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I developed acne at the age of 32. I was fortunate and had been blessed with clear skin and had never had an issue before so the cystic type acne I was getting around my cheeks and jaw line that would not go away was incredibly traumatic to me emotionally. Nothing I tried would clear it up. I was devastated. I went to a dermatologist for the first time in my life and he told me that the acne was almost certainly hormonal and a result of my IUD (inserted just over a year prior) and that Spironolactone was about the only thing that would work. He was right! He initially put me on a dose of just 50mg a day which took about a month or so to show results, and then worked great for about three of four months. After that time I saw a slight recurrence, not nearly as bad as what I was initially dealing with, but enough that I called my derm. I explained the situation, he upped dosage to 100mg daily and my skin has been gorgeous and clear again ever since (about six months or so now)! This works, period.
So i've been struggling with cystic acne ever since I was 18. My dermatologist prescribed Spiro 2 years ago and it helped my skin. But now I get some chin pimples and they're annoying. Rushing to make an appointment to get another prescription for Spiro. It really worked for me.
I started getting really bad skin in high school and I went through all the usual motions of trying everything and not getting results. After I went on birth control, my skin definitely got under control but every once in a while I would get terrible terrible cysts that were so big they would leave giant purple marks that would almost look as if somebody had struck me across the face.
At a point of desperation I decided to give spiro a try since I am still deathly afraid of accutane. First month on spiro was alright, I can't really say my skin got worse before it got better but it certainly didn't get better right away.
Then, after about the second or third month it was all magic. My skin was not perfect, I'd still get the occasional spot or two but they were whiteheads that would appear over night, ready to be popped and would be gone without leaving marks in a few days. I had no side effects other than having to pee a lot, but I already do that anyway so it wasn't a big deal.
During this time I worked at a pool in the summer, to give you an idea of how well this stuff worked for me, I would work in the hot sun all day, sweat, teach swim lessons in chlorine, and I would come home so tired I would not wash my face and just drop in bed. I'd wake up with perfectly fine skin, no regimen, no topicals, just sleep.
I eventually stopped taking Spironolactone because of the cost. We were paying out of pocket, because our insurance is terrible. It was $90 a month for a derm visit that basically just involved them writing me a prescription (boo!) and then $30 out of pocket for the pills, so a total of $120 a month. I cannot afford to pay this anymore and after some time I decided to let it go and just see if my skin was better!
I have just recently turned 21 and after being off Spiro for about 6 to 7 months, my acne has come back. It's not coming back with a vengeance, but I am repeating the cycle of bad hormonal acne. Just this week, I have seen a re-emergence of 4 cysts, out of the blue on my usual problem spots. I'm using the regimen as usual, loading up the BP as much as I can. As much as I love Dan, it has never been enough to keep me 100% clear.
I am hoping that our new insurance will cover some of the cost and make this more affordable, I am DESPERATE to get my hands on this miracle pill again.
I'd be lying if I said that this did not contribute to clearer skin. However, I'd be lying if I said that this could potentially be a dangerous drug. Ladies, LISTEN TO YOUR BODIES. I was shocked to see some girls on here be taking doses of over 100 mg for months and months! I only took 25 mg for the first month or so, then bumped it up to 50 mg for the second and third months, and now, as of today, it seems that my body is not tolerating it even at 25 mg every other day. When I first started taking it end of december 2013, I experienced common side effects such as thirst, more trips to the bathroom. Then, occasional stomach cramping began. I ignored it, bad idea! The stomach cramping as of the past few weeks has turned into gastric bleeding. Side effects are not meant to be ignored, it is your body's way of telling you that something is wrong. As of today, I have decided to stop taking this drug altogether. We don't know exactly WHAT these pills are going in and doing, so don't ignore your body and don't risk your overall health for acne . Acne comes and goes, health comes first. I actually looked it up and found that gastric bleeding is a potential, serious side effect of this drug! It has never happened before in my life! I'll be looking into more natural, less damaging ways to lower my testosterone levels.
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.