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SPIRONOLACTONE

Brand Name(s) : Aldactone, Aldactide (co-flumactone (spironolactone and hydroflumethiazide)), Lasilactone (spironolactone and furosemide)
Warnings
Uses
Side Effects
Precautions
Interactions
Overdose

SPIRONOLACTONE WARNINGS

Before taking spironolactone, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other potassium-sparing diuretics; or if you have any other allergies.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions:

  • any severe illness, cirrhosis, porphyria (an inherited condition that affects red blood cells leading to blisters, abdominalpain and other symptoms).

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following:

  • A diet high in potassium, a low level of blood sodium, problems urinating, and if you have or have ever had excess acid in the body. Additionally, you should also talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breastfeeding.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

Does alcohol intake affect this drug?

  • Alcohol is not known to affect this drug

The elderly: spironolactone can be used in the elderly.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding - please ensure you read the detailed information below

Also see list of precautions and interactions.

STORAGE

Keep your tablets in a cool, dry place, below 30°C.

SPIRONOLACTONE USES

Spironolactone is used for a variety of conditions. It belongs to a class of drugs called potassium-sparing diuretics, also known as water tablets.

In general, it is used to rid the body of excess fluid (oedema).

Benefits of being on this drug include reduction in oedema. When used in combination with other drugs, it may prolong life in patients with advanced heart failure.

Listed below are the typical uses of spironolactone:

  • Treatment of oedema or abdominal swelling (ascites), due to liver disease (cirrhosis)
  • Treatment of malignant ascites, a cancerous disease in which the abdomen swells up
  • Treatment of symptoms in nephrotic syndrome, a kidney disorder that leads to symptoms such as protein in the urine
  • Treatment of congestive heart failure, a condition in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body's needs
  • Treatment of the symptoms of primary hyperaldosteronism, a condition in which the adrenal glands produce too much hormone

HOW TO USE/TAKE

How often do I take it?

  • Your doctor will tell you how often to take spironolactone. The number of tablets or capsules, or amount of liquid you need will depend on your condition and the brand your doctor has given you. It should be swallowed with food.

What dose?

  • Dosage is based on your age, medical condition, response to therapy, and use of certain interacting medicines.

Do I need to avoid anything?

  • You should take care if you drive or operate machinery as spironolactone may affect your ability to do these activities safely. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

When can I stop?

  • It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well, unless your doctor tells you to stop.

SPIRONOLACTONE SIDE EFFECTS

  • Nausea
  • Stomach upset
  • Liver damage
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • High blood calcium
  • Kidney failure
  • Reduced number of white cells that fight infection (leucopoenia); reduced number of cells that help blood to clot (thrombocytopenia)
  • Breast enlargement in men (this disappears when spironolactone is stopped)
  • Menstrual problems in women
  • Change in sex drive for both men and women
  • Breast lumps
  • Breast pain
  • Deep voices in women
  • Skin rash
  • Itchiness
  • Skinallergy leading to itchiness and weals (urticaria)
  • Excessive hair growth
  • Hair loss
  • General weakness
  • Muscle cramps

If any of these persist or you consider them severe then stop taking the medication and inform your doctor.

Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following:

  • Itching and blisters on the skin around the lips and body (Stevens-Johnson syndrome)
  • Yellow skin and eyes (jaundice) due to impaired liver function
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Tingling
  • Paralysis
  • Your doctor will conduct regular blood tests to monitor potassium and other electrolyte levels. He or she may stop treatment if necessary.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any type of medicine (which includes vaccines, herbals and over the counter medicines) that you are taking. It is run by the medicines safety watchdog called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory agency (MHRA). Please report any suspected side effect on the Yellow Card Scheme website.

SPIRONOLACTONE PRECAUTIONS

Before taking spironolactone, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other potassium-sparing diuretics; or if you have any other allergies.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions:

  • any severe illness, cirrhosis, porphyria (an inherited condition that affects red blood cells leading to blisters, abdominal pain and other symptoms).

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following:

  • a diet high in potassium, a low level of blood sodium, problems urinating, and if you have or have ever had excess acid in the body. Additionally, you should also talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breastfeeding.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

Does alcohol intake affect this drug?

  • No.

The elderly: spironolactone can be used in the elderly.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding - please ensure you read the detailed information below

PREGNANCY

Spironolactone is suitable to take during pregnancy. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any doubts or questions about this.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during pregnancy whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

BREAST FEEDING

Spironolactone metabolites are passed into breast milk in small amounts

It is sensible to limit use of medication during breastfeeding whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

SPIRONOLACTONE INTERACTIONS

Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.

  • If you are currently using any of these medications, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting spironolactone.
  • Blood pressure lowering medicines (antihypertensives) such as ACE inhibitors (such as captopril)
  • angiotensin-II receptor antagonists (such as losartan or valsartan)
  • Chlorpropamide (a diabetes medication)
  • Digoxin (for some heart conditions)
  • Ciclosporin or tacrolimus (used in organ transplants, rheumatoid arthritis, eczema or psoriasis)
  • Corticosteroids
  • Warfarin (a medication to thin the blood)
  • Other potassium-sparing diuretics (water tablets)
  • Lithium (used to treat some mental illnesses)
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as mefenamic acid
  • Aspirin (for pain, inflammation and high temperature)
  • Potassium supplements
  • Noradrenaline (norepinephrine) (for low blood pressure or heart problems)
  • General anaesthetics
  • Carbenoxolone (for ulcers)
This information does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using spironolactone, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use.

SPIRONOLACTONE OVERDOSE

The symptoms of an overdose of spironolactone are feeling drowsy and dizzy. You may also feel or be sick or may suffer from diarrhoea.

If you think you, or someone you care for, might have accidentally taken more than the recommended dose of spironolactone or intentional overdose is suspected, contact your local hospital, GP or if in England call 111. In Scotland call NHS 24. In Wales, call NHS Direct Wales. In the case of medical emergencies, always dial 999.

MISSED DOSE

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

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Source: Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by Boots UK Limited or TicTac Communications Ltd. This copyrighted material is sourced from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, except as may be authorised by the applicable terms of use.
CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse events, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular medicine is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any medicine, changing any diet, or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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