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So, I've been on Spironolactone for a little over 2 months now. My doctor suggested it to me since I was convinced my acne was almost completely caused by hormones being out of wack. Sure enough, I got a sono done and I found out I have pcos. After reading about Spiro online from what other people said, I got so excited. After getting off bcp about 2 years back, the cysts have been slowly creeping in. By the time I got on spiro, I would say, I was moderately severe but my face didn't look too bad because most of the cysts weren't red and were mainly under my neck. I started Spiro on 50mg, which is considered a low dose. Within the first two weeks, I got the worst out break of my life. Entire lower face and neck became red and filled with cysts. Shoulders also broke out in cysts. I didn't realize how sensitive my skin was to hormonal changes but now I do... My acne has cross the line to Severe. My doctor considers me a candidate for accutane now. When I started spiro two weeks prior to that, there was no mention of accutane at all. I stuck it out hoping things would improve with the Spiro after reading everything on here and things only worsened. a week ago, i kind of gave up... On my 30 day wait for accutane now. Not to scare everyone away from this drug because I know its helped a lot of people but I'm just warning, if you know your acne is VERY hormonally sensitive, any significant change could put it in a frenzy. I started bcp a week ago and I didn't notice too extreme a break out but for some reason, Spiro made me explode. I used to take cortisone injections like a champ. Now I cry when I come out from the pain. My doctor is convinced I need to be on accutane... so I'm taking his advice now. I wished I'd never need to go on accutane. Kind of scared.. Thought I escaped from severe acne when I was a teenager but got my worse break out at 23. >-<
Hair loss got better and my skin seemed to get better, too, but I stopped.
If you take antidepressants, don't take Sprionolactone! It'll suppress the antidepressant effect. It's true! I take Wellbutrin (other names: Zyban, Elontril | Bupropion - I love it) and after taking Spiro (100mg like in researchers' studies), the antidepressants didn't work anymore, for 1-2 days!
"Research has also shown spironolactone can interfere with the effectiveness of antidepressant treatment. The drug is actually (among its other receptor interactions) a mineralocorticoid (MR) antagonist, and has been found to reduce the effectiveness of antidepressant drugs in the treatment of major depression, it is presumed, by interfering with normalization of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in patients receiving antidepressant therapy."
Now I try Avodart (Dutasterid). It's an antiandrogen which inhibts the transformation of testosterone to DHT (active testosterone). I hope my skin will get better soon. Unfortunately Dutasterid is really expensive. I have a thyroid hypofunction which might have led to hair loss and depression - that's why I needed antidepressants but Sprio inhibts their effect. By taking meds for my thyroid hypofunction (Prothyrid, and hopefully someday Thybon as well?), I hope I won't need antidepressants anymore (btw I read thyroid meds can help acne patients, too). If I'm successful with the thyroid meds, I'll stop taking antidepressants and try to take Spiro again (lower dosis this time) because it's way cheaper (costs $5) than Dutasterid ($50). If it won't help, I'll keep taking Dutasterid (studies say 0,5mg is okay and it won't get much better by taking more).
Btw Finasterid stops DHT, too, but not in the places which are important for the skin (it might work great for hair though).
Actually I wanted to tell you about Dutasterid but it's not in acne.org's database and there's no way I can add it. So whoever reads this: Dutasterid might be a way to get rid of acne, too. It doesn't have to be a contraceptive, antiandrogens can be much more effective. Sprio works like antiandrogens that's why it helps so many people who have acne. Dutasterid inhibts DHT more directly. Let's see whether it'll work.
I just started on spiro a couple of days ago. I decided to go to the dermatologist. My acne was not horrible but by the age of 27 and dealing with acne my since grade school and finally just wanted it all to go away and I wanted a clear complexion where I didn't have to wear makeup. I don't want to jump the gun or anything, and I just stared to look up on the internet how long it takes for spiro to start working because I think my acne is getting worse. I had read on another page that a lot of people get worse in the first months which makes me scared! I have not had any other side effects except I see more and more pimples in my face. Does anyone else have this problem and if so is it going to get better? I guess when it comes to my face I am not very patient. And I am scared I made the wrong decision about going on this medication.
He is also putting me on a retin cream. Will this help too?
I have been on Spiro going on my 5th month and it has cleared all my cystic acne. I have tried every thing and nothing worked except Retin-A but I would still get cystic acne around my period every month so my dermatologist added the Spiro and I'm so glad he did!!! I'm finally clear and I didn't have any side effects so that's a huge plus!! I did however get an initial break out the 2nd month but after that it has been smooth sailing! If you are suffering from cystic acne I would recommend trying Spiro! Also want to add I have less oily skin :-)
Spironolactone helped my skin but it was NOT worth it! There is a rare side effect for some people that involves hair become brittle and breaking. The hair on the crown of my head (down to about 2 inches above my ears) became brittle and broke, so I had inch long dry hair there and the rest was its regular length. It also stunted the hair growth in that area and it has taken years to grow back, and very very slowly. I only took the medication for 1 month and have paid for it for years. Skin is clear as day but my hair paid the price. Weigh your options carefully.
My doc started me with a 100 mg dose. After two weeks my skin was already clearing. I took the whole first mo. with no side effects and my boobs got a full cup size bigger! 2nd month I had two long periods days apart and I've currently lost 10 lbs in two months without even trying. My skin is so clear I don't wear makeup unless i'm going out- I will say I have noticed dryness, especially my lips! By back isn't clearing as well... still breaking out a bit. If the periods keep up every two weeks I will stop using though.
I started Spiro about 5 months ago. I am on the mini pill (progesterone only. lowest dose hormone pill) I wanted to take a pill that wasn't so harsh on my body, and I was experiencing bad PMS from estrogen bills. That no longer happened on the mini pill, however, I broke our in bad hormonal acne. I have never had problems with my skin EVER so this was totally new to me. I hated it, I didn't feel as beautiful or confident. So after trying Spiro I am back to my normal self (minus some scarring which I am dealing with now) I started on 100mg and found myself getting REALLY dizzy and nauseous if I was warm (coming out of hot tub or in a overheated venue). Went to my doctor; I am 5'2 and 115lbs, so she said it was likely drying me out as I am on the petite side. I reduced it to 50mg but my skin wasn't as clear. I went up to 75 mg until my skin cleared up and then back down to 50mg where I have been for about 2 months and it's working (only get the odd hormonal pimple now around my period) I also now have two periods a month? My hormones are trying to figure themselves out obviously, so I am experiencing about 4 days of a medium-light period ever 2-3 weeks or so right now.
Wondering how everyone else feels about taking this as a long term drug in the AM along with my birth control at night? I wonder what if we just went off all medication and let our body balance itself out…Or how long that would take? I don't want to be on spiro+BC forever and wonder how long I would need to be off of both before thinking about getting pregnant. What is THE best option out there? Going drug free? or doing what I am doing now?
Hope this drug works for you, but do not stay on it long if possible. Feel like this is a great short term plan if that is what you are looking for. Read all of the side effects and long term effects you may be dealing with. I see this as a 3 year plan TOPS, I wouldn't suggest staying on it longer if you could.
I had read about Spiro and kept it in the back of my mind. I finally made an appointment with a dermatologist and was planning to ask for a prescription. When she suggested it right away, I jumped at the chance. I'm 46 and have had hormonal acne since probably 13. My age didn't stop me from continuing to have it on my chest and back either. I never had clear skin. It was always broken out. I had read about all the side effects and was worried I'd be dizzy, sick to my stomach and tired. I had none of that! I was supposed to work up to 100 mg a day and I was worried the side effects would come as I started adding a pill. They didn't, and I worked my way to 4 pills per day within a few weeks. I am very confused about this drug. It's supposed to be for high blood pressure and is a dieuretic, so I still can't figure out what the purpose is in blocking testosterone and working on the hormonal aspect of acne. I would think they'd have 2 different pills for those reasons, one for people who need it for blood pressure and another pill that simply blocks testosterone. For instance, men shouldn't use this because of the effects it has on hormones, but apparently some do anyway. It did cause tingling breasts and increased periods, but it was worth it to have my skin clear up immediately. Seriously, it worked immediately. I can leave the house without makeup. My skin is really dry now though when before it was super oily. I have been putting coconut oil on it constantly and it soaks it right up. My back still isn't clear, but I'm not surprised as it has always been a huge problem. Hopefully that will happen soon. I'm on Tricare so I get this free. I'm hoping in the future when I no longer have Tricare since I'm in the process of a divorce, the cost won't be too high. I'm so glad they make this stuff.
Warning, this girl is about to unload about acne for her first time in writing: Here we go: Living with facial acne is not really living. It’s one of the worst, socially debilitating and soul crushing afflictions a human being can have. I want nothing more than to feel beautiful without 3 layers of foundation on. I feel like half of a person during bad breakouts, ugly, diseased, unworthy and pathetic. When my skin is clear, or imperfect but mostly clear, life is so good and happy, but it’s been a long time since I’ve felt like that. I want so much to only need to concentrate on my work and my social life. For so long a disproportionate amount of my energy has gone into this problem.
I recognize that my acne is holding me back, and believe me, I’ve tried not to let it, but there’s just no point. I need to get rid of it in order to be 100% me. These last couple of years even when my skin has been mostly clear, the treatments keeping it clear have not been total cures, they’ve been time consuming, really hard on my sensitive skin, and I’m always terrified it will stop working which ultimately, they all have. I’ve been dealing with acne all of my adult life since my later teens. Right now I should be blossoming as a young woman, not staying home in bed because “I can’t meet new people looking like this”. I have said that, obsessively thought that, and sobbed because of it more times than I care to admit. I’ve tried three different antibiotics (tetracycline is the only one that worked but stopped working after 6 months or so, others: doxy and mino had NO effect), benzoil up to 10%, retin A up to .05%, zinc and other supplements, a boat load of over the counter products. I had perfect skin on Yasmin but it made me gain weight and I had bad morning sickness among other things, all of which I can deal with, what I couldn’t deal with were the completely INSANE mood swings. I know my acne is hormonal because everything is below the nose and because taking Yasmin cured it. I’m so tired of fighting.
My most recent attempt has been a diet and lifestyle change; 8 hours of sleep, plenty of water and green tea, no eating soy or gluten, no caffeine, and absolutely no dairy. I’ve always tried to eat healthy and balanced, but even this strict diet hasn’t helped in the slightest. I’m going to continue it anyway, but because it hasn’t appeared to help after many months, I delved into an intense bout of research. One must understand their enemy in order to defeat it. I found information about acne in history, even ancient history. In ancient Egypt it was known as ‘the disease of the Pharaohs’, interesting right? Only the wealthiest were afflicted. In the Tudor era (or close to it) people used to put stickers over their larger facial cysts before a party and a pound of white power to cover the rest, supposedly they didn’t bathe much or at all, not that bathing more ever helped me... I tried to figure out why my hormones are ‘unblanaced’ when I'm otherwise completely healthy. Why do I have this problem when neither of my parents had adult acne? My 22 year old sister has it too. I guess we just got the wrong combination of genes. Are humans the only creatures on this planet to suffer acne? The answer is essentially ‘yes’ by the way, I also found out why. The theory is that humans evolved to be hairless too quickly and for some of us our skin is still producing the amount of oil it would take to keep a healthy coat. See this great article: [link removed]
Why has the rate of adult acne in women been steadily climbing since the 50’s? WHY? They say it’s because of extra stress woman have in this modern era: [link removed]
But I don’t know how accurate that is. Acne has always had a presence in my adult life, stressed, not stressed, whatever.
Anyway, I came across Spironolactone/Aldactone during this time, thought about it and eventually decided to try it. Without your reviews of it I never would have found it, it’s given me some hope (thanks for suggesting it Doc, NOT…). I started a little over a week ago, 50 mg daily, and have had no side effects but I do think I’m experiencing a not-so-great initial breakout. Please let it be INITIAL. I wanted to start on more but my doctor didn’t recommend it, I’m thinking about getting a dermatologist’s opinion, I don’t like my Doc very much. I feel like I know more than he does at this point. I’ll update this post as my treatment continues. Thanks to everyone and for the support of this website.
I've been using Spironolactone for four months now. I'm 21 and the moderate acne on my chest and back I've struggled with since I was 13 is finally gone. I'm getting no new breakouts, just dealing with the post acne dark spots now. I did not get a bad initial breakout like many other reviewers did. I didn't see a change in my acne for better or worse until the 3rd month when I moved from taking two 50mg pills a day to three pills a day. Every topical medication failed to make a dent in improving my body acne. The only thing that worked a little was Yaz birth control. When I realized my acne was hormonal, my dermatologist prescribed Spiro to me. This medication has given me my body back. If you're a woman struggling with body acne and you think it could be related to hormones, I would absolutely ask your dermatologist about Spiro. It takes commitment and time, but it really is the miracle drug people say it is.