Drug Class: What is Spironolactone and why is it prescribed?
Spironolactone Mechanism: How does Spironolactone work?
Spironolactone Dosage: How should you take Spironolactone?
Possible food and drug interactions when taking Spironolactone
Special information on Spironolactone
Possible side effects of Spironolactone
|Drug Class: What is Spironolactone and why is it prescribed?|
|Spironolactone is a blood pressure medication. It flushes excess salt and water from the body and controls high blood pressure. Spironolactone is used in the diagnosis and treatment of hyperaldosteronism, a condition in which the adrenal gland secretes too much aldosterone (a hormone that regulates the body s salt and potassium levels). Spironolactone is also used in treating other conditions that require the elimination of excess fluid from the body. These conditions include congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, cirrhosis of the liver, kidney disease, and unusually low potassium levels in the blood. When used for high blood pressure, Spironolactone can be taken alone or with other high blood pressure medications. If you have high blood pressure, you must take Spironolactone regularly for it to be effective. Since blood pressure declines gradually, it may be several weeks before you get the full benefit of Spironolactone; and you must continue taking it even if you are feeling well. Spironolactone does not cure high blood pressure; it merely keeps it under control.|
|Spironolactone Mechanism: How does Spironolactone work?|
|One of the main functions of the kidneys is to retain salt (sodium chloride) and water. In patients with heart failure and cirrhosis, increased levels of a hormone produced by the adrenal glands, called aldosterone, causes salt and fluid retention by the kidneys. Spironolactone inhibits the action of aldosterone causing the kidneys to excrete salt and fluid while retaining potassium. Therefore, Spironolactone is classified as a potassium-sparing medication that promotes the output of urine (diuretic).|
|Spironolactone Dosage: How should you take Spironolactone?|
|Take Spironolactone exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Stopping Spironolactone suddenly could cause your condition to worsen. If you miss a dose: Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never take 2 doses at the same time. Storage instructions: Store at room temperature. Preparations: Tablets (25mg, 50mg, and 100mg).|
|Possible food and drug interactions when taking Spironolactone|
|If Spironolactone is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Spironolactone with the following: ACE inhibitors such as Vasotec and Capoten, Alcohol, Barbiturates such as phenobarbital and Seconal, Digoxin (Lanoxin), Indomethacin (Indocin), Lithium (Lithonate), Narcotic drugs such as those containing codeine, Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Advil, Aleve, and Motrin, Norepinephrine (Levophed), Other water pills such as Lasix and HydroDIURIL, Other high blood pressure medications such as Aldomet and Procardia XL, Steroids such as prednisone|
|Special information on Spironolactone|
|The effects of Spironolactone during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Spironolactone appears in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If Spironolactone medication is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until your treatment with this medication is finished. Potassium supplements or other diuretics that leave your potassium levels high, such as Maxzide, should not be used while taking Spironolactone, unless specifically indicated by your doctor. Symptoms of excess potassium include tingling sensations, fatigue, muscle weakness or paralysis, and a slow heartbeat. If you develop these problems, call your doctor immediately. ACE inhibitors (Vasotec, Capoten), used for blood pressure and heart failure, should not be taken while using Spironolactone. If you are taking Spironolactone, your kidney function should be given a complete assessment and should continue to be monitored. If you have liver disease, your doctor will be cautious about using this medication. Excessive sweating, severe diarrhea, or vomiting could cause you to lose too much water and cause your blood pressure to become too low. Signs of dehydration include thirst, dry mouth, weakness, drowsiness, muscle fatigue, muscle cramps, restlessness, reduced urination, and a rapid heartbeat. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids whenever dehydration threatens, and be careful when exercising in hot weather. Notify your doctor or dentist that you are taking Spironolactone if you have a medical emergency, and before you have surgery or dental treatment.|
|Possible side effects of Spironolactone|
|Side effects of Spironolactone cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Spironolactone. Side effects may include: Abdominal cramps, breast development in males, change in potassium levels (leading to such symptoms as dry mouth, excessive thirst, weak or irregular heartbeat, and muscle pain or cramps), deepening of voice, diarrhea, drowsiness, excessive hairiness, fever, headache, hives, irregular menstruation, kidney problems, lack of coordination, lethargy, liver problems, mental confusion, postmenopausal bleeding, severe allergic reaction, sexual dysfunction, skin eruptions, stomach bleeding, stomach inflammation, ulcers, vomiting.|
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