spironolactone (generic name)

It helps you make more urine and to lose excess water from your body
(speer on oh LAK tone)
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What is this medicine?

SPIRONOLACTONE (speer on oh LAK tone) is a diuretic. It helps you make more urine and to lose excess water from your body. This medicine is used to treat high blood pressure, and edema or swelling from heart, kidney, or liver disease. It is also used to treat patients who make too much aldosterone or have low potassium.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • high blood level of potassium
  • kidney disease or trouble making urine
  • liver disease
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to spironolactone, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a drink of water. Follow the directions on your prescription label. You can take it with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Remember that you will need to pass more urine after taking this medicine. Do not take your doses at a time of day that will cause you problems. Do not take at bedtime.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • eplerenone

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • corticosteroids
  • digoxin
  • lithium
  • medicines for high blood pressure like ACE inhibitors
  • skeletal muscle relaxants like tubocurarine
  • NSAIDs, medicines for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen
  • potassium products like salt substitute or supplements
  • pressor amines like norepinephrine
  • some diuretics

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Check your blood pressure as directed. Ask your doctor what your blood pressure should be, and when you should contact them.

You may need to be on a special diet while taking this medicine. Ask your doctor. Also, ask how many glasses of fluid you need to drink a day. You must not get dehydrated.

This medicine may make you feel confused, dizzy or lightheaded. Drinking alcohol and taking some medicines can make this worse. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not sit or stand up quickly.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions such as skin rash or itching, hives, swelling of the lips, mouth, tongue, or throat
  • black or tarry stools
  • fast, irregular heartbeat
  • fever
  • muscle pain, cramps
  • numbness, tingling in hands or feet
  • trouble breathing
  • trouble passing urine
  • unusual bleeding
  • unusually weak or tired

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • change in voice or hair growth
  • confusion
  • dizzy, drowsy
  • dry mouth, increased thirst
  • enlarged or tender breasts
  • headache
  • irregular menstrual periods
  • sexual difficulty, unable to have an erection
  • stomach upset

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Last Updated: August 30, 2011
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