Spironolactone, Oral speer-on-oh-LAK-tone

What are other names for this medicine?

Type of medicine: potassium-sparing diuretic

Generic and brand names: spironolactone, oral; Aldactone

What is this medicine used for?

This medicine is a diuretic taken by mouth to remove excess water from your body without removing potassium. It is usually given along with another type of diuretic.

It is taken to lower high blood pressure or to treat heart failure or other conditions. This medicine may be used for other conditions as determined by your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider will explain why you are taking this medicine.

What should my healthcare provider know before I take this medicine?

Before taking this medicine, tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had:

  • an allergic reaction to any medicine
  • diabetes
  • high levels of potassium in the blood
  • kidney disease or kidney stones
  • liver disease
  • trouble urinating or an enlarged prostate

Tell your healthcare provider if you are taking potassium supplements or using other diuretics.

Females of childbearing age: Talk with your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Do not breast-feed while taking this medicine without your healthcare provider's approval.

How do I take it?

Check the label on the medicine for directions about your specific dose. Take this medicine exactly as your healthcare provider prescribes. Do not stop taking this medicine without your healthcare provider's approval. Take the medicine at the same time each day to help you remember to take it.

This medicine may increase how much and how often you urinate. Take the last dose of the day before 6 PM to avoid interrupting your sleep at night.

Take this medicine with food. Taking it with meals may lessen the chance the drug will upset your stomach.

What if I miss a dose?

Do not miss doses. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless it is almost time for the next scheduled dose. In that case, skip the missed dose and take the next one as directed. Do not take double doses. If you are not sure of what to do if you miss a dose, or if you miss more than one dose, contact your healthcare provider.

What if I overdose?

If you or anyone else has intentionally taken too much of this medicine, call 911 or go to the emergency room right away. If you pass out, have seizures, weakness or confusion, or have trouble breathing, call 911. If you think that you or anyone else may have taken too much of this medicine, call the poison control center. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. The poison control center number is 800-222-1222.

Symptoms of an acute overdose may include: dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, dry mouth, increased urination, diarrhea, confusion, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, weakness, slow heartbeat.

What should I watch out for?

Usually you will not take a potassium supplement while you are taking this medicine. Discuss this with your healthcare provider so that you do not get too much potassium.

You should avoid salt substitutes that contain potassium, low-salt milk, and limit food that is high in potassium. Follow the diet and exercise program your healthcare provider recommends.

You will need to have blood tests regularly to see how this medicine affects you. Keep all appointments for these tests.

This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive or operate machinery unless you are fully alert.

You may feel dizzy or faint when you get up quickly after sitting or lying down. Getting up slowly may help. Also, drinking alcohol may make it worse. Do not drink alcohol unless your healthcare provider approves.

This medicine has caused tumors in laboratory animals. Talk with your healthcare provider about this.

If you develop hives, an itchy rash, or peeling skin, stop taking the medicine and contact your provider right away.

This medicine may cause erectile dysfunction (trouble having and keeping an erection) or decrease your sex drive. These effects are usually temporary.

If you need emergency care, surgery, or dental work, tell the healthcare provider or dentist you are taking this medicine.

Be careful when exercising, especially in hot weather. You may get dehydrated while taking this medicine, which can cause serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider about this.

Adults over the age of 65 may be at greater risk for side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider about this.

What are the possible side effects?

Along with its needed effects, your medicine may cause some unwanted side effects. Some side effects may be very serious. Some side effects may go away as your body adjusts to the medicine. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that continue or get worse.

Life-threatening (Report these to your healthcare provider right away. If you cannot reach your healthcare provider right away, get emergency medical care or call 911 for help): Allergic reaction (hives; itching; severe rash; trouble breathing; tightness in your chest; swelling of your lips, tongue, and throat).

Serious (report these to your healthcare provider right away): Rash, itching, burning or tingling sensation, tongue irritation, sore throat, fever, cough, muscle weakness or cramps, tiredness, breast enlargement in men, stomach pain, severe vomiting or diarrhea, back pain, slow or irregular heartbeat, trouble urinating, very dry mouth, yellowish skin or eyes, blisters or peeling skin.

Other: Dizziness, diarrhea, constipation, dry mouth, thirst, stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, menstrual abnormalities, headache.

What products might interact with this medicine?

When you take this medicine with other medicines, it can change the way this or any of the other medicines work. Nonprescription medicines, vitamins, natural remedies, and certain foods may also interact. Using these products together might cause harmful side effects. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking:

  • ACE inhibitors such as benazepril (Lotensin), captopril, enalapril (Vasotec), fosinopril, lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), quinapril (Accupril), and ramipril (Altace)
  • antiarrhythmics (medicines to treat irregular heartbeat) such as dofetilide (Tikosyn) and quinidine
  • aspirin and other salicylates
  • barbiturates such as pentobarbital (Nembutal) and phenobarbital
  • corticosteroids such as betamethasone (Celestone), cortisone, dexamethasone, fludrocortisone (Florinef), hydrocortisone (Cortef), methylprednisolone (Medrol), prednisolone (Orapred), prednisone, and triamcinolone (Aristospan, Kenalog)
  • digoxin (Lanoxin)
  • drospirenone/ethinyl estradiol (Yasmin)
  • eplerenone (Inspra)
  • angiotensin receptor II blockers such as candesartan (Atacand), eprosartan (Teveten), irbesartan (Avapro), losartan (Cozaar), olmesartan (Benicar), telmisartan (Micardis), and valsartan (Diovan)
  • natural remedies such as bayberry, black cohosh, blue cohosh, California poppy, ephedra, ginger, ginseng, goldenseal, gotu kola, hawthorn, shepherd's purse, and natural licorice
  • immunosuppressants such as cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune, Gengraf) and tacrolimus (Prograf)
  • lithium (Lithobid)
  • narcotics such as codeine, morphine, hydrocodone (Vicodin), and oxycodone (Percocet, Tylox)
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) such as diclofenac (Voltaren), ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), indomethacin (Indocin), ketoprofen, ketorolac (Toradol), nabumetone (Relafen), naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprosyn), piroxicam (Feldene), and sulindac (Clinoril)
  • other diuretics such as amiloride/hydrochlorothiazide (Moduretic), bumetanide, furosemide (Lasix), torsemide (Demadex), hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide), spironolactone/hydrochlorothiazide (Aldactazide), and triamterene/hydrochlorothiazide (Dyazide, Maxzide)
  • potassium supplements, salt substitutes, or foods that are high in potassium (such as low-sodium milk)

Do not drink alcohol while you are taking this medicine unless your healthcare provider approves.

If you are not sure if your medicines might interact, ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider. Keep a list of all your medicines with you. List all the prescription medicines, nonprescription medicines, supplements, natural remedies, and vitamins that you take. Be sure that you tell all healthcare providers who treat you about all the products you are taking.

How should I store this medicine?

Store this medicine at room temperature. Keep the container tightly closed. Protect it from heat, high humidity, and bright light.

This advisory includes selected information only and may not include all side effects of this medicine or interactions with other medicines. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for more information or if you have any questions.

Ask your pharmacist for the best way to dispose of outdated medicine or medicine you have not used. Do not throw medicine in the trash.

Keep all medicines out of the reach of children.

Do not share medicines with other people.

Developed by RelayHealth.
Medication Advisor 2012.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2011-10-14
Last reviewed: 2010-11-04
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
© 2012 RelayHealth and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.