low dosage and working up to higher dosages as your body becomes accustomed to the drug.
WISHING YOU THE BEST!
Post Script: I failed to mention that during this time I also began taking 500mg of vitamin B3 (niacinamide) orally every day along with my Spironolactone. My dermatologist said there are no contraindications and the vitamin is better absorbed when taken orally. (Please see research on vitamin B3 use for problem and/or aging skin)
I had horrible deep cyst like bumps. Mostly around my chin area. my doctor put me on this medicine. I started out with 50mg a day. That was working a little bit, but I was still getting a few deep cysts and it wasn't getting rid of the old ones. After being on that for about 2-3 months. He increased it to 100mg a day. after being on the 100mg a day for about 2-3 weeks my face felt great and the cysts were finally going away. Then I started having horrible stomach pains. This was like 10 times worse then regular period cramps. I felt nauseous and like I would be sick. Then I started having bloody bowls. Obviously I did not want to take it anymore, so I stopped. After about a week of being off of it I am still having horrible stomach pains, hopefully they go away soon. I also gained 10lbs just form being on the drug for about 4 months, which I was not a fan of! The symptoms were just not worth the clear skin.
I have never written a review before but I thought that since I spent endless nights on this site reading reviews to gain insight into treating my acne, I should really reciprocate the favour. I think one thing that all acne sufferers share in common (apart from our acne of course :p) is the abundant amount of research we do in order to become experts on the condition, and the different treatment options. Im sure everyone currently reading this review has desperately been trying to look for a solution, and has probably scrolled through hundreds of different reviews. I think it is extremely valuable to educate ourselves in this manner. However, what we all also realize is that not all acne is the same, and what works well for one person might not work well for someone else.
That being said, I want to share my personal story. If you see any resemblance in our history, then I really urge you to try this medication. If not, then I cannot attest to whether it will work for you like it did for me, but I still believe it is worth the try.
I am currently 22 years old. Since I was 13, I have suffered from mild to moderate acne. However I want to stress that it was VERY mild when I was in high school. I was prescribed Yaz in the11th grade by my dermatologist, and I really didn't even realize how well it worked for me until later on. I remember that I would still have the minor breakouts (which were a big deal to me at the time), but this consisted of about 5 small pimples MAX on my face. I was on Yaz for about 3 years. In the summer after my first year of university, I decided to stop taking the pill. The first couple of months which followed, everything pretty much remained the same. Still the occasional breakout, nothing drastic. However, about a year later I noticed that my skin was breaking out more than usual. I thought it was just due to a faulty skincare regimen (forgetting to wash my face at night etc.), so I decided to make another trip to the dermatologist, who prescribed me some topical creams (Benzaclyn, Differin). As with every topical cream I've ever used, I regularly applied it for about the first 3 weeks, until I reached a point where I became too lazy and then stopped applying it altogether (I have so many of them which are 3/4 full at my house). The creams just didn't seem to be doing much at all except drying out my face.
Let me stop here to give my opinion on the prescription of topical creams for the treatment of acne. I do believe that they are an important part of an acne regimen but they are NOT going to treat the acne. Most acne is due to internal factors, and though the creams are effective at fighting surface bacteria/reducing comedone formation, they SHOULD NOT be used as a first treatment option for more severe cases. In fact, I think they should be prescribed after the inflammatory acne has been cleared, to help with further prevention and maintenance of the CLEARED skin (at least that's how I am currently using them).
But anyways, fast forward a couple of more months and my acne is still progressively getting worse. My dermatologist then decided to go down another route and try antibiotics. I started doing my research at this point, and it became very apparent to me that my skin was getting worse after I stopped taking Yaz. I asked to be put on birth control, but my current dermatologist told me she didn't prescribe hormonal therapies (which I find absolutely hilarious seeing as most acne IS HORMONAL). However, the doxycycline seemed to also due to trick. My skin cleared up completely (even within the first two weeks), and I thought I had found my fix. I took doxy for about 6 months with great results and then I started to develop resistance. Slowly it stopped working, and it didn't take long before my acne came back, and this time waaaay worse than before. Around June of last year, I was getting tons of pimples, mostly on the sides of my face, my chin and jawline, and it was the worse its been my whole life. At this point I was starting to get desperate. I decided to change my dermatologist, and get another opinion. This dermatologist chose to go another route, the $$$$$$$$$$ route. She claimed that my acne could be completely treated through a series of blue light treatments and chemical peels. Her reviews looked promising, and I was getting desperate at this point, so I decided to give it a go. This was one of the worst decisions i have EVER made. The TCA peel not only irritated my inflamed acne, but completely burned my skin. I was left with huge scabs around my mouth and chin, which was probably due to improper application. DO NOT agree to these treatments with active acne, because I promise you, it will only irritate it further. Like topical creams, these work best on clear skin (minus the blue light which just does nothing in general). After the traumatic peel experience, I had lost all hope. My acne was progressively getting worse, my self esteem was awful. I hated going out, I refused to be seen without makeup on. I also tried to do some natural therapies (vitamin B5, zinc, honey mask etc), all with no hope.
Finally, i decided I would once again go search for a new dermatologist. She looked at my face and gave me two options: spironolactone and accutane. She told me that she was unsure whether my acne was completely hormonal, and was wary of whether spiro would even work for me, that I would probably have way better results with accutane, but the side effects were way more intense. I was really desperate at this point, so I was deffinetly considering Accutane, but something inside me told me to just try spiro as a last result, especially because I believe my acne was hormonally based. I didn't really notice much of an "initial breakout" with spiro, but then again my skin was so bad at this point that I may have not even noticed a difference if it was getting worse. About one month in, my skin started to clear drastically. Two months in, it was even more clear. I am not just finished my third month, and I don't have a single pimple on my face. I don't remember the last time my skin has looked this great, and I am so excited for the results to come as I heard it only gets better.
If you think your acne has a hormonal basis, please stop wasting your time like I did and ask your derm about this medication. It really has been a miracle, which is the only reason I am actually writing this review.
I've been on spiro for two years. I started at 50 mg and was quickly moved up to 100 mg the dosage which I have stayed on. It has cleared up my skin and greatly decreased oil production. I suffered from extremely oily skin all my life, and now my skin is mostly dry, sometimes combination, but I have to moisturize constantly. I hate to say it, but I almost miss my oily skin, because it gets too dry now. I've also noticed weight gain, around 20-30 lbs! I am 30 years old 5'8 and when starting spiro I was 125-130lbs now I am well over 150 and have a lot of cellulite! I'm also extremely emotional and moody especially the week prior to my period. I'm on Trinessa as well, so maybe that has caused some of these side effects. Has anyone else experienced this with spiro? I love how my skin looks as long as I moisturize, but I hate all these negative side effects. I'm kind of torn at this point.......
This has been amazing to my skin!!! Hadn't been able to leave my house without makeup for years!! Now I can go to work with a bare face!! Love it! Completely recommend it. Have suffered with acne for over 10 years. It took lots of trial and errors to finally find something that worked. I have oily skin with very acne prone skin. Any little thing would break me out. Now I don't stress about it.
I am a 30 year old female who went on Mirena IUD in August 2015. Before this I would say my skin was normal, mostly blemish free. A few weeks after having Mirena inserted I noticed a change in my skin. It was horrible :( I would get pea sized cystic bumps on my hair line, neck, chin and cheek and they were very painful.
I tried doxy, with no luck and also had peels etc... in an attempt to fix this. Like most others when the problem comes from the inside you can't fix it from the outside. After reading reviews I asked my doctor to prescribe me spiro. She was reluctant but I begged.
I started the end of Jan on 50mg once daily. I took this at night. At first I did need to go to the bathroom a lot more. But with time my body has become use to this and is retaining more fluids.
After two weeks I had a week of blemish free skin. This didn't last long though and came back with a vengeance. Every day I would have a new bump on my cheek or chin. After 4 weeks I upped my dose to 2X50mg a day. The next three weeks my skin was just as bad.
I am now at 8 weeks and I haven't had a blemish in 7 days. Fingers and toes crossed the worst is over and my body has adjusted.
My advice is to stick it out. Yes it will be hard and it will get worse but for a short term break out for clear skin it is amazing.
I will update my review at the three month mark.
I took Spiro for 7 months. It took me from mild/moderate acne to disfiguring acne. I am 28 yrs old, I hv both cystic acne & white heads/black heads. I also have EXTREMELY oily skin. My Derm said Spiro would be perfect for me. I "purged" for an entire 7 months. Spiro seems to work for wayyyy more ppl than it doesn't so by no means do I want to discourage anyone from trying it, however, after 7 months it just appeared that it didn't work for me.
I am a 27-year-old female that has had issues with adult hormonal acne since I was 22. My skin is a combination of dry and acne prone. My apologies for the lengthy post, but I wanted to include other info that I found to be helpful.
It wasn’t until September of 2015 that my cystic acne was unmanageable, painful, and damaging to my self esteem in way I have never experienced. The cysts were abundant in number and size, they were large and red, eventually turning to large scabs, covering my cheeks, jawline, and my neck. Makeup was necessary but didn’t help cover much of anything except for the redness, which then appeared yellow-ish due to foundation. I am not a makeup savvy gal, so makeup was not really my friend during this time. I became highly anxious when out in public. I was rushing through my errands. I didn't want to be seen or make eye contact. If being a ghost was an option, I would've chosen to be one.
Once I discovered that this is a true medical issue that required medical attention, I made an appointment with the dermatologist. I have been to the derm several times before, but I never felt confident about my visits and treatments. Nothing *really* worked. I tried 3 different birth control pills designed to tackle hormonal acne. I became a different person each time and my body didn’t feel like it was my own, nor did my mind. I felt neurotic and my body stayed bloated despite my efforts to alleviate that. So while it did help with manage the acne, it created other problems. After the 3rd time being on the pill, I swore it off forever. I tried multiple medicated creams and gels along with antibiotics. I had also been to a few aestheticians, which did help with the appearance, but was not a true fix when the root of the problem lies internally. There was no reason to continue with the chemical peels if it wasn't actually contributing to my "cure".
However, my new dermatologist had a different approach. I was involved in the choosing and planning of treatment. She explained and reviewed options with me (yes, she gave me options!) and provided me her professional input for guidance in my decision making. I didn’t think that my acne was Accutane worthy, and even if it were, I was very hesitant. After careful consideration, I decided to go with Spironolactone (50mg) taken once daily to and Tretinoin (retin-a) cream at night. I felt SO great about this and eager to start. After the first 6 weeks, I had to have my blood drawn and tested for normal potassium levels. I did notice breast tenderness and light headedness when not taken with food, so beware of that! These symptoms are common as you while find in the other reviews here.
In February of 2016, I had a derm appoint for a progress report. At that time, we decided to adjust the Spiro dosage to 100mg taken twice daily plus the Tretinoin cream applied a night. It is now the middle of March and *knock on wood* my skin has radically improved. I rarely ever get breakouts, except for PMS related. Everyone wants quick and perfect results, which might be an impossible achievement. I am very happy with the progress I have seen thus far and am willing to stay on the Spiro train. 3 months for noticeable results, 6 months for desirable results. BE PATIENT AND STICK WITH SPRIO!!! The next phase for me is to heal the discoloration and scarring.
I have not noticed a change in mood, but maybe I should ask my S/O for his observation. My menstrual cycle has always been regular on a strict schedule according to my body' natural clock. End of the month for 7 days. Now it's more like, ehhh every 2 to 3 weeks lasting anywhere from 4 or 7 days, but I don't necessarily consider that to be a CON. I just deal with it per usual. I have always drank a lot of water, consequently going #1 pretty frequently. I haven't noticed a change in my restroom habits.
OTHER THINGS TO DO TO HELP WITH HORMONAL ACNE
Disclaimer: We are all delicate snowflakes and what works for me will most likely not work for anyone else quite the same way. Hopefully you can’t get some ideas from this though!
I also wanted to mention that I became mildly obsessed with ridding my acne because of the effects it had my self esteem. I would normally consider myself a social person, but became recluse when the acne was at it’s worst in September. Because of my obsession, I did countless hours of my own research. Which is how I came to find this website/blog fyi. I read review after review after review. I watched video bloggers that had videos related to adult acne. I read articles written by industry professionals and other blogs. I read product reviews on the internet. I arrived to the conclusion that hormonal acne MUST first be dealt with internally.
After diving into my research, I reflected on my dietary habits. I always made an effort to eat relatively healthy, but zero effort to really say “no” to sugar, salt, and dairy. It was time for me to use my willpower and commit to sticking to a healthy diet rich in fruits, grains, and vegetables. I had to turn my back on my sweet tooth. No longer could I give into my chocolate, chips, candy, pizza, ice cream, cheese, pretzels, etc. Yes, I do eat these things still, but only on a rare occasion and not in excess. I used to eat an entire tub of chocolate ice cream in a few days time because #yolo.
Organic and natural products have lasted the test of time for a reason. If you’ve never done so, try an experiment in which you DON’T purchase or use products that have unnatural ingredients. If you don’t recognize the name of an ingredient, don’t buy it. If you don’t have a nearby store that offers these options, or maybe they do but they are pricey, try Amazon. You can also make your own products from a few simple ingredients! Remember, just because it’s a high-end fancy name brand jar or tube, doesn’t mean it works. There are ALWAYS natural inexpensive alternative options (that are usually must cheaper).
Other foods/products that help with acne:
Tea tree oil
High iron foods- mostly anything green (i recommend asparagus, kale, spinach, cucumbers)
Apple cider vinegar
Coconut oil Rosewater toner Brown sugar (for scrubs)
Peppermint essential oil
Red potato skins
Vitamin C products (serum, lotions)
Vitamin A products (ditto)
This list is a mix of things that can either be ingested, applied superficially, or maybe both. I found tons of uses for these from kind internet folks (ie.: make facial masks, wash skin, wash hair, skin care regimen, etc.). Youtube and Google has everything. Thanks internet!
CLARISONIC MIA 2
OMG GET ONE. My derm recommended I look into this product. I knew some friends that had one and swore by it. The only thing is, they are costly. I’m the first to admit that I am a girl that balls on a budget and couldn’t justify the expense. BUT after Christmas I pulled all of my new and old Sephora gift cards together to buy the $150 item and ended up only spending $40 out of my own pocket to finally have one. I am telling you that Clarisonic WORKS. I use an all natural oil based facial cleanser with it twice daily and I immediately noticed the change my skin. If you are able to afford one, please do yourself a favor and get it. Other similar products from different brands could be just as effective, but I can’t vouch for those.
Lastly, before buying products online or in-store, I encourage you to read reviews, search for answers to your questions, look on youtube for product reviews before spending your money no matter the cost!
Don't know if anyone has checked this lately but honestly, I tried everything for my acne until I tried spironolactone(aldactone) my chin, cheeks, jawline and part of my neck were breaking out ... I hated my skin. I tried spiro and started at 25. then progressed to 100mg. A day.. My acne literally disappeared. My periods yes were irregular, and I did not gain any weight. I actually lost 10 pounds.. I went off of it for a year cause my skin was fine. I also already have low blood pressure and this medicine does lower it so I was feeling cold and sleepy at times. My skin was terrible the whole year I was off of it. I literally would not leave my house because I didn't want anyone seeing my face ... Went back on the Med only at 50 a day and I'm back to blemish free and have regular periods and only get tiny ones during my cycle. This has been the only medicine that's ever helped me and I've taken doxycycline, all the antibiotics, even regimens. Anyway, Come to find out I had cystic ovaries and my hormones were whack. So I'm happy i found this medicine because it helps my cramps and my skin 98 percent. Of the time :) also to mention; those who aren't seeing any results after 6+ months.. If your acne isn't hormonal, as in caused by your hormones being whacky, then this will not help. This medicine as my doctor said is; an androgen blocker, sebum (oil) is reduced because your testosterone (androgen) is being blocked. Excessive sebum is why your pores become clogged, and yes you must avoid excessive potassium because this medicine is potassium sparing( it stores it) so anyway. Everyone will have a different reaction, I did not gain weight like everyone else mentioned, I lost 10 pounds actually, and it helped with my cramps and periods. Although when I was on 100 mg a day I was having some off periods.. And was a bit sleepy and had to pee a lot!
But all in all this medicine has been amazing to say the least.
After 14 years of struggling with acne and trying everything under the sun, I am happy to say that my acne is almost completely gone with the help of spironolactone. I am kicking myself for not visiting a dermatologist sooner. I have been taking this medication for three months now. When I first began taking the medication I was prescribed 50 mg a day, in addition I was prescribed a benzoyl peroxide face wash for the morning and a Aczone topical, and in the evening wash with a gentle facial cleanser (I chose Cetaphil) and Ziana at night. Prior to this regimen, it was not uncommon for me to wake up with a minimum of 3-5 new pimples, many of them deep and painful. Within 2 weeks there was a significant change with the amount, frequency and type of pimples I would have. I would wake up with a pimple or two sometimes. During that first month I think I only had six pimples maximum. And they weren't mostly cystic, it was primarily little whiteheads, one cyst during my menstrual cycle. After the first month my dermatologist kept my regimen almost the same, only increasing my dosage of Spironolactone so I can hopefully clear up completely, I take 50 mg twice a day. Luckily I have not yet experienced any side effects during the course of using this medication and breakouts are incredibly rare, only a cyst or two around my period. I am so thankful that I took my dermatologist's recommendation! This has greatly improved my confidence and drastically reduced the time it takes for me to get ready in the morning. I don't have to spend an hour just trying to cover up acne anymore, it takes me fifteen to twenty minutes to put on a full face of makeup and run out the door and I don't feel like I have to hide anymore.