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3 months on spironolactone: acne is worse, no periods, dry mouth and irritability: should I wean myself off?

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Hi all,

I am a 24 yo female who has dealt with mild acne since puberty, however, since going off birth control (Apri) in fall of 2017 my face has completely erupted. I used to get small, controlled breakouts around the time of my period on my chin or forehead, but within the last 8 months I’ve continuously broken out all over my cheeks, jawline, and chin. 

Obviously guessing that my acne was hormonal, I’ve tried a brief stint of spiro 100Mg a day and doxycycline prescribed to me by a dermatologist back in April, only to be terrified at the IB 1 month in that destroyed both cheeks. Of course I freaked out and immediately went off.  And for the entire month of July, I had pretty mild acne-my skin was looking a lot better. 

Obviously, this did not last. Idk if I should chalk that up to the doxy or if I was eating a cleaner diet back then but, in september, I started seeing a bad breakout of maybe 15-20 papules and a few cysts confined to my right cheek and chin. Desperate for clear skin, I decided to give spiro another go.

My PCP prescribed me spiro 50mg 2x a day at the end of sept 2018. Within two months the breakout had multiplied to cover both cheeks, chin, and jawline. It’s been about three months on spiro now and  I also have been mildly breaking out on my back. On top of that, I haven’t gotten my period since the end of October and my anxiety has flared up worse than it’s been in over a year. I constantly have a dry mouth and am extremely thirsty. It is now Dec 27th and I’m really trying to be patient and trust the process but I can’t help thinking that maybe spiro is doing more harm than good. 

I’ve tried every OTC imaginable in trying to combat my skin; I’ve went on AHA/BHA, retinols, you name it. realizing salicylic acid and benz treatments made my skin much more inflamed has helped some. Currently, My skincare routine consists of-


wash with Kiehls, apply kiehls gentle toner. Alternating nights with differin, and cerave pm. 


wash with cerave hydrating cleanser, apply first aid beauty’s facial radiance pad, apply cetaphil dry skin daily lotion. 

I’ve also been steaming my face twice a week and applying kiehls rare earth mud mask. 

I spend so much time combing through the acne.org forum for similar acne experiences that I figured I should just post about my own journey to see if anyone has experienced similar side effects with sprionolactone. it seems to be doing more harm than good. I’m really concerned about how it’s messed with my menstrual cycle. I had just finally gotten my period to regulate after going off BC, and now I’m freaking out taking preg tests because I simply just do not get it. 

My skin is the worst it’s ever been. Should I stick it out for a few more months? I also hate the idea of being reliant on a medication with so many side effects.  That anxious part of me that fears an even more monstrous break out if I stop spiro cold turkey has got me stuck.

any advice would be greatly appreciated!! :)

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I have not been one the medication you are currently on, but I have been on Accutane for 5months now and I haven't gotten my period for 3months. I also have all the same symptoms you have. I think I should cold Turkey and just get off this medication but I don't want my Acne to come back either. My advice to you would be to get off the meds as soon as possible. Then go to an OBGYN  to talk about hormone unbalance. This might be the cause of your acne. Hope this helps!!:)

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Spiro did not work for me I gave it the 3/4 months that everyone recommends and I felt it made my acne worse. If it hasn’t worked in this long I don’t think it will. The fact it affected your period is really bad. I would def get off. 


I just wrote a post about fermented cod liver oil. It cleared my persistent cystic hormonal acne. Read it if you like :) good Luck! 

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Hi, I have been on Spiro for about 8 months now, just 50mg/day. I definitely experienced the initial breakout in unusual places and then gradually my skin got better. I also felt more anxious and had trouble sleeping when I took it at night but that stopped when I switched to morning. My skin felt less oily early on but the acne itself took a while longer. I think 6 months would be around when I saw results and now it's the best it's been in a long time. I personally think the best way to go with spironolactone is to start small and be patient (even though it's extremely frustrating!). 

I've had small irregularities in my periods but nothing major. Perhaps you started too strong too soon?

I don't know where you live, but in Australia I've discovered Azelaic acid (Azclear) which is cheap from pharmacies and is really helping as well. This combo has been a god send for me.

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