Jump to content
Acne.org
Search In
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
JMB79

Spironolactone/Aldactone and Potassium Problems?

Hey everyone. I'm new to the forum. I've been reading everyone's posts and I love that everyone on here is so supportive and helpful. I've struggled with hormonal/cystic acne since I was 16. The only thing that has ever worked for me was BCPs. So, for the past 13 years I've moved from one BCP to another. After so many years of being on one BCP I would build up a tolerance to it, my skin would break out horribly, then I would change my pills and it would be clear for another 3-5 years. Well, it's happening again. I went to my dermatologist and he told me to get on Yaz. I went to my OBGYN and he recommended I take spironolactone with my current BCP because it's just as effective and cheaper than YAZ every month. My issues is this....I'm not so sure he understands the medication. For example, he told me it would decrease my potassium levels and that I should eat higher potassium foods. Well, I've done a lot of research on it and discovered its the complete opposite and eating higher potassium foods could be deadly. He also didn't mention anything about regular blood tests to ensure that my potassium levels were okay, which has been recommended in all the info I've read on the drug. Also, he put me on 200mg a day for 30 days and then drop down to 100mg. Does that seem right? Everyone seems to do the opposite, start low and work up to a higher dosage.

So, I'm wondering if any of you guys have been put on that high of a dosage? How often do you have your blood checked? I know I need to avoid high potassium foods. So, should I avoid them completely or just eat them occasionally? Has anyone had problems with their blood potassium levels on spiro?

I'm sorry this is such a long post but I just want to make sure I do the right thing. Thanks for your help!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are absolutely right; spironolactone is a potassium sparing diuretic, meaning that it prevents potassium from being eliminated from the body. Therefore, potassium levels will potentially be higher than normal which is why it is important to pay close attention to any foods that are rich in potassium.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey everyone. I'm new to the forum. I've been reading everyone's posts and I love that everyone on here is so supportive and helpful. I've struggled with hormonal/cystic acne since I was 16. The only thing that has ever worked for me was BCPs. So, for the past 13 years I've moved from one BCP to another. After so many years of being on one BCP I would build up a tolerance to it, my skin would break out horribly, then I would change my pills and it would be clear for another 3-5 years. Well, it's happening again. I went to my dermatologist and he told me to get on Yaz. I went to my OBGYN and he recommended I take spironolactone with my current BCP because it's just as effective and cheaper than YAZ every month. My issues is this....I'm not so sure he understands the medication. For example, he told me it would decrease my potassium levels and that I should eat higher potassium foods. Well, I've done a lot of research on it and discovered its the complete opposite and eating higher potassium foods could be deadly. He also didn't mention anything about regular blood tests to ensure that my potassium levels were okay, which has been recommended in all the info I've read on the drug. Also, he put me on 200mg a day for 30 days and then drop down to 100mg. Does that seem right? Everyone seems to do the opposite, start low and work up to a higher dosage.

So, I'm wondering if any of you guys have been put on that high of a dosage? How often do you have your blood checked? I know I need to avoid high potassium foods. So, should I avoid them completely or just eat them occasionally? Has anyone had problems with their blood potassium levels on spiro?

I'm sorry this is such a long post but I just want to make sure I do the right thing. Thanks for your help!

You just proved to me how helpful the boards are. Are you sure he told you to eat MORE potassium rich foods? That is just unbelievable. Good luck with it though. Most people think that 200 mgs. is the silver bullet. Might be more conservative to start low but I would go for it. Especially since you have a doc prescribing it. It will be interesting if adding spiro helps you be on the same bc pill long term. Which ones have you been on? DD has the orders to get her blood checked but she hasn't gone yet. It always seems to come out normal when she has gone. I may have to bribe her ha ha. I think it's important.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah he told me to eat more bananas, drink orange juice, etc. I'm so glad I did my research on the drug. I always want to make sure I know exactly what I'm putting in my body. I always felt like I was neurotic for doing it but this time it definitely paid off. He was an older OBGYN and I'm guessing he doesn't prescribe it too often because he had to look it up in his physicians desk reference. I had some blood work done a few weeks ago (before being prescribed this med) by my primary care doc but I'm not sure if he tested potassium levels at all. I think I'm just going to try and avoid high potassium foods and monitor what happens. If anything freaky happens, though, I'm heading straight to the doc's office for blood work.

As for the BCPs, right now I'm on Apri which the generic version of Desogen. I've also been on ortho-tri cyclen, ortho-tri cyclen low, Loestrin,....and I can't remember what came before those. LOL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah he told me to eat more bananas, drink orange juice, etc. I'm so glad I did my research on the drug. I always want to make sure I know exactly what I'm putting in my body. I always felt like I was neurotic for doing it but this time it definitely paid off. He was an older OBGYN and I'm guessing he doesn't prescribe it too often because he had to look it up in his physicians desk reference. I had some blood work done a few weeks ago (before being prescribed this med) by my primary care doc but I'm not sure if he tested potassium levels at all. I think I'm just going to try and avoid high potassium foods and monitor what happens. If anything freaky happens, though, I'm heading straight to the doc's office for blood work.

As for the BCPs, right now I'm on Apri which the generic version of Desogen. I've also been on ortho-tri cyclen, ortho-tri cyclen low, Loestrin,....and I can't remember what came before those. LOL

Yikes! I'm on Yasmin and I think I better watch my potassium in take. I don't have health insurance, but I do get to go to a clinic in my town. I'm also going to ask her for Spiro on my next appointment. (Aug 4). I always eat bananas and drink a glass of OJ once a day. I'll DEF cut out bananas and have 1 like twice a week. :cry:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I only take 25mg a day and for the first few months, I watched what I ate because I was afraid of eating too much potassium but after that, I had enough and just ate what I want, when I want. When my six month checkup arrived, I had my potassium levels checked and they were the exact same as when I first went to see my endocrinologist.

I had asked him during that second appointment if I should be concerned about my potassium levels rising because of these pills and he said that I would only have to worry about my K levels rising if I was taking 200-400mg a day. For those on Yaz/Yasmin, the amount of spiro in those pills are 25mg so you really don't have to worry. Spironolactone is a weak diuretic so in order for potassium levels to rise, you'd have to take a high dosage every day and even then there's no guarantee that they will get worse. I believe that there is a member here that has been taking 200mg a day for a few years and they eat all the potassium they want and they've never had any problems when they get bloodwork done. I just can't remember that person's username. :doh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I only take 25mg a day and for the first few months, I watched what I ate because I was afraid of eating too much potassium but after that, I had enough and just ate what I want, when I want. When my six month checkup arrived, I had my potassium levels checked and they were the exact same as when I first went to see my endocrinologist.

I had asked him during that second appointment if I should be concerned about my potassium levels rising because of these pills and he said that I would only have to worry about my K levels rising if I was taking 200-400mg a day. For those on Yaz/Yasmin, the amount of spiro in those pills are 25mg so you really don't have to worry. Spironolactone is a weak diuretic so in order for potassium levels to rise, you'd have to take a high dosage every day and even then there's no guarantee that they will get worse. I believe that there is a member here that has been taking 200mg a day for a few years and they eat all the potassium they want and they've never had any problems when they get bloodwork done. I just can't remember that person's username. :doh:

Hey CalypsoStorm, thanks for you input, actually gave me some reinsurance. I keep thinking my BCP is causing me all these weird symptoms because I read what it's doing to others. :think: I think I just need to stop reading them and focus on myself. I'm looking forward to taking Spiro, just scared of the IB. :shock: Didn't happen with Yasmin though, just brought up my DEEP whiteheads that have been on my face for well over 6 months. Anyway, thanks! :angel:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All of the information I've received on here has been wonderful! Thanks to everyone for their help. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, the advice here is pretty correct. As a doctor (trainee OBGYN) who has been on spiro for 1.5yrs, I agree with just about everything. Your doctor sounds clueless and a real worry.

You should start low - 25mg if possible, and increase after 1-3 months if necessary. Starting at 50-100mg is not dangerous, but may be unnecessary. It is very unlikely you will have hyperkalaemia (high potassium) on low doses, but cautious dermatologists may recommend you have blood taken after a month or two.

Spiro has cleared me up 90% and reduced my oil also by 90%. If I take 50mg, I'm completely clear, but I don't like the extra diuretic effect and feel a bit dehydrated.

Hope this helps!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi, the advice here is pretty correct. As a doctor (trainee OBGYN) who has been on spiro for 1.5yrs, I agree with just about everything. Your doctor sounds clueless and a real worry.

You should start low - 25mg if possible, and increase after 1-3 months if necessary. Starting at 50-100mg is not dangerous, but may be unnecessary. It is very unlikely you will have hyperkalaemia (high potassium) on low doses, but cautious dermatologists may recommend you have blood taken after a month or two.

Spiro has cleared me up 90% and reduced my oil also by 90%. If I take 50mg, I'm completely clear, but I don't like the extra diuretic effect and feel a bit dehydrated.

Hope this helps!

Melissa, are you also taking birth control with your spiro? Do you know if spiro causes anxiety?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi, the advice here is pretty correct. As a doctor (trainee OBGYN) who has been on spiro for 1.5yrs, I agree with just about everything. Your doctor sounds clueless and a real worry.

You should start low - 25mg if possible, and increase after 1-3 months if necessary. Starting at 50-100mg is not dangerous, but may be unnecessary. It is very unlikely you will have hyperkalaemia (high potassium) on low doses, but cautious dermatologists may recommend you have blood taken after a month or two.

Spiro has cleared me up 90% and reduced my oil also by 90%. If I take 50mg, I'm completely clear, but I don't like the extra diuretic effect and feel a bit dehydrated.

Hope this helps!

It's always exciting a reassuring to have a real medical person on here. How long did it take you to clear up when you first began? Also, do you think it works as well the second time around? Or would there be any reason why it shouldn't work. My daughter cleared completely the first time within like 5 months but this time it seems like it's going more slowly. She is just beginning the 4th month.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi, the advice here is pretty correct. As a doctor (trainee OBGYN) who has been on spiro for 1.5yrs, I agree with just about everything. Your doctor sounds clueless and a real worry.

You should start low - 25mg if possible, and increase after 1-3 months if necessary. Starting at 50-100mg is not dangerous, but may be unnecessary. It is very unlikely you will have hyperkalaemia (high potassium) on low doses, but cautious dermatologists may recommend you have blood taken after a month or two.

Spiro has cleared me up 90% and reduced my oil also by 90%. If I take 50mg, I'm completely clear, but I don't like the extra diuretic effect and feel a bit dehydrated.

Hope this helps!

Melissa, are you also taking birth control with your spiro? Do you know if spiro causes anxiety?

Spiro is very unlikely to cause anxiety. I'm not using oral BCP, but a Mirena IUD (progesterone-only).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi, the advice here is pretty correct. As a doctor (trainee OBGYN) who has been on spiro for 1.5yrs, I agree with just about everything. Your doctor sounds clueless and a real worry.

You should start low - 25mg if possible, and increase after 1-3 months if necessary. Starting at 50-100mg is not dangerous, but may be unnecessary. It is very unlikely you will have hyperkalaemia (high potassium) on low doses, but cautious dermatologists may recommend you have blood taken after a month or two.

Spiro has cleared me up 90% and reduced my oil also by 90%. If I take 50mg, I'm completely clear, but I don't like the extra diuretic effect and feel a bit dehydrated.

Hope this helps!

It's always exciting a reassuring to have a real medical person on here. How long did it take you to clear up when you first began? Also, do you think it works as well the second time around? Or would there be any reason why it shouldn't work. My daughter cleared completely the first time within like 5 months but this time it seems like it's going more slowly. She is just beginning the 4th month.

It took maybe 2-3 months for maximum effect on the 25mg. Increasing to 50mg, I noticed a difference within a week or two. There's no reason it shouldn't work the second time around, but as you probably know, everyone is different, and each time a medication is tried the results may be different too. I would definitely keep at it! Using a topical also helped me (diacneal). My advice is intended only in the spirit of general helpfulness, as with all posters... :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Personalized Advice Quiz - All of Acne.org in just a few minutes


×