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I'm 23 years old, and like just about everyone else on here, I've tried quite literally everything except Accutane to clear up my mild-moderate hormonal and cystic acne.
This past July, I had been on Doxycycline for 3 years and it just wasn't as effective as when I started. I'm just now realizing long-term antibiotics are a no-no. So there I was, sitting in my dermatologist's office, crying so hard that snot was pouring out of my nostrils because in my mind, I was out of options (and I was terrified of the potentially permanent side-effects of Accutane). She prescribed me something I'd never heard of before: Aldactone (Spironolactone), 50 mg 1 x day. Skeptical, I left to fill my prescription and read some reviews on here.
...And let me tell you, without the encouragement/motivation to continue with this medication from reading these reviews, I would've stopped a HELL of a long time ago. These reviews really helped me to learn how to tailor a regime that worked best for my specific skin needs. Within 2 weeks of starting on 50 mg I perused some posts on here and decided to up my dosage to 100 mg, add in Yaz, and add in Bactrim (with the consultation of my Dermatologist, of course); Yaz has ~25 mg of Spironolactone in it so they work well together, and Bactrim was only to be taken temporarily to reduce the severity of a potential initial breakout.
2 weeks into starting 100 mg, I had the worst initial breakout of my life. My face, neck, chest, shoulders, and back were covered in hundreds of tiny bumps, as well as larger cysts. It lasted about a month, and I cried almost every day of that month and was a complete shut-in. When I was about to quit (practically every day), I'd come here, read the reviews, and promise myself I'd give it at least 4 months, then go from there. Well, it hasn't been 4 months yet (3.5) and my skin is the clearest its ever been. I'd say it took me about 2.5 months to see significant results. All those hundreds of tiny bumps and dozens of larger cysts are completely gone. My insanely oily skin has been tamed, and my pores appear visibly reduced. Even though it didn't feel like it would ever get better, it has. And even though I didn't think all of that would ever be worth it...it was!
So...if anyone's reading this comment, I'd like to say this:
If you're at your wit's end but don't want to take Accutane, try this
If you're going through a horrible initial breakout, hang in there - it will get better
And if you have been on this for a few months and haven't seen results, don't give up!
The biggest cause for Spironolactone not working is a bad diet. You simply cannot go onto this medication without understanding it's used for high blood pressure first and foremost. Unless your doctor also gives you a referral to a dietitian to work on a low potatssium, low sodium diet, you will find that mood swings, bloating and feeling fatigued are because your potassium levels are out of wack.
Spironolactone works as an anti-androgen but for those of you who are under the age of 30, I would suggest going with a mono-phasic birth control pill for several months and changing your diet to omit anything dairy related. It is a well known, documented fact, that -all- cow milk, organic or GMO, has hormone inducing ingredients that can wreck havoc on your body. If you find that nothing works and your doctor gives you an RX for anti-androgens it means your diet is crap and you have to change it because as soon as you get off the drug, your hormones will go back to fluctuating and you'll break out again.
As for me, I went on a no-dairy, low glycemic diet, cut out coffee, soda, etc. I also use the oil wash method along with honey masks at night instead of chemical cleansers. After six months I only had mild improvement and after only one month of Spironolactone, I had zero breakouts and my skin healed. After that first month I didn't go back onto it and because of my diet and exercise I'm 100% breakout free.
Please do a lot of research before you jump into such a harsh drug.
I started my struggle with acne when I was in about 5 grade. First my mom let me try using Acne Free products and ProActiv and of course those did nothing to help my face. So I went to the dermatologists for years and used everything. They started with rosacea medications. Then I moved on to countless pills and topicals throughout middle school, (Monodox, Solodyn, Differin, Epiduo, Acanya, Ziana, etc.). However, I never tried accutane, I have problem with needles and I'm just not willing to do the bloodwork every month. Even though I was rigorously treating my skin, middle school was the most severe time for my acne. Then I moved into high school and got lazy with the medications the doctors had prescribed not really believing anything would work. Then when I turned 15 I was finally able to go on birth control (kariva) to help my skin, and it did help. My skin went from moderately severe, to maybe 1-3 big pimples at a time with a good amount of little things. Finally my junior year the doctor prescribed 50 mg once a day Spironolactone to go along with my BCP. It seemed so simple to her and I have no idea why she didn't prescribe this years ago. After only about 3 months I started to see improvements then, after 7 months all the sudden everything changed. For the first time in 7 years I had basically had no acne. I had some discoloration still and some clogged pores but thats it. These pasts couple months have been great for me... Basically I now only wash my face if im in the shower and I just use a Norwex microfiber facecloth to take off my makeup at night, my skin is perfectly fine with these natural oils. I honestly never thought I'd see the day where I can go out without any makeup on and still feel good about myself, now I do it all the time. I'm going to try using some natural remedies like apple cider vinegar and coconut oil for my less than perfect skin texture and coloring now. Spironolactone was the fix for me and I recommend it to everyone. I know you might be scared off by the side effects listed online but I didn't experience anything. My doctor even said it's fine for me to continue taking NSAIDs for my headaches. Coming from a girl that tried everything, trust me, this stuff works.
I have been battling with breakouts and mild/moderate acne for the past 2 years, and it seemed t be getting worse and worse. I am currently 19 going on 20 and never have I ever dealt with any breakouts in my early-mid teen years, even when I was going through puberty all I would get is the occasional pimple or two, otherwise my skin was flawless. Right when my senior year of high school started I started breaking out like crazy (I was going through an awful break up at the time but it was still bad) I looked "hive-y". I thought it was just me being stressed out, when I started noticing irregular periods and hair growth in places it should not be growing. YIKES! I still thought it was just my hormones being wacky and that they would work themselves out after I started college. However, they obviously did not. By the middle of my freshman year in college I was having a mental break down, I couldn't figure out why or how I was breaking out all of the time. The last time I could remember my face being pimple free was when I was 15?! Shouldn't I be done breaking out by now?! So I came back home this summer and talked to my parents. They figured it was time for me to see a doctor. I met up with 3 different doctors, the first 2 of whom were woman, and of course they just threw the birth control pill on me. Which I will not get into, but I am very much so against for many reasons I clearly will not waste my time with here. Long story short all it does is "cover-up" the symptoms. The third and final doctor I met up with an amazing endocrinologist/gynecologist who from what I've heard, knew his stuff. He knew I had PCOS by the blood work and from what I told him. I have elevated testosterone levels (almost twice the normal amount a woman should have) and weird LSH and FSH levels. He prescribed provera for 5 days of the month to take to help regulate my period and "restart" my menstrual cycle. He also prescribed me Spironolactone at 25 mg a day to help with my excessive hair growth and mild/moderate ace/pimples. I also would like to add that I am 5'8 and only about 125/130 lbs. I am considered someone with a "lean" case of PCOS. For the past 3 weeks and 5 days now I've been taking it, and at first, I had the typical head-aches, bloating, some diarrhea randomly, a little bit of nausea, and moderate insomnia (waking up for a good 2 hours in the middle of the night and struggling going back to sleep, thanks Netflix) by the 2nd week my skin was finally going back to being "flawless" I still had a pimple or two, and some scars from picking (which I am guilty of). The side-effects were going away and all I noticed was how I was peeing a little bit more and was a little bit more thirsty. I felt as if the medication was finally working.
Entering my 3rd week I was thirsty, but it was just a dry-mouth kind of thirsty. Then out of nowhere, BAM, I broke out all over again! That was frustrating because I didn't know how or why my skin was going backwards. But, by doing some research on the oh-so-friendly internet, most people suffer from "initial-breakouts" meaning it basically gets better before it gets worse. Which in my case, made complete sense. My skin, as of today is on the near end of week 3. It just feels oily and is recovering from my initial break-out earlier this week. My blackheads/pores on my nose feel clogged and gross. I am so terrified that my skin is going to stay stuck like this all over again, or that this medication is just "done" working and is going backwards. Or that I should be on a higher dosage and that my doctor was wrong in telling me I don't need a "higher" one. I also would like to add that my hair has been shedding a little bit more than normal, it feels as if it's slowing down finally but I'm still a little worried about that awful side effect. I just hope I'm not alone in all of this craziness. Or that initial break-outs go away, or if my skin is stuck. I'll keep ya'll updated. I guess my problem is I'm just so darn impatient.
I used to have very clear, porcelain-like skin, until my junior year of high school when I started getting minor breakouts. I went to a derm, and she gave me clindamycin lotion and minocycline 50mg 2x Daily. It worked really well and my acne cleared up. Since my acne wasn't THAT bad, I would forget to take a pill here and there and eventually stopped getting refills of my prescriptions. I had occasional acne but nothing extreme. When I went off to college, I had persistent mild-moderate acne that I couldn't get rid of. It started after I began shaving my upper lip, and I thought it was just razor burn/bumps that would go away after a few days but they didn't. In addition to my pimples I had all these little bumps around the sides of my mouth. I didn't make time to go to a derm until the summer after my freshman year of college (this summer). My derm kind of sucks, but once you get referred to once it's hard to go to any others. I made an apt with her and she walked into the room to see me and immediately stated in a grave tone "Oh, that's not good" right when she looked at my face. As if my confidence was not already shot, having gross uncontrollable bumps all over my face. She said it looked more like perioral dermatis then acne vulgaris and she quickly wrote me a script for minocycline and clindamycin again, the same dosage as before. Out of desperation, I took my pills and applied the lotion exactly as directed, but after the first month I noticed no changes. I came back to my derm after the first month desperate for something different. The day of my apt (before my apt) I was googling about birth controls used to control acne (I've been on cryselle for a few years for PCOS) only to find that my birth control PROMOTES ANDROGENS and therefore is BAD FOR ACNE. I thought all birth controls helped with preventing acne, but I guess I was wrong. Anyways, I went to my derm apt that day and told her about my newfound knowledge about my birth control. She said she doesn't prescribe that type of medicine but suggested I stay on the BCPs I'm currently taking and begin taking Spiro 50mg 1x Daily and continue with the Clindamycin. I didn't want to start taking yet another medication if it wasn't necessary, but I was desperate for clearer skin. I've been taking Spiro for a month now, and my skin is really clearing up. I didn't notice a TERRIBLE initial breakout, I got a few pimples, but nothing worth freaking out over (even though after reading all of these posts, I was REALLY freaking out.) And after like 3.5 weeks, I started getting clearer. It was kind of crazy. It was like one day my skin was producing pimples like normal, and the next day it just wasn't. My skin was actually a little on the dry side this morning. All of my old pimples are healing and all of those pesky little bumps around my mouth are GONE.
As for the side effects, I didn't really notice anything besides the dry mouth and the increase in urine output. That's a small price to pay for the confidence that accompanies clear skin.
I plan to update this as I continue taking spiro.
I'm 15 & I've been going to a dermatologist for 3 years. I've tried every wash, every topical cream, even antibiotics to the point where he's said "we've tried everything." I want to take accutane but I have a tendency to
acquire every side effect of every medication I take (the depression is a big factor.)
My doctor just prescribed me Spirolactone & I should start it in a few days. After reading these reviews, I'm so hesitant. I'm dreading the initial breakout, I'm actually crying. I hate looking at myself, I feel so ugly, I've been getting made fun of since my acne started, I can't wear certain clothes because they don't cover it, I'm so self concious I barely wanna make eye contact, i spend so much money on makeup to cover it but it's still awful. The last thing I need is it getting worse. I'm so scared :(
Six years on Spirano and just quit for the second time in that period. I would break through every so often, but it's more dependable and safe than antibiotics and BCP. BCP is supposed to increase its effectiveness, but there are risks to excess estrogen, most notably weight gain and emotional sensitivity. It's almost worth it for the clear skin and diauretic effects.
It does work, but it's not a cure. It's a band aid like most antibiotics. As long as your on the medicine it will work, once you come off of it for a while it will come back if you have severe acne. If you're willing to stay on this medicine for a long period of time then it will benefit you. As for myself I don't like taking medicine for a long time so I'll give it 4 stars for doing it's job.
I'm a 24 year old female. My acne has always been considered moderate to a dermatologist, but of course to me it felt severe. In the last few years my acne became worse than when I was a teenager. My zits were cystic, more numerous, and relentless. Unfortunately, my skin had a great effect on my attitude and my mood. Whether my day was good or bad was highly dependent on the degree to which I was breaking out. I had tried antibiotics, birth control, topicals like proactive, retin-a (of varying strengths), reducing my dairy consumption, becoming a vegetarian, and much more and with nothing to show. I think the constant nuclear warfare on my face in fact worsened my skin and caused further irritation. My mom emailed me with an epiphany one day. She recalled after her pregnancy with me she was prescribed a water pill to help her with some horrible cystic acne she was experiencing. She said it cleared her up almost immediately. I made an appointment with my doctor shortly after and was prescribed 25mg of spironolactone daily. The doctor was slightly hesitant, and she made sure to run through the list of every other prescription available (all of which I had tried) before agreeing to prescribe me this pill. I began this medication in March and it is August now and I truly could not be more pleased. My skin is not only clear but it is predictable. I don't dread looking in the mirror each morning only to discover 3 new massive zits. My skin is stable. I am not without some occasional small pimples of course, but they are small and infrequent. I'm not embarrassed to be seen without thick layers of foundation and I'm not afraid of humidity or sweating my make-up off. I'm so thankful to have found this medication. I only wish my mom had recalled her experience sooner!
(Note: I do take this in conjunction with birth control. The birth control pill never did the trick for me but it is possible the combination of these two medications are giving me the ultimate effect)
I've been on spiro for 5 months I have been taking 100 mg daily and am currently still at this dosage. I started spiro three months after completing my accutane course. Unfortunatly I broke out after the accutane. I started the spiro and started to clear up after a month of use. Since then I'm not getting cysts or big pustular acne. I get a couple white heads here and there but the full benefits of spiro can take up to 9 months to show themselves. So I'm looking forward to having clear skin long term!!
I've now been using Spiro daily for 14 months now. Still at the 100mg dose. It's managing to keep my skin nice and breakout free. I can't thank this medication enough. It completely rid me of the paranoia and fear of looking in the mirror in the morning and not knowing what I was going to face. I will admit I get a white head every couple of months. That's nothing to complain about! I do not have any side effects from the medication at all. All my blood results have come back perfectly. I love it!