Spironolactone

Antiandrogen

The following side effects are expected to occur with the use of spironolactone. Contact your doctor if these symptoms are severe and/or do not go away:

How Common (based on clinical studies)

Irregular menstrual periods and other menstrual disturbancesUp to 80% of all users
Breast pain or tendernessUp to 38.95% of all users
Dry skinUp to 38.9% of all users
Increased urinationUp to 29% of all users
Breast enlargementUp to 24.1% of all users
Nausea and/or vomitingUp to 20.4% of all users
Tiredness or drowsinessUp to 15% of all users
Changes in sex driveUp to 15% of all users
Increase in blood potassium levelsUp to 13.7% of all users
HeadacheUp to 13% of all users
Skin pigmentationUp to 3.7% of users
Swelling in lower legs and feet due to fluid collectionUp to 2.2% of all users
Abdominal pain, discomfort, or crampsUnknown
Postmenopausal vaginal bleedingUnknown
Difficulty with sexual performance in menUnknown
Voice changes (usually deepening)Unknown
Increased unwanted hair growthUnknown
Feelings of restlessnessUnknown
Diarrhea or watery stoolsUnknown

Spironolactone may cause some side effects that are serious. If you experience any of the following, get in touch with your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical treatment:

  • Cold or flu-like symptoms
  • A sudden appearance of swelling and rash (known as hives)
  • Severe itching
  • Trouble breathing or swallowing
  • Fainting episodes
  • Vomiting blood
  • Extreme tiredness or low energy levels
  • Pain, cramps, or weakness in muscles
  • Abnormal heartbeat
  • Loss of appetite
  • Blood in stools
  • Rash on any part of the body
  • Sudden inability to move the arms and legs
  • Severe nausea
  • Abnormal bruising or bleeding
  • Confusion
  • Yellow discoloration of eyes or skin
  • Numbness, pain, tingling, or burning sensations in the hands or feet
  • Signs of dehydration: persistent headache, dizziness, feeling unsteady, dry mouth, and increased thirst
  • Pain in the upper right part of the abdomen
  • Decrease in urination

Spironolactone may also cause other side effects that are not mentioned here. Contact your doctor if you experience any other troublesome symptoms when using spironolactone.

References
  1. Uptodate; spironolactone. Available from: https://www.uptodate.com/contents/spironolactone-drug-information?source=search_result&search=spironolactone&selectedTitle=1~150. Last cited 9 December, 2016
  2. Goodfellow, A., et al. Oral spironolactone improves acne vulgaris and reduces sebum excretion. Br. J. Dermatol. 111, 209-214 (1984).
  3. Muhlemann, M.F., Carter, G.D., Cream, J.J., & Wise, P. Oral spironolactone: an effective treatment for acne vulgaris in women. Br. J. Dermatol. 115, 227-232 (1986).
  4. Hughes B.R. and Cunliffe W.J. Tolerance of spironolactone. Br. J. Dermatol. 118, 687-691 (1988).
  5. Lubbos, H.G., Hasinski, S., Rose, LI, and Pollock, J. Adverse effects of spironolactone therapy in women with acne. Arch Dermatol. 134(9), 1162-1163 (1998).
  6. Shaw, J.C. Low-dose adjunctive spironolactone in the treatment of acne in women: a retrospective analysis of 85 consecutively treated patients. J. Am. Acad.Dermatol. 43, 498-502 (2000).
  7. Shaw, J.C., and White, L.E. Long-term safety of spironolactone in acne: results of an 8-year follow-up study. J. Cutan. Med. Surg. 6(6), 541-545 (2002).
  8. Yemisci, A., Gorgulu, A., & Piskin, S. Effects and side-effects of spironolactone therapy in women with acne. J. Eur. Acad. Dermatol. Venereol. 19, 163-166 (2005).
  9. Sato, K., et al. Anti-androgenic therapy using oral spironolactone for acne vulgaris in Asians. Aest. Plast. Surg. 30, 689-694 (2006).