Aldactone, a brand-name for the anti-androgen diuretic drug Spironolactone, has properties that can help heal and prevent adult acne caused by a hormone imbalance called hyperaldosteronism by blocking the androgen hormone. If the body produces too much androgen, a naturally occurring steroid, one of the effects of the imbalance can be acne that is very hard to treat. Aldactone is usually prescribed to treat high blood pressure, oedema (water retention) and potassium deficiencies, and is not considered an acne treatment first and foremost; however, if a doctor suspects hyperaldosteronism as a cause of adult acne, it may be prescribed, primarily for women.
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Visit a dermatologist who uses hormone therapy to treat acne or a doctor who specialises in treating hormone imbalances, such as a gynecologist or endocrinologist.
Report other symptoms at your appointment to help make the determination of a hormone imbalance. Symptoms may or may not include weakness, frequent thirst and muscle spasms. Blood tests to check levels of potassium, sodium and aldosterone also help determine androgen hormone imbalance.
Give your doctor a list of any other medicines you are taking. Although Aldactone may be prescribed with other medications, it shouldn't be mixed with drugs such as Lithium, ACE inhibitors, muscle relaxers and NSAIDs. If the doctor decides that Aldactone treatment may be beneficial, you will be given a prescription to fill.
Take Aldactone pills orally as directed. Typically, one pill is taken every day at the same time; in some cases the doctor may prescribe two doses a day, in the morning and evening. Doses usually range from 50 milligrams to 200 milligrams a day. Do not take more than prescribed. Take with food if the dose causes stomach upset.
Repeat taking prescribed dosage daily. It may take several weeks for effects to show. Treatment will include periodic blood tests to check potassium levels; the doctor may alter the dosage according to bloodwork results and/or the effect on the skin. Aldactone may be prescribed for long-term monitored treatment. As long as the hormone imbalance is present, symptoms may return if usage is stopped.
Consume only moderate amounts of potassium-containing foods while taking Aldactone, as it is a potassium-sparing diuretic. Frequent urination is a common side effect; drink enough water during the day to stay hydrated and replace fluids. Consume alcohol only in moderation while taking Aldactone. Topical acne medications can be used during treatment. Birth control pills may be prescribed along with Aldactone to help regulate the menstrual cycle and to prevent pregnancy. Aldactone should never be taken while pregnant or nursing.
Tips and warnings
- If you don't have prescription coverage, ask your doctor for Spironolactone, the generic name for the drug. It is identical to Aldactone but costs much less.
- Do not take Aldactone without a prescription.
- Do not double dose if you miss a pill; if it's near the time of your next dose, skip the missed dose.
- In some cases dizziness can occur when first taking Aldactone. Until you know how the drug will affect you, don't drive soon after taking it.
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