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Spironolactone

USES

This medication is mainly used to treat heart failure and high blood pressure.

It can also be used to treat the symptoms of PCOS in women such as hirsutism (excessive growth of hair on the face and under the chin) and menstrual irregularities.

IUPAC name:  7α-Acetylthio-17α-hydroxy-3-oxopregn-4-ene-21-carboxylic acid γ-lactone.

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Drug class: Antiandrogenic antimineralocorticoid

Brand name: Aldactone

Is it a drug that needs a prescription? YES

Is it an OTC drug? NO

Mechanism of action

This medication is a type of diuretic which helps to remove excess fluid from the body. It is also an anti-androgen, it works by blocking the androgen receptors, including hair follicles receptor, which inhibits testosterone from binding. Thus preventing hirsutism. It also reduces the production of androgen from the ovaries and adrenal glands.

Side effects

This medication can cause hyperkalemia (high potassium level) which leads to kidney disease.

Other common side effects of spironolactone include: nausea, vomiting, breast tenderness, diarrhea, dizziness and headaches

Precautions

Before using this drug, tell you’re your doctor:

  1. If you are allergic to it or if you have other allergies.
  2. If you have kidney problems, liver disease, electrolyte imbalance in your body such as high potassium levels and low sodium levels.
  3. If you take other medicines that may increase potassium levels (such as lisinopril, valsartan).
  4. If you take potassium supplements or potassium-containing salt.
  5. It can cause birth defects if taken during pregnancy.

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