Spironolactone – It’s Probably Easier To Obtain Vicodin Than Aldactone

by admin on September 24, 2010

So I’m sure many ladies have already run up against the issue of having difficulty in getting Aldactone (brand name for Spironolactone) prescribed to them. Not all doctors are aware that this drug is used to treat androgenetic alopecia, and most of the ones I have met refuse to prescribe it at all, or in a dosage sufficient to actually potentially be of any help.

After a recent visit to a local dermatologist I left feeling smaller than slug, completely deflated, misunderstood and humiliated. My current prescribing physician is not local, and I was hoping to find someone close to home that would provide me with the prescription I need to help keep my hair from falling out of my head.

A few months ago my fiance went to a local dermatologist, and while there he thought to ask if he prescribes Aldactone to female patients with hair loss.  The doctor stated a resounding “Yes,” and seemed to be fully aware of the potential benefits of it for hair loss and for hirsutism. So knowing this, I make a visit there in the hopes of leaving with a prescription for 200mg (100mg/ 2x day) of Aldactone, that is after all what I currently take. I even went to the appointment armed with my existing prescription bottle to prove that I am in fact currently taking this.

To make a long story short, the nurse and the doctor were completely shocked at the dosage, telling me “That is way too much!” and that they only prescribe 25mg, or tops 50mg. What? They then proceeded to ask me if I’ve ever had any blood work to determine what is causing my hair loss. Well gosh darn, why didn’t I ever think of that? I’ve only had every blood test known to man done a 100 times over. The doctor then continues to tell me that this is the culprit of my dry skin, when in reality I’ve had eczema and dry skin my entire life. I try and explain my situation, my 11 years of hair loss and that for 10 of those I’ve been taking Aldactone and that ceasing to take it now would cause a tremendous hair shedding, and at the thinness where it is now, that would leave me with basically no hair. I’m the first to admit that I don’t like taking this drug, I hate it, in fact I’ve written on numerous occasions that I feel like a prisoner to it. My saving grace is knowing that once I make the choice to wear a bonded lace hair system that I’ll ditch the meds and be done with it, but that time isn’t now.

The doctor then suggested we try 100mg. 100mg? I let the doctor know at that dosage my hair will shed. How do I know this? Last year I tried to wean myself off the Aldactone and guess what? My hair shed.. a lot. I guess I probably looked super pathetic and desperate in that doctor’s room since he decided to go ahead and have the nurse write me a prescription for it. The doctor leaves and a short while later the nurse who is in the room with me still, says “I don’t care what you say, you have to get off that, it’s not good for you” and she didn’t say it in a caring way, it was a stern rude way. Of course this is coming from the woman who is probably in her 50′s and has never lost a hair in her life. How easy to judge when you sit there with a full head of perfectly coifed hair. And my favorite part of the whole conversation comes next, she then says to me, “Well, what do you think is causing your hair loss?” Yes you read that right, that is exactly what she asked me in her cold harsh way. Well lets see, hummmm bad genetics? the Loestrin FE pill? A curse? You take your pick. I just told her it’s genetic, that’s it, nothing more to it. I can treat it, glue it, or let it fall out. Those are my options.

I could feel my face getting red, and my eyes feeling like the ocean was about to pour out of them. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough, once I got to my car I burst out into hysterical tears.

That day was just another reminder of how much suffering hair loss has caused me, it’s not bad enough that this is happening, but I have constantly been confronted with doctors that have no compassion or understanding and who fail to do one simple thing… LISTEN. On multiple occassions I have asked the various doctors I have seen to prescribe me the Aldactone and they all look at me like I was asking them for crack. Actually it probably would have elicited less of a reaction if I’d asked for crack. The doctors are usually aghast that I would be taking such a dosage, their reactions make me feel like I am taking arsenic.

Anyways this rant is something I had to get off my chest. I would love to get a list of doctors together that do prescribe Aldactone at the higher dosage levels of 100mg – 200mg / day. Does your doctor prescribe it? If so, please share the name and location of your doctor because I know I am not alone in my struggles to find a doctor that can support my hair loss treatment decisions without making me feel like a piece of garbage in the process.

{ 109 comments… read them below or add one }

Laurie September 24, 2010 at 5:11 pm

I had no trouble getting spironolactone in Houston. Advanced Dermatology in Pearland, TX prescribed 100mg to me at the first sign of oily skin, acne and hair loss when I got off of the pill (the dreaded start of my hair loss). I consider that a high dosage at my body weight of 100-105lbs. I also had an endocrinologist, Dr. Luis Rodriguez, prescribe 25mg and I know he would have prescribed more but I had side effects at the 100mg.

admin September 24, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Hi Laurie – Thanks for sharing the physicians you saw that do prescribe the spiro. It may help another woman in your area who has had difficulties with physicians willing to prescribe it, like myself. I have not experienced any side effects (that I know of) at the 200mg dosage. During the time I’ve taken it my weight has fluctuated between 120-128. In the very beginning, when I was started on the 100mg dosage I used to get light headed when I would stand up to quickly, it was always resolved by taking a bit of sodium in the form of a pickle or something similarly salty, but after an adjustment period I didn’t even have that.

But it’s no secret that I hate taking Aldactone. My hair has progressively gotten thinner even whilst taking it, but stopping it causes a huge shed (at least for me) so I’m stuck.. for now. I’d like to think it has helped me over the years, but it’s hard to say if I would have been better or worse had I never took it at all.

xoxo

Charlie September 24, 2010 at 7:29 pm

I know a great lady dermatologist in Encinitas which I know is far but you would only have to see her every 3-6months. So if your near San diego orange county it could be a poosiblity. Let me know.

Donna September 25, 2010 at 3:21 am

Well let me tell you , there is no compassion out there for women who have hair loss . For one no one gives a hoot about your hair loss except us , they have a head full of hair and they have no idea what it is like to be totally bald. I’ve gone to Hershey Medical Center and the Dr. there gave me ,what smelled like fingernail polish remeve to rub on my head ,twice daily,which made my lymphmodes swell in my neck big time and made my very sick. So needless to say I stopped using that stinky stuff and the only bloodwork done was to check my thyroid and that was done several times. No one listens or seems to care . I have a appt. with my family Dr. and I want to ask her to check me for LUPUS and I bet I can tell you her answer….you don’t have lupus . it’s like grasping at straws all the time and I think my hair will never regrow after all this time , it is very depressing . I wish you the best of luck to find someone who will give you what you need to help your hair loss

Truly Donna

admin September 25, 2010 at 5:39 am

@Charlie – Good to know there is someone in the San Diego area, honestly I’d even make the trek bi-annually to avoid the situation I encountered at the dermatologist that is 2 minutes from my house. Since you said she is great, I’m assuming she is a compassionate woman. Yay for that.

@Donna – Sadly you are correct, in most cases there is zero compassion. I’ve seen many male doctors including the last dermatologist I referenced above, that were completely bald themselves. You’d think they would get it. But they don’t. I’ve always wondered why isn’t there a compassion class given in medical school since how you connect with a patient will ultimately make the biggest difference in the outcome of the patient’s success, whether they are able to find the issue or not. “Understanding” goes along way.

xoxo

Araby September 25, 2010 at 10:06 am

Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I just moved to a new city and I called around to find a dermatologist that was at least familiar with prescribing Spiornolactone. I failed to ask at what dosage it was usually prescribed. I have never been on Spironolactone before but I would like to avoid going to a dermatologist who is not serious about combating hair loss. I’ll add this to the list of “to-dos.” Once I find a good dermatologist (and I will!) I’ll be sure to post their info.

Jeni September 26, 2010 at 4:35 am

Now that my hair loss has gotten a lot worse this year and I know it’s genetic, I went to a “hair loss expert” Dermatologist two months ago and within seconds he diagnosed me with Androgenetic Alopecia (before it was always TE). His only solution was Rogaine, and get over myself, it’s only hair. I asked for a prescription for Spiro and he said he would never give it to me because it has side effects. I told him I’d sign a waiver but wasn’t interested.

Last week I went to another Derm that has a “special interest” in female hair loss. I begged her 3 times for a prescription for it, and she said she’d only consider it if I had abnormal blood work (which I don’t). I again begged her, but she instead wants to do steroid scalp injections. I’ve never heard of that helping with AGA and that’s got to cost a fortune, and that can’t be any better for you than Spiro. I’m going back in a month but I know she won’t give me the prescription.

I remember my Gyno telling me she prescribes Spiro for women with acne, so I’m considering making an appointment there, but I’m sure she’d say she can’t prescribe it for hair loss, or that she could only give me a small dose. I’m also considering trying Finasteride, but I *thought* Spiro would be easier to get. UGHHHHHHHHH. I totally feel your pain! I hate doctors!

Julie September 26, 2010 at 5:10 am

I have had hair loss since I was about 21(I am 32 now). I was finally diagnosed 2 years ago after someone finally paying attention and working to figure out the cause. I was told for many years it was hormones or stress but no solutions offered. My first diagnosis from my dermatologist was LPP(lichen planopallirus..sp?) So I had steroid injections for about a year or so to no avail. My new diagnosis is androgenic alopecia. My doctor(Dr. Khera at the Cleveland Clinic) has me taking spironolactone. She has gradually upped my dosage and I am not taking 175 mg I think. She had me also using Rogaine, which I have stopped because I don’t feel it is doing me any good and it leaves my hair so cakey and dry. I have an appointment this week and I have a feeling she is going to up my dosage again, we will see. I wish you luck in getting your prescriptions everyone. Try coming to the Cleveland Clinic if you can(I work there too).

Jeni September 26, 2010 at 5:26 am

I forgot to say that I’m also really scared to actually take Spiro (or Finasteride/Propecia) because I read they can cause shedding when you first take them. At this point I don’t have enough hair left to deal with anymore shedding so I don’t know what to do.

A few years ago I used 2% Rogaine for a year and didn’t really notice any shedding (or any growth after a year) so I stopped. I started it again a few months ago (5%) and after 6 weeks, I was shedding a lot and my hair was noticeably worse than before I started on it! I ended up stopping the Rogaine because I couldn’t take the shedding anymore. So as much as I am desperate to try Spiro, I’m also afraid. And I had horrible headaches every day on Rogaine so I’m afraid I’ll have similiar problems with Spiro.

Inez September 27, 2010 at 6:27 pm

I was slowly introducted to 200 mg of spiro a day, and once I read what the medicine is actually used for, and how dangerous of a drug it is, I stopped taking it immediately. I suffer from Androgenetic Alopecia, and believe me, I’ve tried almost everything I could get my hands on to stop the shedding. I now am medicine free and just wash every other day with Nioxin. The shedding is still happening, and I’ve come to terms with buying a topper. I know the frustration, and the hurt, but I have to say that if a Dr wont prescibe a medicine for you, there’s a good reason.

Jennifer September 27, 2010 at 7:37 pm

Although I know that many ladies on this website take this drug, and I also really understand the fear of going off of it andhaving even more hair loss…it really is not a good drug. I can tell you that in my 6 years of dealing with hair loss…I went to every hair doc on the East Coast it seemed…lol, as well as docs who strictly deal with hair loss at the Mayo Clinic in AZ once I moved there…and NOT ONE was really excited about giving this drug to women for hair loss. Those who did…did say that again, like Rogaine…what is genetically predispositioned to happen WILL happen as we all know…but this will just “prolong” the hair loss. I was told time and time again that the risks just simply do not outweigh the benefits, but it was my choice and they would prescribe it, but were really weary. I made the choice that I would rather wear hair if needed, then do future possible damage to my body that will not be undone.
Although it is helpful with loss, it is NOT meant for this reason, and therefore the risks do outweigh the benefits since the people who ususally would take this drug are being treated for something other than hair loss, like high blood pressure etc….
I did try it for 2 months in AZ and only at 50mg because my doc like yours you just went to, gawked at the amount that it actually took to make a miniscule difference in the long run, so he would not ok that, and felt so strongly that he was not going to get himself into possible trouble by prescribing that amount. That was enought to scaret the piss out of me and not want that in my body when that many docs were actually scared to prescribe it to patients based on possible side effects etc….
However, I took it and when I tried to go up to 100mg for three days, and was hiking with my girlfriend, I damn near passed out. When I called the doctor on call…he was PISSED at the other doc and said point blank…”I firmly disagree with his prescribing this medication for hairloss…he said, it can make you dehydrated if you are not drinking water more often the regularly, so do you know that you could of gone into a cardiac arrest issue!” He was super pissed….so…although some of you may have had no side effects…this was MORE than enough evidence that it was not for me.
Good Luck to those of you who are taking it currently, I hope you have no side effects and that the medicine does what you want it to do :)
Just my thoughts :)

Lindsay September 30, 2010 at 4:35 pm

If you are in the St. Louis, MO area, Dr. Luciann Hruza at Clayton Dermatology prescribes Spironolactone for female hair loss. I’m currently taking 100mg/day. She’s very understanding, which is nice, but she’s also very blunt and straight-forward. She won’t BS you, and sometimes the truth hurts, but you can tell that her honesty isn’t meant to be insult you, just inform you. Do be prepared to spend some time in the waiting room though – she never runs on time (but once you get the initial prescription, you can see her nurse practitioner for refills, and she is always very prompt).

Mel October 2, 2010 at 11:41 am

So I’m taking spironolactone 200mg and I am also in medical school (less than one year and I’ll be the real deal). So just so you know, Spironolactone inhibits aldosterone which is a hormone produced by your adrenal glands. This hormone works at the kidney to reabsorb sodium and excrete potassium. It is released when you have low blood pressure (your kidney can sense this and it activates a cascade that eventually leads to increased aldosterone, more sodium retention and water retention because water follows sodium). So the reason why they say it causes dehydration is because you are decreasing aldosterone and thus sodium and thus water reabsorption from the kidney. Additionally, by inhibiting aldosterone you don’t excrete potassium. Too much potassium (for complicated reasons) can lead to cardiac arrhythmias and cardiac arrest. Sooo why on God’s green earth am I taking it? Well the simple answer is that I would really do anything to fix my hair loss. Haha I am that vain. But I have also been assured by my doc that (1) if I drink enough water and take in enough sodium that I won’t have dehydration problems…eating salty foods is easy, but yeah drinking all that water sucks. After two years on it though I have never passed out and if I feel dizzy I drink a cup of water and eat something satly and I feel great. (2) He said that as long as have a functioning kidney I will still be able to excrete potassium to avoid complications. And after two years I have not dropped dead once. I have also gone on numerous health kicks where I have eaten so much potassium rich fruits forgetting what meds I was on and I’m still alive :)

The point of this long message is that you really have to figure out what risks you are willing to take. My personal regimen is pretty much everything out there…rogaine, spiro, birth control, finesteride and I even went down to flordia for the that whole platelet growth factor treatment thing. And I have doubts about the safety of all of these treatment options. But for me, I stopped living when my hair loss got really bad and now even though I don’t fell 100% myself, I have gotten enough hair back to feel ummm let’s say 75% myself. And in the end that is better than what I was.

I feel that with my current regimen that I am just holding the beast back until they come up with something great. And if you don’t think that day is coming, well go google it or read male forums (cause guys are way up to date on what’s what). I am so hopeful that something big is gonna come along that I am willing to take the risk now. But that’s what is right for me.

Anyway, even armed with all my med school knowledge I had all the same experiences that you gals are describing. I even had a dermatologist talk our entire appt about how her mom died when she was in medical school and that I shouldn’t be complaining about my hair loss. I left feeling really bad about myself and I didn’t talk about my hairloss to anyone for another 6 months. So even though there are shitty doctors out there, don’t let them get you down ladies!

Ps my doc is in NYC if anyone needs one.

Oh and also. The risks of finesteride (besides doing strange things to unborn boys) seem to be pretty low. So if you don’t want to take spironolactone, you may want to try that. Just make sure to take your birth control like an OCD person.

Jennifer October 3, 2010 at 7:32 pm

Thanks for the information :) You are right…it is up to each individual as to what they are willing to do or put into their body, and the risks they are willing to take…..

Ashley October 4, 2010 at 10:51 am

Thanks for the info Mel. I’m on the same meds as you. (1.5 years). The first year was great!! (growth and less shedding). The past 6 months, my shedding has picked up. It is still so much better than prior to treatment:) I’m a nurse and I’m married to a physician. I feel comfortable taking Spiro (200mg), I have never had a problem. I would like to have kids someday, so I will have to stop everything, which scares me:( I’m hoping as well for some miracle hair treatment to come out. Anyways, good luck with Med School.

Ashley October 4, 2010 at 10:53 am

Mel- Do you go to Redmond?

Stef October 5, 2010 at 12:41 am

I lost faith in doctors somewhat over the years. The number of women affected by alopecia is just too small for anybody to care – pharmaceutical companies first and foremost. There are things that work but hey, they are not approved for women. No one will foot the research bill for such a small market.

I solved my PCOS-related-andro-genetic alopecia by self-prescribing alpha-5 reductase inhibitors (Finasteride). I’ve used it for nearly 5 years (1mg/day) and my hair has grown back to nearly normal. It’s good enough for people not to know I have a problem. And it does not shed. I know there are risks related to breast cancer and male fetus malformations with Finasteride, so you definitely do not want to get pregnant or skip breast checks. But I also know it has no other major side effects unlike Diane-35, which also worked for me but gave me very unpleasant side effects.

I normally buy it from an Internet company. I’m not sure if it’s appropriate to post their web site here. They sell Generic Spironolactone too. I’ve never had a problem in 5 years and the Finasteride definitely works, so I trust them by now.

There are dangers in self-prescribing, but since I’ve researched this extensively and I understand the risks, I’d rather buy it directly than being humiliated by some doctor who has hardly read about the subject and will tell you that Finasteride is a man-only drug.

These are my two cents. I’ve been battling with this since my early twenties and I am now 38. I’ve learned a few things on the way but I am by no means an expert.

And yes, most definitely, people who do not have this problem are normally not very sympathetic.

Good luck to all of you, always remember you are a truly beautiful person regardless of your appearance.

Nicole Smith October 6, 2010 at 11:21 am

Hi Mel,

I’m just wondering about the PRP Therpay that you did. Did you get any benefit from it? Thanks.

Nicole

JDH October 7, 2010 at 4:13 pm

For me, I just started taking Spiro 6 weeks ago so this is a very timely topic. Some of my history: I have lost 50-60% of my hair over the past 3 years (I’m 41); I have a bald spot on my left side (but thanks goodness I have enough hair still to cover it) and my front hairline has receeded so much that I don’t have enough hair for bangs (always had bangs so it’s very hard to show my big forehead). I use Topik everyday (try to get as close as I can get it to my hairline w/o everyone wondering why I have “ashes” on my forehead). Have been told have female pattern baldness and my older sister (10 yrs older) does have hair loss but not at the same level as me. I also have hypothyrodism (for past 15 yrs) and take 1.70 mg of synthorid. I still have hair in the back but my top and sides are so thin, I feel like one of those older “biker” men you see that keep a thin pony tail even when their top is gone.

Anyhow, I went to see Dr. Reed in NYC ($600) in June of this year, who recommended Finasteride. I then went to to see Dr. Redmond ($600) and he recommended Spiro and BC pill (Yasim). But Redmond was also ok with Finesteride. Overall, wasn’t overly impressed with either Dr but guess that’s because no matter what, they are men. They will never understand how much lossing your hair impacts women and how it’s the first thing I think of when I get up and when I go to bed and just how upsetting it is. And how I want to cry when I try to put my hair in a pony tail and have to wrap the holder 4-5x to get it tight and how when I job the sweat pours down my sides because I don’t have hair (using a ’80′s sweatband now so at least it helps although I know I look totally stupid :)

Anyhow, at this point, I had also set up an appt to go to Florida for PYP (Dr. Greco) based on Admin’s experience and my own research, so did not start taking the meds. I went for PYP in May 2010 and overall was not overally happy. I did feel my hair was more manageable (it’s very thin and gets very frizzy due to it’s thinness). But overall, I did not see any regrowth and over the months, shedding still occured. For me, shedding occurs after I wash and comb my hair. Sometimes I’ll just pull at the bottom and whole chunks come out (almost feel like a cancer patient). So, last month decided to fill my scripts for Spiro and Yasim. Dr. Redmond recommends starting on 100mg for 2 weeks then to 200mg. I followed that and I have to say, for the past 2 weeks I have noticed a significant decrease in sheeding. Also, not sure others have experienced this, but I lost about 5lbs. I am assuming this is due to the reduction in water/salt. I am trying to keep up with water intake but it’s hard. Sometimes I feel thirsty but overall, I don’t feel any different. I get a bit confused on the research. It says it’s a “water pill” and so not sure why so much negative side effects (outside stomach aches, etc). Also, the cancer thing, they said they gave rats 10x-400x the normal amt a human would normally take). I would think any meds you give in that excessive amt would have issues.

Based on some of these comments, I got scared and cut back to 100mg/day and want to do more research. Also, wondering if there are any women out there just taking Finasteride and does that have less side effects then Spiro. Also, what else do you have to take if you take Finasteride? A BC pill as well?

Finally, I have made a 2nd appt with Dr Greco (yes, can’t even tell you how much $ this has cost me but as most of you know, it is just so upsetting to think I may be bald or have such pathetic thin hair that I’ll be wearing a wig in less then 1-2 years) so willing to do anything. I had made the 2nd Appt with Dr. Greco prior to see Admin’s latest post. So, now feeling somewhat depressed after seeing Admins post, but will go head and see if 2nd PYP has any different results. If not, will probably stay on Spiro, get my potassium checked and hopefully, this will allow me to avoid a wig for the next few years. I too, like many of you, just want to keep what little hair I have left. I totally get all of you who say the risks are too high and I used to agree, but I work in a professional environment and I am so embarrased and feel so ugly when I see where my hair is at. I know it makes me look even older and feel so unattractive. Well, that’s about it. Thanks for listening :)

admin October 7, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Hi JDH – I took finasteride about 9 or so years ago, I did also take that along with the BCP… and also Aldactone. 100mg (at the time). The pill was suppose to serve 2 purposes really, if you are taking something like finasteride, docs usually want to make sure you aren’t going to get pregnant, and also it is thought that low androgen bcp can help with hair loss. The pill started my hair loss (high androgen loestrin FE) to begin with, and I regret getting back on it.

You mention the risks of the drug, as others have, the risks are there with hair loss drugs and other drugs. We all have to decide for ourselves what risks we are willing to take, and then we have to live with our choices. I basically did everything at a very young age (21) because it was just so devastating to me, I wanted to make sure I was proactive and I wanted to feel like I gave myself the best chance possible of feeling good about myself.

I went for my fourth PRP treatment the last week of September, this time Dr. Greco did it exactly as my first time, the treatment that I know gave me results. I’m optimistic it will hopefully yield a favorable outcome as it did the first time. If not, I guess I’ll just look towards options such as wearing hair. The more I look into it, the more excited I get about the possibility of what it will be able to do for me. But for now I’m hoping this 4th treatment works. I will most definitely keep everyone posted about it.

xoxo

JDH October 10, 2010 at 6:55 am

hi.
just wanted to give another update. I ended up seeing my Derm – who is the director at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in NY to ask her opinion about Sprio. I was surprised when she said that she feels and sees Sprio given often for women’s hair loss. I asked about the cancer link in mice and she felt the amount of spiro given was 100x more than what we are being treated with. She did recommend I get potassium checked. And was also ok with finesteride. So, although I know there are many other risks and it is really scary taking these meds, I am going to go back to the 200mg and give it 6 months to see how it works.

Admin – forgot to mention – maybe your derm can talk to Dr. Redmond in NYC to just get info from him about prescibing Spriro at the 200mg?
And thanks for the youtube video – it was nice to learn about how to wear a wig. Scary but know it’s probably going to happen. And don’t think I said this before, but thank you so much for creating this site. I don’t know what I would have done without it! I wish/pray we can find a solution that will really address this issue.

Mel October 10, 2010 at 7:28 am

Hi again,

Yeah my doc is Dr. Redmond. He costs a lot of money, but I went to three derms who were all awful. I kinda decided I didn’t want to have to deal with doctors who are really not up to date on this issue. I personally feel that if I do the research and find a possible solution then as my doctor you should look at what I have found instead of basing everything on previous knowledge. Medicine is constantly changing and good doctors follow the new research.
Anyway, I am not the best role model for dealing with this issue because quite frankly I really feel like I don’t have the time or energy to fight this battle and I kinda just decided to do everything that may have the slightest benefit. So yeah I do everything…rogaine, ocp, spiro, finesteride, special shampoos, tons of vitamins, that platlet treatment. As far as the platlet treatment. Besides the cost, it really is not that terrible and Dr. Greco is really nice…but whether of not it works? I have no idea. I am on so much that I really don’t know what is helping. I should have took pictures, but I lost my camera battery charger and was too lazy to get another one. (sorry I feel like this is the worse answer ever and that I should have thought about people who might want to know if it really does work). Anyway, the only thing I can say for sure is that 2 years ago, when I wasn’t on anything, I was the sadest person ever, who would think about this all the time and cry all the time. And now I only think about it in the morning when my hair is wet and when I swim (but now I where a headband when swimming so I’m not as bothered by that). So on an everyday basis, when I’m out in the world doing my thing, my hair loss is not an issue and all the time/money I’ve put into has helped, but what is helping the best, well I can’t answer that, but I really wish someone knew so I could cut something out of my treatment plan!

Julie S October 10, 2010 at 7:40 pm

After spending countless hours reading the trials and tribulations of women, i can honestly tell you from my experience that there is nothing more beautiful than our bravery and confidence…in sharing this information, in researching our “problem” the root of our pain and suffering as every strand slowly sheds from our crown. I have had to throw in the towel several years ago, when I couldn’t take it anymore. Being held prisoner to various drugs…even my own four vanilla walls, with television being my only source of the outside world.
Spironolactone was once a medication i took, but taken too late. I had no means of getting it anymore and it certianly wasn’t going to help my already bald head. I want so badly to hang on these strands, but I realize that my depression is hanging on tighter…kudos to those that have found answers and sought medication. I wish that 14 years ago, there was an answer in the form of a pill. I’m trying really hard now to learn how to live, its so difficult. Its difficult to find happiness or something to make me happy.
@admin, believe me…the hardest thing in the world to do, is to accept.

Ashley October 11, 2010 at 6:25 am

Mel- did you have your hormone levels tested? Mine came back very low. I’m thinking of seeing Dr. Redmond thus spring. What is your daily shed with all those meds? I’ve had regrowth, but I ‘ve been shedding lately. Thanks for the info.

vanessa October 11, 2010 at 8:29 am

I, too, see Dr. Redmond. My first appt with him was Dec 09. He prescribed Finasteride, 200 mg Spiro and Yasmin. Things got better, within a few months the shedding stopped. But then it started up again. We had a phone appt and he said, based on the fact that my skin (which had NEVER been clear a day in my life) was looking great, that the testosterone part was being held down by the Spiro and Finasteride. He prescribed a slightly higher estrogen BCP and things seem to be a bit on the upswing.

Before December, I’d barely take an aspirin for a headache. I have much angst about taking the drugs for this, and yet I do believe it is helping. Normally, a very confident and together person, I was amazed at how quickly I started to unravel when I realized I was losing my hair. I’m not vain, not at all, but I just couldn’t get over it. As much as I didn’t want to take the meds, I had to do something.

I still struggle with it emotionally. Every day. And I even hate to say out loud that I think it may be getting better, lest I jinx things. But I think it’s important to share, and know how lost I was when trying to figure this out. At the end of the day, with all the research I did, I realized that I had to trust someone. I went to oodles of docs, including hairloss specialists and PCOS specialists and had some of the worst hours of my life during those appointments.

At least in Dr. Redmond I feel I have someone who knows more than I do. I wish he were closer, I live in CA, but at least knowing there is someone out there who cares about this and studies this and has experience treating this– successfuly, he claims– make me feel better than when I was going it alone with doctors who didn’t know and didn’t care.

Ashley October 12, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Vanessa-I’m on all the same meds. Worked for about a year. Now I’m shedding quite a bit. What birth control did he switch you to? I’m currently on Yasmin, and my estrogen level came back at 10 ( very l0w). Think I need to be in a higher estrogen bc. Thinking if going to Dr. R this spring. How are the follow-ups? Thank you

Vanessa October 13, 2010 at 9:25 pm

Hi Ashley,

I was on Yasmin and now I am on Zoviza 1/50E. I’ve only been on it a little over 3 months, so I don’t know ultimately how it’ll work.

Follow-ups are easy, since most of this stuff is all blood tests anyway. I’m sure we all know EXACTLY whether things are getting better or worse and don’t need a doc to tell us. I feel that our two phone appts have been just as useful as the initial visit in person. When I told him my shedding had increased again, he asked quite a few questions about the quality of my skin, facial hair, etc, which is how he deduced that it was estrogen part of the equation most likely.

I do think that I could have saved myself time and anxiety and, frankly, possibly even lost hair if I’d gone to Dr. Redmond sooner. (Though, frankly, I found my way to him within months of the onset of all this, and yet oodles of hair fell out by then.) I’m not saying I’m cured, I get this gist this problem rarely if ever goes away. But I do feel my visit to him was worth it–the shedding for now is definitely WAY less–and that I’m doing what I can to help myself. Now, it’s onto trying to accept whatever outcome comes, which is proving to be the hardest part of all.

I should mention that I’m also insulin resistant (found that out with all the blood tests for the hair) and with PCOS. So I don’t know how that applies to your situation. Good luck and let me know how it goes!

Ashley October 14, 2010 at 6:55 am

Thank you for the info. Does he have you take Zovia for 12 weeks, then go off for 4 days? I left a message with his office, hoping to see him soon.

Vanessa October 15, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Ashley,

Yes. Seems to be working fine. Let me know how your visit and progress with him is.

I found going to him to be a big relief and finally felt that I could relax somewhat, that someone besides myself was on the case– someone even more educated on the subject than I was (which none of the oodles of docs I saw before him were).

dena October 17, 2010 at 9:41 am

actually I am depressed because of hair loss
I want from every woman seeing my comment to answer my question
would you please do it for a helpless 21 years old girl
I ‘ll be very thankful
actually I’ve heard of a new product called kaboor(21)
they said that it is the best product for hair loss in America and Europe
Have you ever heard of it ???
please answer me

Lisah October 17, 2010 at 5:43 pm

Hello, just wondering about the starting of Spiro?? I have been losing much more hair and wondered if that is normal in the first few months. If it’s not I’m thinking this is not right for my body…. Wanted to hear from the spiro users for sure. I have read all the posts but they don’t talk about the initial shed?? Thanks, Lisah

Ashley October 18, 2010 at 9:47 am

I didn’t have a dread shed with Spiro. I did have a shed with Rogaine, which I started 6 weeks prior to Spiro. My hair was great for a year and now I’m shedding again. My current treatment is Spiro (200mg), Finesteride (5mg), Yasmin and 5% Rogaine (2 times a day). My problem is low estrogen, so I think I’m going to have to switch to a higher estrogen bc. I hate being on all this meds, but I feel stuck. My hair is still thicker than prior to treatments. So we shall see. Good luck, it’s a battle!!!! By the way, I’m 28.

CDT October 20, 2010 at 8:57 am

Hi, I see a doctor in Philadelphia, Dr. Katherine Sherif. I have PCOS and as a result hair loss. I’ve just started taking the following meds: Spriro 100mg/2x day, Lovaza 4 pills/day, Metformin 1000 mg/2x day, Dexamethosone (steriod to suppress testerone) .5 mg/1x day and Byetta injections 5mcg/2x day. She is excellent, very compassionate and for the first time I felt like someone was really listening to my problem and understood. If anyone lives in the Philly area, she is one to see. I’m 36 and started losing my hair about 4 years ago.

Sylvie October 20, 2010 at 2:26 pm

I live in Ohio but I actually went to Dr. Geoffry Redmond in NYC 2.5 years ago and still use him. I just have to do a phone follow up every once in a while and when I’m in NYC (I go occasionally for friends) I do go see him. I will say honestly for the first 1.5 years i didnt really think I noticed much of a difference, but now I have to say it has saved my life. I was soooo depressed before and had such bad experiences with doctors and even hair loss specialists. Now I have a sister in law who is a hair dresser who says she NEVER would have known i had an issue. I get compliments on my hair every single day, it seems.
He is very expensive, and so is the medication (I”m on Spiro, Finisteride and birth control), but I never, ever question the cost, it is so worth it to me.

good luck ladies
Sylvie, 27 yrs old.

Marie October 21, 2010 at 7:50 pm

I actually got on spironolactone to treat my acne; I was prescribed 100mg a day. Over the past few years (prior to taking the drug), my hair has thinned out. I went to get a hair cut today, & my stylist noticed that all of these “brand new strands” were starting to grow all over my head. I discovered it was due to the drug when I went home & researched it. My point is that 100mg can be effective. I hope it is for you.

Jeni October 23, 2010 at 12:49 am

I went back to the Derm yesterday, and even though she said she would never prescribe Spiro unless I had abnormal blood work, she gave me a prescription for it – but only for 1/2 a 25mg pill a day! I guess it’s a start, but I don’t know how much it will do. She totally balked when I asked for 100mg a day. I also asked for Finasteride and she claims it doesn’t work in women and it can make hair loss worse. I don’t know if she believes that or if she’s just afraid to prescribe it.

Anne October 23, 2010 at 9:38 am

Hello Ladies~

It’s been quite a while since I’ve been on. I needed to take a break from this hair loss situation and just felt so depressed seeing what other women were going through, too. You’d think it would HELP, but it just made me more depressed. I am still way obsessed with the hair loss thing – just had a “mini cry” a little while ago and just needed to see how you all were doing. I guess I can’t figure out WHY they can’t find some kind of “fix” or “cure” for this problem. I have Androgenetic Alopecia and wonder why they can’t fix it? I was taking Spiro, Rogaine and cortisone shots – but not taking anything now. Too scared to get back on the Rogaine (minoxidil) for fear of shedding the hair I do have… I am still able to hide my “problem” pretty well, right now… I do have to ask you ladies something – are any of you on Prilosec (Omeprazole)? If so, you may want to look @ some of the side effects. I stopped taking it in June because of the hip/wrist fracture scare from the FDA. I have to tell you – I do see some hair grown on my head – not as much as I’d like – BUT there is some – it is still thin on top – but there are some hairs growing. I also am getting back the hair on my legs, arms, my eyebrows are now starting to grow back in more, and excuse me for being too personal – my pubic hair is ACTUALLY coming back. I swear to goodness I felt like an 8 year old girl that was going through puberty – THAT is how thin my pubic hair was. THIS IS something to look into, Ladies! My sister was on Prevacid and my son, too was on Omeprazole and both were losing hair… I just wanted to pop back in and say hello and let you know about this medication that I was taking – did seem to cause me some hair loss…. Take care! Anne :)

Anne October 23, 2010 at 9:48 am

Oops – My apologies – I said I wasn’t on anything for my hair loss – I DO shampoo with Nizoral Shampoo 3 times a week… Is it helping? I have no idea – but at this point I will do almost anything to keep my hair. Isn’t that the sad truth, though?

I still find it hard to see older women with their beautiful THICK silver/gray hair – makes me so jealous and sad and I don’t want to be that way, but sometimes it’s really hard not to feel that…. I hope someday I can stop obsessing and start LIVING again… EVERY aspect of my day revolves around my hair – NEVER EVER used to! I’d get up, take a shower, get dressed, do my hair (without a thought about it)… NOW, I dread getting in the shower (I actually sometimes) get a stomach ache and WORRY about how my hair is going to turn out today (will I be able to hide my scalp today?) or will it get to a point when I can’t do it anymore? UGH – I am really tired of all the worrying…. I guess I have to analyze WHY I’m so scared of losing my hair… GOD KNOWS there are some really cute wigs out there that I could buy if I had to! I want to be like some of the ladies I see in the store – HAPPY and they DO have hair loss! Why can’t I be like them and not give a damn and STILL be happy?! Maybe someday… Sorry – I was just going to write that I was only using Nizoral! Boy, I guess I needed to vent more than I thought! Ha! God Bless everyone…. xox Anne :)

linda October 26, 2010 at 3:09 pm

i am 24, and i have been struggling with moderate (worsening) acne and hirsutism (also worsening) since puberty. i only started talking to doctors about the underlying causes in aug 2008, and it took until july of 2009 for them to finally put me on birth control to see if that would help.

they put me on yaz, which did a great job of clearing my acne (but nothing for the hirsutism) until feb 2010 when the acne started returning and i began to have breakthrough bleeding for the first time. my doctor said i probably needed a BC with higher estrogen. i was doubtful that i would like any other BC as much as i’d liked yaz (no negative side effects that i was aware of), and i also (for some reason) doubted that any would be as effective as yaz had been.

i’d read a lot about the effectiveness of spironolactone when paired with BC, so i asked if i could i at least pair up with spiro if i had to be put on a new BC. the doctor said no, because it would be too difficult to know which drug was responsible for any resulting progress or side effects, and she told me to try the new BC by itself for two months and return for spiro if i didn’t see progress.

after two months (which isn’t really even long enough to see results in my opinion, but i didn’t care), i didn’t see any progress (everything was worse), so i called and asked for the spiro. the doctor changed her mind though and told me to try another higher-estrogen BC by itself for two more months and then return for spiro. so i did that with no results and returned again. well that happened to me once more and i was put on the worst BC i’ve ever taken (made me feel like a lifeless zombie and messed up my half marathon training), and i quit after just one month.

after all of that (8 months), the doctor has finally put me on 100 mg/day spironolactone. she even prescribed it with yaz (which i read is the equivalent potassium-wise of taking 25 mg/day spiro).

the pharmacists acted like i was going to die from high potassium when i went to fill the prescription and insinuated that my doctor was trying to kill me. for some reason, i’m not too worried though..maybe i’ve got that foolish feeling of invincibility or maybe i’m just desperate to see the hirsutism at least stop worsening and maybe even get better.

i’ve been researching spiro and low potassium diets, and i read somewhere that all the scary side effect stuff has never affected “young, fit” women in studies. i feel like i fall in that category.

even though i’m hopeful now that i’m on spiro (it’s only been 3 days), i’m kinda bummed knowing that it cannot be a long-term solution. i’m too scared to take spiro for many years. luckily, my doctor thinks they might have better drugs out there in 5-10 years to help women who have PCOS-like symptoms. i seem to be missing the desmolase enzyme, so maybe they’ll have a more direct fix for that by the time i get off spiro.

anyway, i haven’t even read all the other comments above mine yet. i’d like to do that now. i read this post and got excited about sharing my story too. it’s great to know there are other women out there who understand these embarrassing symptoms i struggle with.

btw my doctor’s name is melanie mintzer, and she’s located in cary, nc. she does prescribe spiro..if you’re willing to try 3 different BC’s and wait 8 months first hehe. :)

Vanessa October 27, 2010 at 8:57 am

Dena,

I’m assuming that you are the 21 year old girl you are referring to, and I wanted to respond to you. My first thought was that I didn’t have advice to give, that I was leery of suggesting anything to anyone. Then I realized that was rubbish, I most certainly do. Take it or leave it as you will.

1. Try as best you can to find out what it causing your hair loss. Is it Androgenetic Alopecia, Alopecia Areata, related to some medication you’re on, some medical treatment you’ve had, etc? Clearly, this isn’t easy. And it’s not even totally possible, as we will never know 100% for sure what is behind our hair loss. But, in order to look at what you might do, you need to know what is going on.
2. Be careful of self diagnosis. Get the medical tests you need– and if you don’t know what are the key ones, you can find many references to them on this site. Try to find a doctor who specializes in women’s hair loss. Not an easy task, but one that is worth the search. I think one of the strong points of this site is how it shares information, treatment plans, anecdotes, etc– and I’ve shared mine as well. However, even when folks try, they often miss something important in their story and/or there could be something else going on behind the scenes in their body they are unaware of. So while you want to think for yourself, be your best advocate and search for answers, do be cautious.

3. Consider, if you’re able, getting help for the emotional side of this problem. This isn’t something I read too much of on this site, but it’s something that I feel is benefiting me tremendously. After I began my medical treatments for my hair loss, I knew the next step was taking on the emotional part. Do I still get upset when I think about what the future might bring in terms of hair loss? Certainly. Does my breath catch in my throat when I see someone with extensive hair loss and I realize that could be me someday? Absolutely. But seeing a therapist has drastically helped me overall, on a daily basis, to try to accept this and to do the things I need to reduce the stress and anxiety that its brought on. I do breathe easier, I do sleep better, I am more relaxed. I have a long way to go, but no question that it has helped.

4. Do you have friends or family who can assist you in making decisions, going to doctors and being there for support? If so, I encourage you to reach out, as this is can be a scary journey, but like most, it helps to have a someone along for the ride with you.

Again, please take or leave my advice as you see fit. I just know how scared, sad and confused I felt– and still feel– when this started happening to me. I wish you all the best in your journey.

Vanessa

Ashley October 27, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Vanessa-very well put. I’ve been thinking about seeing a therapist for sometime. Did Dr. Redmond have any concerns about 50mcg birth control? Can you stay on it long term? Thank you

Vanessa October 27, 2010 at 7:23 pm

Hi Ashley,

I didn’t ask about long-term issues with the high estrogen pill. I have concerns, certainly, and asked about them, but he said the biggest risk was a slightly elevated risk for a stroke– like 1 in 100,000. I am planning to ask some additional questions next time we speak, in a couple of months.

I’d highly recc the therapist. It’s really helpful to have someone to talk to, complain to, etc who can help you be less upset over the long haul, not just try to make you feel better in the moment. Good luck!

Anne ~ Wig Question October 29, 2010 at 10:56 am

Hi Ladies…. I have a question about wigs – I don’t know why, but the thought of having to deal with one scares the living heck out of me… I don’t know why – I guess once you get used to the process of dealing with it, it gets easier? Anyway, this may be a really dumb question – but do all wigs have to be bonded wigs (with all the glue/tape, etc?) or can they be worn during the day and taken off at night? If so, HOW do you keep them on if you take them off at night? Do you wear tape, etc. that comes off easily and then you can sleep without it? Also, if I understand correctly – there are lace wigs and what other kind? Can you have bangs with lace wigs ? I understand they are the most comfortable and look the most natural. Can you wear lace wigs just during the day and take them off at night? Sorry for all the questions – I am just exploring what “may” be in my future. Right now, I’m doing alright – I have a fair amount of hair. But, like all of you – I obsess about it daily – I take pictures and “compare” what my hair looked like a month ago and unfortunately, it looks like my bangs may be thinning more and more all the time (but I could be imagining it, too)… I don’t know… Anyway, I’m trying to be realistic and find out everything I can about wigs, just in case… Thank you in advance for any/all answers… God Bless…. Anne

Ashley November 3, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Hi Vanessa- I’m seeing Dr. Redmond on Dec. 4th. I’ll keep you posted on what he says.

Melanie November 3, 2010 at 5:34 pm

It’s funny because here in Brazil I can just get it over the counter…
but it make me feel so crappy I’d rather deal with the shedding. (It really makes me feel aweful!)

Anne November 4, 2010 at 11:48 am

Melanie -

You can get spiro over the counter? Just curious – what strength, etc.?

karen November 6, 2010 at 11:16 am

Hello, anyone know any dermatology in Seattle WA is specialized in hair loss? My hair loss is so noticeable now it was suggested to me to wear a wig. I think I will try some of the drugs describe here first.

Jessica November 20, 2010 at 5:58 pm

I have just started taking Spiro for my drastic hair loss. My free testosterone levels are highly out of range and I also tested positive for lupus :( I have been on the Spiro for a week and have had VERY low blood pressure at only 50 mgs and I have had an increase in shedding…ugh. Anyone else experiencing something similar?

Lindsay November 22, 2010 at 9:40 am

I also have seen Dr. Redmond in NYC, and he prescribed me 200 mg/day of Spironolactone. I really haven’t experienced any side effects at all, with the exception of less water retention (which I consider a bonus). So far, I haven’t seen any results, but it’s only been about 3-4 months. Dr. Redmond is very expensive, though, so I was thinking about trying to find another endocrinologist. From what I’m reading on this message board, though, it may be more difficult than I expected to find another doctor willing to prescribe me Spiro at my current dosage…

pat November 24, 2010 at 7:35 am

This is for Linda. I read that you have acne and hursutism. Have you ever been evaluated for pcos? You can read about it in Dr. Redmond’s book……It’s Your Hormones. Hair loss can be a side effect of pcos. It has to do with insulin resistance and the effect it has on your hormones…it can get alittle complicated . I believe my 17 0ld daughter has pcos but finding a doctor who really understands it and knows how to treat it is very difficult.

ashley December 10, 2010 at 9:45 am

Hi- I went to see Dr. Redmond last week. It was a good visit. He wants me to try Aldactone instead of Spiro and change my birth control to a higher estrogen one. Has anybody had any experince with Aldactone vs Spiro. Did you feel Aldactone was better. My main concern is the cost. $140 for one month of Aldactone vs. Sprio $10/month. I will make the sacrifice it if works. Any advice appreciated. Happy Holidays!!!!!

Stephanie December 21, 2010 at 9:52 am

I see Dr. Nicole Rogers, a hair loss specialist/dermatologist in New Orleans, for my hair loss from PCOS. She has me on spironolactone, 200 mg a day. She had me on 150 mg but recently upped the dosage to 200mg, stating that it would help my hair grow even more.

Sarah December 27, 2010 at 4:23 am

I’ve been on aldactone 100mg for like 6 months.. and regain minoxidil 5%. I haven’t been so consistent with the minoxidil though i try.

i dont think my hair would ever restore to how it was, i wish it would restore to half of what it was but it’s just wishful thinking. there was a phase where my hair wasn’t falling out much but now it just seems to have gone back to how it was. I think all the medication is doing is maintaining the condition.

I’ve been so tempted to just shave my hair off but i’m a lil gutless.

im curious to know the condition of peoples hair strands for those losing hair.. is it healthy? for example my hair tends to be dry all the time, i put oils on it or stay on conditioners. sometimes i think that might escalate the hair loss..

lea December 27, 2010 at 1:06 pm

I actually keep a humidifier in my office and all over my house in an attempt to keep my hair from drying out so much. My story sound like yours. I have been on rogaine for 16 years, aldactone 50mg for 2 years, and one hair transplant about 3 years ago. My hair keeps getting shorter and shorter, but I am not cutting it. It seems to dry and break off. I go to extremes just trying to keep my hair in the best condition but nothing helps.

victoria December 27, 2010 at 6:01 pm

don’t worry. You’re right. They’re wrong. Since nowadays almost all doctors are just drug pushers with no real understanding of systemic reasons for anything, they have especially no right to be stern and patronising about what we should or shouldn’t be doing with our bodies.

T December 29, 2010 at 12:03 am

Dr. Marynick in dallas will prescribe spiro..he’s a great doctor. Also, try Chi silk infusion….my hair looks so dry and crusty without it…but it makes all the difference in the world when I put that in and then flat iron it….just looks so much softer and actually has nice movement. Good luck ladies.

Liz December 29, 2010 at 11:15 am

I’m so surprised by all the comments about Spiro. I saw my Derm (in Northern CA) for my hair loss and she prescribed it (50 mg) without a thought. I had blood tests for thyroid, iron, etc. and one to check my potassium levels. I will have to repeat the potassium blood test one month from starting the Spiro. I have never had my hormone levels checked but I do think my primary doctor should do that soon. Duh! I should add that my primary physician totally blew off my hair loss concerns and told me that some shedding is normal and if it bothers me to go buy some Rogaine.

I also would like to add that when I had a consult with the pharmacist (they always consult with a new Rx) he couldn’t say enough good things about it. He said it was a very good and safe drug to take. I asked about Potassium levels and he said if I notice any muscle cramping, to reduce the dosage. I’ve only been on it for 2 weeks, but I haven’t noticed any side effects so far. I also take Zoloft to control my anxiety, which I think is mainly CAUSED by the hair loss. I am a healthy, active 35 yo woman with 2 kids and a wonderful husband…who says he will love me, even if I’m bald. And THAT’S what really matters. My family will love me…no matter what my hair looks like. :)

Katie January 6, 2011 at 1:31 pm

After reading so many of your entries, I must say that I am actually comforted. For the last few months I have wanted to crawl into a hole when anyone mentioned the dreaded word “hair.” Haircolor, hairstyle, haircuts…ahhhhh!!! I had a full head of fine blonde hair all of my life, until several months ago, when I realized it was beginning to thin. So… I cut it off to make it look fuller! And then I colored it darker with non-ammonia color so you couldn’t see my scalp. And then I lost more and more and more. Finally, I started reading. The very pill that many women treat their androgenetic alopcia with- was the same pill that (probably) caused my hair loss. I took Ortho Tricyclen for 9 years for the treatment of acne, and later on for its contraceptive purposes. And here I am. 24 years-old and losing my hair.
I was apparently very lucky, though. I am blessed with a good dermatologist and health insurance. So many lab tests and one scalp biopsy later, I have been prescribed Spironolactone 100mg daily. We’ll see how this works.
I must agree that unless a person has gone through this, they most certainly DO NOT understand it. As a woman, our hair is an extension of ourselves- who we are- even if we don’t style it ever single day and have $50 haircuts monthly. I liked my hair. It was mine. And now it’s leaving, little by little. Vain? Yes. Human? Positively. Are there worse things in life? Most definitely. Will I learn to live with my hair loss. Absolutely. It will just take time and patience.

Katie January 6, 2011 at 1:33 pm

And one more thing… I’m in eastern KS if anyone on here needs a great dermatology office. Johnson County Dermatology; Dr. Proffit, MD or Jesse Watts, PA. They are great providers. Good luck to you all- and you ALL be in my prayers.

Vanessa January 7, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Hi Ashley,

Dr. Redmond has me taking Aldactone too. I was on Spiro for the first 6 months, but after our phone check-in he switched me. It is more expensive, but more like $600 total a year on my insurance. Overall, between that and bumping me up to the Zovia 50 BCP (with more estrogen), I think things are better. Definitely shedding less, though I hate to even say those words aloud lest I jinx things… Hard to know which one is responsible for the improvement, however, since I started on them both at the same time. I asked him again on our latest call and he reiterated that he thought that his patients, for whatever reason, were getting better results with the name brand.

pammypam January 20, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Hi ladies, after spending alot of time reading these posts, I went to my dermatologist and asked for aldactone. The PAs there are really great and sympathetic. They agreed to put me on 25 mg though. I guess I’m supposed to keep increasing the dosage if I tolerate it well (unfortunately I suffer from memory loss and I didnt write anything down)?
I have to have blood work drawn about a week after I start the meds. I have yet to fill the script though.
My doctor’s info is: Family Dermatology Dr. Harold Milstein 610-277-5446 if you’re in the suburban Philly area, I urge you to call them for some sympathetic support.
Based on my research, I’m unsure whether I’ll fill the script, as I am comfortable wearing wigs (mostly in the winter) and I’m concerned for the side effects.
good luck sweeties!

ashley February 1, 2011 at 10:53 am

Hi Vanessa- I’ve been taking Zovia 50/e and Alactone 200mg for 2 months. I’ve noticed that I’m shedding less, but I’m still shedding more that I would like to. I have a follow up with Dr. R in two months and we will re-evualate at that time. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!!! Thanks for the update!

Vanessa February 8, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Hi Ashley. Good luck to you. I’m still on the fence about how well the same mix is working for me. Shedding is slow, but compared to last year at this time, there’s definitely less hair on my head. I’ve only been on the current mix–Finasteride, Zovia, and brand name Aldactone– since July. Before that it was Yaz, spiro, and Finasteride for 6 months.
Please keep me posted on how things are going for you. Take care!

Tabina February 17, 2011 at 4:42 pm

I take 100mg of aldactone a day. I do not feel like a prisoner to it though. I feel like it has been my saving grace. Before I took the pill, I was a 21 year old on the verge of being bald. I was depressed, cried everyday, and feared for my future. My hair is still VERY thin but at least my whole scalp does not show. This website is amazing. I thought I was the only one in the world with this problem.

Robbin February 18, 2011 at 5:25 pm

What about Saw Palmetto? It is sold to men to stop the effects of DHT which causes the thinning and gradual loss of hair. I am 52 years old and the Dr.’s don’t want me on birth control. Also, what about foods, like soy , that contain estrogen. I am thinking about trying Human Identical Hormones…anyone have any info or has anyone tried this route?

Maria Yaworsky March 8, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Hi there,

Sorry to read about what jerks the doctors have been to you. I have a doctor who is treating me for PCOS who gives me spiro. Her info is:

Dr. Katherine Sherif
Drexel Center for Women’s Health
219 North Broad Street 6th Floor
Philadelphia, PA, 19107
(215) 762-5181

http://www.healthgrades.com/directory_search/physician/profiles/dr-md-reports/dr-katherine-sherif-md-60adfae9/appointment

Good luck everyone!
Philadelphia, PA, 19107

Nicole March 12, 2011 at 8:31 am

Charlie,
I saw your post about a great dermatologist in Encinitas. I would love to get the name as I live there and am getting no where with my doctors now.

Cheri Stine March 17, 2011 at 7:59 am

Houston, TX – northwest side – Endocrinologist, Dr. Veena Watwe – 832-593-8100.

Jann March 19, 2011 at 11:35 am

I live in Cary, NC, and I go to an endocrinologist named Dr. Shawnee Weir. The dermatologist says I have female pattern baldness; Dr. Weir states I have Hashimoto’s disease — both considered to cause hair loss. Dr. Weir tested me for high levels of testosterone, which I had, and I asked if I could have the Spiro. She had no problem giving me the Rx, and I take 50 mg. twice a day. I’m too old for BCP, and I have lots of cancer in my family, so I wouldn’t take even if they prescribed to me. I feel like I have held the hair loss at bay since my diagnosis in 2009, but I don’t have as much hair as I used to. My saving grace is my hair is naturally wavy, so that helps to hide the scalp. Got a really good hairdresser, too. She completely changed my hair color, introduced me to “lowlights” and I get many compliments on my hair. She’s real expensive, but I am worth it.

I took 5% Rogaine for about a year, then one day, while sitting in the car with the left side of my face in the sun, I saw a *ton* of light-colored facial hair — just like a dude! I quit taking the stuff immediately. I didn’t feel it worked except on my face. . .

The texture of my hair has changed, too. The diameter of each hair shaft is half the size it used to be, which make the frizzies really bad in the summer.

Everyone’s journey is different. I’ve learned to live with it, hide the scalp and such. But, when the time comes, I won’t hesitate to get a good wig. I do agree, though, that unless you suffer with hair loss, you pooh-pooh the idea of the *grief* we all feel at losing a part of ourselves — and the part that helps define our femininity!

I try not to think about it. Most days I do okay, but it hurts.

Jayne March 22, 2011 at 11:24 pm

I’ve read all of the posts here and it appears that famous Dr. Redmond has recommended that some patients trade in Spiro for brand-name Aldactone. Has anyone who made the switch actually noticed a difference? I keep worrying that the inactive ingredients in my generic Spiro are keeping me from benefiting as much as possible.

Also, my health insurance covers the generic form of Yasmin. I used to be on Ocella, but this month the pharmacy gave me something new — Zarah. Does anyone have experience with it that they can share? Years ago I was on Estrostep FE and it made my hair loss worse, so I’m a worried about the ethinyl estradiol in Zarah.

Finally, can anyone explain the “big shed” that people mention in describing their experience with Rogaine?

Thank you to everyone — this community helps me get through the bad days!

Donna March 23, 2011 at 11:46 am

I found a dermatologist in Delaware that will prescribe 200 mg of Spiro. Thomas Burke, Omega Center, Newark, DE. He still has a little of the condescending tone that is so familiar but is at least willing to try certain things. I’ve only been there twice; the second visit was disappointing since he doesn’t want to procede with anything further since “my scalp is pink and he didn’t get a ton of hair when he pulled on it”. Ugh. Doesn’t seem to matter that I currently have about 1/10 the hair I did 4 years ago. Oh well, sorry for the venting. This is so difficult and I feel for all of you out there going through this as well. Can’t we all live in the same town and not have to worry about all this ;-) I was also wondering if anyone really grows any hair back from the Spiro or does it just slow down the loss?

andie March 26, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Hi Ladies

Fellow 15 yr. hair loss gal and have been reading your posts. I could have written them all myself. understand..

Anyone know of a good Hair Doc in Colorado?

grateful that i have my health but would love to keep whatever hair i have but if not, the best wig available and i will get on with my life…. until they find a cure

xoxox

Ashley April 26, 2011 at 6:46 am

Hi All- I had my 4 month phone consult with Dr. Redmond. He decided to keep me on the current medications. (Zovia 1/50, Finesteride 5 mg, and Aldactone 200mg. I think my hair is about the same, maybe shedding a little less. I do feel better about the whole hairloss situtation. He said, I would need to stay on the current treatment for at least 2 years. I will follow up with him in 4 months.

Vanessa April 27, 2011 at 8:42 am

Hi Ashley (and all),

Good to hear that he thinks you’re on the right path. I’m on the same 3 meds as well and have been for about 10 months. All total, I’ve been on a bcp (initially Yasmin), spiro and finasteride for 16 months. I can definitely say I have less hair at my frontal hairline than I did a year ago, not dramatically less but noticeable to me when I look. But, I think things might be better at the vortex and back.

Megan May 3, 2011 at 4:51 pm

Hi all, I am a 25 year old that has just in the last 6 to 8 months started noticing my hair loss. My first problem was that I have scalp psoriasis and I had trouble with itching and I thought that me scratching was causing my hair to thin. On my last doctor appointment with my dermatologist I finally brought up my hair loss. I mean, she looked at my head, she had to notice my hair loss, but never mentioned any treatments or anything that could help it, so I thought maybe I was crazy. I asked her if any of the medications I was on for my psoriasis could cause my hair loss and she said no, that from where I was losing my hair it was just genetic female pattern balding and told me to go buy some Rogaine and try that for 4 months. I also have PCOS and am on orthotricyclen. She also talked to my ob/gyn and they together decided I should try taking Metformin. I just picked up the prescription for that today so I have no idea how that’s going to work. The truth is I am petrified of losing my hair. I am 25 years old, losing my hair, have psoriasis on my scalp, I am over-weight, and I also have another condition called hydratenitis supprativa which causes sores and extensive scarring in my underarm and groin area. It just seems like every day I turn around and something else is wrong with me. I am ashamed of myself…and it definitely affects my social life and I don’t really know what else to do. I do know that I cannot afford to go see a doctor that charges $600 a visit and is in NY. I wish I could, but I (for one) live in the midwest and I am single and there is just no conceivable way that could happen for me. I appreciate all of you being honest and sharing your issues and possible solutions it has at least given me some hope and something to bring up at my next dermatologist appointment. I feel like she may not be as up to date in the area of female hair loss as I would like, but she is very nice and will hopefully be open to other solutions if the Rogaine and metformin do not help.

Lilly May 16, 2011 at 8:28 am

Hi everyone,

I have been visiting this site often within the past year but have never posted my story so here goes.

The Beginning:
I started noticing very very mild hair loss when I was 16 years old which gradually increased to mild at the age of 17. I went to see a dermatologist who dismissed my concerns and said I have nothing to worry about. Between the ages of 18-20 I believe my hair loss continued but it was so mild that I hardly noticed it. The last time my hair was at its thickest and longest was when I was 19 years old.

Noticeable hair loss:
When I turned 20 the hair loss became severe. Over the course of one year I had lost so much hair and could not come to understand why this was happening. When I turned 21 I decided to see a dermatologist who diagnosed me with telogen efflevium and gave me a medical shampoo and 5% minoxidil to use. Over the course of three months I noticed no difference and my shedding would be mild for a month then severe for several months. It was always inconsistent which made it much harder for me to explain to the doctor when it was happening.

Hair loss specialist:
I decided to go see a hair loss specialist in London who also diagnosed me with telogen efflevium (due to weight loss) but he said my iron stores were low at 34 and they should be 70+ for healthy hair growth. I started taking Ferrous Sulphate 200mg twice a day. My hair loss improved dramatically and my hair even became thicker for 3 months. However, this was followed by an episode of severe shedding and irregular periods. (My periods were always irregular as I was growing up but when I started exercising at the age of 20 they were regular for exactly one year.) This hair loss and the irregular periods got me thinking that I may have PCOS.

PCOS Diagnosis:
So I went to see a gynaecologist who diagnosed me with PCOS after blood tests that showed very high LH levels and he conducted an ultrasound. Interestingly, my testosterone levels are very low. But I did read that with women who suffer from PCOS they can still have hair loss because they become very sensitive to ANY amount of testosterone in their body. He told me to go on 1000mg of metformin and 50 mg of spironolactone. I took the metformin for 3 weeks and could not handle the side effects. The main ones were severe depression (constant weeping that stopped me from leaving my house) and severe headaches that would wake me up in the middle of the night. At this point I was not on spiro.

Spironolactone:
I decided to go back to my hair loss specialist and update him on my situation. He said that I should increase my spiro dose every two weeks until I reach 200mg a day. And so, three weeks ago I started the spiro and I am currently on 100mg and will increase my dose next week. I’m 22 years old now and my hair has never been thinner. The shedding has just increased in the past week and I don’t know whether it is because of the spiro or because of my hormone imbalance. My shedding has always been increased prior to getting my period and decresed when i’m on my period. But I just got off my period a few days ago and it has hit an all time high. Over the past two years I have gone from being a happy outgoing girl to a very severly depressed person. I hate what this is doing to me and I am hoping that the spiro works because right now it’s my only hope.

rea May 17, 2011 at 11:41 am

Yes, my doctor does. Dr. Lori in birmingham MI.

Christina May 24, 2011 at 3:29 am

I am so sorry! I have had a similar issue. I started to cry while reading this. I have dealt with TE my since I was 19. I am 33 now. After the birth of my second child I developed AGA. REALLY BAD! I had TE and AGA simultaneously. Some days I lost 650+. I had to leav my Derm because he refused to go above 50mg. He said I was perfectly healthy and didn’t need anymore. I had done my own research and knew anything less than 75 was useless. I am 5’4 and 110 lbs and he did not want to give me anymore dosage. Even though routine blood tests came back normal. I finally went to my primary doctor and she agreed to give me 100mg. But I am still shedding slightly a year later. I have very thick hair but even still, I have a giant bald spot at my crown and part. I will eventually look like boso the clown with dark hair. When iIwent back to my doctor to ask for a higher dose (150mg) she was so rud to me. Telling me that I had to get over it. I was making too much of it. “Maybe I should take an antidepresent.” What?! I am not even dwelling on it. I am so proud of my self for that. It is not easy but my beautiful children help me everyday. How dare she tell me to get over it. Is it wrong to want to be proactive? I wanted to get a new doctor but I am staying put because of the fear of not finding another doctor who prescribes is too great! She is a woman and unforntunately, sometimes they can be the least compassionate! I wish all of you luck. I am still waiting for the miracle cure! God Bless

Jane June 8, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Hello ladies,

I am a 38 year old female who went into premature ovarian failure in my early twenties. I’ve taken Prempro on and off over the years due to the concerns in the media over HRT (despite there being no studies on people in my age group).

Approximately fifteen months ago I had surgery. Within a few weeks my scalp started burning and itching. I also noticed thinning. I went to the dermatologist and they said my blood work looks ‘normal’. Recently I had a biopsy and the findings were Androgenic Alopecia. I’ve lost 65% of my hair and the burning is still there. I have recently been put on an anti-anxiety medicine (initially amotryptolene and now gabapentin) to stop the burning. Those are not really working to stop the burning and itching. After the biopsy, the derma prescribed Spironolactone to help grow the hair. I am worried about the side affects and since the burning persists, I’m not sure it will help with the hair loss / growth.

About six weeks ago I started seeing a Kinesiologist because the medical doctors (dermas, primary and my OB) were not taking me seriously. Stress could be a factor, but this is not all in my head. I’m not sure how to proceed at this time. Help!

Have you ladies seen consistent growth with the Spironolactone? Approximately how much of your hair grew back and how long before you were satisfied?

Paula June 12, 2011 at 7:23 pm

I started visiting this site about a year and a half ago, and that’s how I discovered spironolactone. Here in my country (Argentina) I can get it without a prescription in all pharmacies.
I take 100mg, the thing I first noticed was my cystic acne dissapearing, that was GREAT!
I have recovered almost 75% of my hair now, but I still have some shedding and my hair is very thin.

Was considering upping my dose to 200mg, but I’m not sure… and now I read lots of comments about finasteride. Can I take spironolactone 100 mg + finasteride 1 mg togheter?

Here most physician don’t pay attention when I tell them about my hair loss, they just prescribe some shampoo and vitamins and that’s it – that never worked for me, but spironolactone DID.

I can get finasteride with no problem too (all pharmacies here are like that) so that’s no problem.

Any input, ladies? :) Please bear my English!!!

Cheers

Karen23 June 27, 2011 at 9:43 pm

Want to say thanks to whoever created this site, and thanks to all you ladies sharing your stories. I share your frustration with doctors and the medical system. I developed this condition in the last 4 years, and am still searching for effective treatment. I was wondering if I was the only one experiencing stubbornness, apathy and disbelief on the part of doctors–alas, I am not. Disturbing and comforting at the same time.

I did find a female gyno who was sympathetic and willing to put me on a somewhat high estrogen, low androgen contraceptive, which helped. But a visit to dermatologist [gyno didn't want to deal with issue past the pill RX] was demoralizing–he was demeaning and dismissive, and refused to prescribe anything, except to change my ancestry! [Seriously!] I then took matters into my own hands and added Saw Palmetto to my regimen, and saw a little more improvement in the situation, but my hair loss has only slowed, not stopped. And my hair line continues to recede and I am terrified.

I have an appointment with a new PCP next week, an am having anxiety attacks that I will experience the same thing there. And being on Medicaid, I am lucky to get in to see anyone right now. If he doesn’t help me, I will be in a real jam. So I am trying to prepare to make my case, and frustrated I have to argue like a damn lawyer in the doctor’s office!

Thanks for letting me spill.

Karen23 June 27, 2011 at 10:08 pm

It’s me again…just wondered if anyone has tried finasteride [Propecia], and how you feel it compares with spironolactone? Any trouble getting the doc to consider you have PCOS even though you don’t have lots of cysts? [I find most still hold to that belief with PCOS. I have also read that women with this condition may have insulin-resistance, suggested treatment being Metformin.

I just hope I don’t end up knowing more about this than the next doctor I visit…

Sue in San Diego June 30, 2011 at 2:32 pm

OMG! Anne! I just read about taking Omeprazole or Prilosec! I thought i was going crazy. I have bad ulcers and started taking it about a month ago. MY HAIR.. I have lost about 1/2 of what I had…. I had a feeling it might be from this drug. since it was the only thing I changed. I feel so bad for the women on here… I hope by me stopping this drug I can stop the shedding and maybe see some hair growth. Thank you so very much.
SUE~ -

Valerie Keefe July 5, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Difficulty in obtaining spironolactone… every trans girl on the planet hears you loud and clear. The first doctor I went to after trying to jump the six-month queue flat out refused, despite my blood pressure being 155 over 95 at the time.

Doctors really do seem to hate when women might want to exercise control over their gender presentation.

Mandy July 7, 2011 at 3:37 pm

I take spironolactone as well, but I am inclined to agree that the dosage you are taking is pretty high. As you stated, this is a pretty miserable drug and the more you take, the worse the symptoms are. I think your doctor did you a disservice by starting you out so high because now your body is dependent upon it. I had horrific hair shedding (to the point where I’d be lint rolling gobs of hair off my clothes every hour or so) when I started taking it. I started at 25 mg once a day, and then had a blood test to see the impact on the DHEA hormone level. It was quickly upped to taking 25 mg twice a day. I saw my best results with my hair loss at this level. I maintained this dosage for over a year with positive results. Unfortunately, future blood work showed that although my hair was doing better, the DHEA level had once again skyrocketed. The doctor decided to increase the dosage up to 50mg twice a day and at that point I thought I was going to die. I had to ease into it my doubling one dose a day for a few months because doubling up both had me constantly sick. I have actually started to shed hair again since the increase in dosage which makes me very unhappy. I think its a balance to figure out a good dosage, but more is not necessarily a good thing.

I also wonder what I am sacrificing for my vanity. I’m sure we can all agree that losing your hair is an awful occurrence. I cried all the time as handfuls of my hair where to be found everywhere. I was so happy when my hair wasn’t shedding, but now I look at the cost. This medicine really is the devil. I’m tired all the time. It makes me feel weak and never in the mood to do much. I used to be so energetic and out and about. Now I almost never leave the house. I feel like I’m missing out on life and missing out on my kids growing up so I can keep my hair. I also never had a blood pressure problem before, but now that I take this i have huge swings from low to really high and there is no way to control it. I think that anyone who is given this should be warned about the trade-offs.

Julia July 13, 2011 at 11:55 am

Hi Everyone! I just had a derm appointment yesterday for the first time about my hair. I used to have very thick hair, and most of it still is except the top and sides! I can almost see my scalp on the top of my head, it’s so depressing :( and I’m 29. Anyway, the first thing the dr did was give me an order for a bunch of blood work and a perscription for Spironolactone 100mg. He told me to hold off on getting the medication until the results of blood work come back. He said if everything comes back normal to go ahead and get the perscription filled and start taking my meds.. I’m nervous because I hate taking medication and am trying to wean myself off from zoloft for the same reason which has some horrible side effects. I also don’t want my body to get used to taking it where i can’t live without it or my hair will fall out. I don’t know what’s worse. Any advice?

Beth July 22, 2011 at 5:31 am

Kort Knudson endocrinologist in Middletown, CT is willing to prescribe at effective dosage. Highly recommend him.

Mandy Chivers July 27, 2011 at 2:28 pm

My Dr just prescribed me Spironolactone today at 150mg per day, of which I will start in the morning. I have PCOS and have been struggling with hair loss. I also take 850mg x3 Metformin. Bit scared now after reading all the bad things about Spironolactone.

No problems with the Gynacologist, it was her who suggested Spironolactone.

The health clinic is http://www.losolivos-obgyn.com/

The Gyni was Dr. Neuhaus and she was really nice, caring and willing to listen. Based in Los Gatos, California. I would recommend her.

Sanjeevni July 27, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Dear all, I’m 34 and have sufferred and somehow this condition for almost 15 years or so. I can understand how one can bcome a slave of a drug. However I take a few drugs and some of these don’t require any prescription, which gives you back your control in your hands. I have also tried several other alternative techniques and listing a complete list of do’s and don’t i have from my own practical experience.
Do’s:
1. Use a tar shampoo. Neutrogena T-Gel or Nizoral is a good place to start. But test out what might work for you.
2. Use a wide toothed comb and use it infrequently.
3. Pop a zinc tab (7.5 mg) works for me.
4. Use a D3 supplement. Again available OTC. And known to grow back hair on rats. I’m not a doctor but I couldn’t find any known side effects except for pregnant women.
5. Drink lots of water and herbal teas. Esp. Chamomile, mint.
6. We all know this but fresh fruit, grean beans and fresh veggies esp brocolli, lettuce and cauli flower can do heaps of good. Dry cereal is also good.
7. Lower your stress levels by a yoga/medtation regime which calms your mind and cools your body. Easy to find these on internet searches.
Don’ts:
1. Never scratch out your dandruff or scalp. you’ll always regret it.
2. Dry weather helps. So avoid the seaside or humid weather. Oily hair falls quicker than dry hair.
3. Never fall for oily formulations or masseges, they are not god for your hair.
4. Never use a conditioner on your scalp directly.
5. Avoid hair colors, dyes, corn rows and other things that torture your hair.
6. Avoid oily/spicy foods. If it’s sticky or hot its not good for you.
7. Avoid headstands. These heat your body instead of cooling it.
Try these new things to slowly wean out prescription medication.
Hope no one ever needs to rely on doctors again!!!

MissAyn August 12, 2011 at 4:39 pm

I just read the above and was wondering if you’ve tried an Ob-Gyn? Mine gave a prescription for it after my dermatologist want to get me on the pill to boost my estrogen. (I can’t take birth control)
My ob gave me Spironolactone instead.
Good luck to you!

katie August 14, 2011 at 7:36 pm

I had this medicine prescribed to me by my gynecologist per his suggestion. I have severe PCOS and he prescribed it to battle hair growth on my face and feet lol. I take 100 mg and had no issues getting a full year prescription. Not sure why they gave you such a fuss. I’m near dayton ohio and its no problem at all getting it here. Hope you have better luck.

AJP August 16, 2011 at 7:02 am

I had no problem getting spiro from Dermatology Associates of Atlanta. In fact Dr. Edmond Griffin recommended it.

Michelle September 1, 2011 at 7:13 am

Thanks, Sanjeevni for that list of holistic recommendations. I am planning on adding Rosemary oil to my Tea tree and Peppermint shampoo. It is said that rosemary oil helps stimulate hair growth, but we’ll see.

I live in NY and want to make an appt. with Dr. Redmond, but am leary of the medical profession, as are most of you. He seems to prescribe the same medicines for everyone who commented on being treated by him. And obviously that would make sense if he’s treating you all for the same problem. But since so many of you referenced having different conditions, I wonder about the treatment.

Those commenting on taking BCP, did your blood work show that your estrogen levels were off or are the BCP just a standard part of the Rx regimen?

Does he charge you for the follow-up phone appts?

Jessica Williams October 8, 2011 at 4:09 am

Dr Peter Shalit in Seattle would probably prescribe Spironolactone. He is a very open minded doctor with a lot more compassion and knowledge than any of the others. Plus Seattle is a cool town.
I take 200 mg daily.

Anonymous October 25, 2011 at 8:09 am

Just wanted to let you ladies know that Dr. Paul Rusonis in Columbia, Maryland had no problems with the spiro prescription (starting at 100mg a day, upping if necessary)… he’s actually the one that suggested it.

keepitgrowing March 21, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Your story resonates through so many hair loss sufferers, and their commentary expresses it. I too was treated with Aldactone 22 years ago by a local endocrinologist and the dosage was started at 50 mg and increased to 100 mg daily. I unfortunately had to stop because of side effects, I took it for 8 months. I saw no appreciable results, perhaps I needed more time to evaluate – who knows? However, I too have been on the end of insensitive practitioners who have had lots of hair and none-”What’s that all about!” Finding what works for hair loss is a two-part process: the right practitioner (knowlegeable, caring), and safe solutions with integrity. Still in search of what works, wearing a hair system in the meantime, maybe there is hope in the hair cloning process. Keep it going or growing – whatever works.

D April 10, 2012 at 9:04 am

Marlys Drange, MD
800 Fairmount Ave # 110
Pasadena, CA 91105
(626) 795-2663

She’s amazingly detailed, thorough and understanding. I highly recommend her. She started me on spiro 100mg and will work up from there.

Stefanie May 17, 2012 at 8:05 am

Nine years ago I took Accutane, which cleared up my acne but caused a lot of hair to fall out. Not a dramatic amount, but enough for me to notice. I assumed in time it would grow back or just never grow. Maybe Accutane hair loss is permanent, but I’m willing to try almost anything. (I’m hesitant to try Rogaine because I don’t want facial hair, and I don’t want to use it forever.) Over the past year, I’ve started taking vitamins to encourage my hair to grow. But, since I stopped using birth control three months ago, my acne has returned. (I had been on it, albeit different brands, over the span of 13 years.) I don’t want to start taking it again because the migraines have stopped. I’ve been taking doxycycline to treat acne, but it doesn’t seem to be working. My amazingly nice and caring derm suggested spironolactone at my last visit. I’m hoping it will clear up my acne, and if it helps with the hair, that would be a plus. Wishing everyone the best results!

Audie July 10, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Hi Stefanie. What dosage has your derm prescribed for you? I’m just curious about the different dosage amounts and what works for some women. I’ve read on blogs that anything less than 200mg/day is not worth it, but I guess it’s different for everyone…

I’m a 31 year old caucasian woman and I just start spironolactone 100mg/day for hair loss (after biopsy of scalp, I have female pattern baldness that I inherited from my mother) tonight – 07.10.12. I didn’t even know about spironolactone until my derm mentioned it, because SHE takes it for her hair thinning and has been on it for quite a number of years. She highly recommends it. I’m also going to try Rogaine 5% foam, along with the spiro. Other than a healthy diet, iron supplements (my ferritin level is at 10), and multivitamins of various sorts, I’m gonna fight this with all the ammunition I have available to me. I wish everyone the best of luck. I’m happy to have found this forum.

dee August 27, 2012 at 8:45 pm

Hi I follow this forum but this is my first time writing. I am 50plus have fine, thin hair and noticed a couple of thinning areas 2 years ago. Not bad, and easily camouflaged. After 2 color disasters, lost more hair, texture change, hairs broke off and lost lots of hair in shower. So, with family social events coming up I made the MISTAKE of putting in the strip kind of hair extension.The salon owner assured me he would bring my hair back and no damage to my natural hair..BS! Only used them for 2mo. at a time for 7 1/2mo. Out now for 8mo and the damage to the hair strands, missing layers of hair from ears down, it’s dry, brittle/frizzy& I can only wear it in a ponytail.The top of myhair and hairline is a mess too.This with the increasing thinning areas has changed my life; I get to be a recluse totally OCD about my hair..never was that. Thank God my husband loves
me for who I am. Has anyone recovered and have ideas/products that may help me regrow hair in the very sparse areas? Went to Dr. Redmond 4mo ago and I’m taking .5mg Avodart, 200mgSpiro, Vivelle dot and progesterone. Hey, I have decent hair days and bad ones.I’m due for an appt soon and see his take on things. Did feel that he cared, just hoping he’s on the right track. I live on Long Island, near NYC so I’d appreciate a salon/stylist/colorist suggestion for the future too. My hubbie just cut my hair again yesterday..Tryin to get the lost bottom layers to eventually catch up to the still damaged upper layers of hair. (Can’t believe I made my thinning hair issues worse by believing the extension guy who came highly recommended) At least when I finally saw what was happening I stopped. It’s very addictive and there were some nice women who admitted they were LIFERS who can’t live without them. Any help would be very appreciated!!!!!! Thanks all of you for sharing your stories and being so brave…it certainly helps me.

EG January 4, 2013 at 8:34 am

I highly recommend a visit to an acupuncture. They can balance your hormones naturally and with low cost. It worked for me. Good luck. :)

Sandra January 9, 2013 at 10:23 am

I first heard about spironolactone when I went to Woodruff Institute in Naples, Florida. I was prescribed 100mg in two doses per day. I have been taking it for about 6 months and it has helped to prevent the hair from falling out. Now if I could just get some new ones to grow!

kate March 29, 2013 at 7:57 pm

NIP Minneapolis MN Nurse Laura

Star January 24, 2014 at 10:21 am

Hello

I have had hairloss since age 25. I was on birthcontrol from ages 13 to 32
Manage periods.. I belueve this is why my hair is falling out. My hair
Used to be very thick and now I have something like a rat tail..my hairloss picked up after 2nd son. Got tones of bloodwork done and vame back positive for high levels of testosterone. Dr gave me spiro 100mg and I refused to take it bc of all ive read in reviews. Instead ive gone naturalpathic homeopathic way. Im taking 20 drops of hormeed in my smoothie and juicing fruits and vegtables. Ive noticed considerable changes in thickness and growth around crown. Now when i went for gollow up the dr said my testosterone has droped 4 points in one month which the dr couldnt belueve wen I told her I wasnt tsking pills. She said oh no nutitian and homeopathics have no bearing on my sudden drop in levels!! Instead she says she has no explanation! Try Hormeed ladies and see a baturalpath ask for a live bloodcell analysis ! Its working gor me and i dont have anyside effects or worries! Bc its natural body recognises it and fixes problem for any imbalance apparently. Best of luck to everyone

Star January 24, 2014 at 10:29 am

Sorry for spelling errors my phone wouldn’t allow me to go back make corrections. :)

layla January 27, 2014 at 10:02 pm

I just wanted to give a little hope to women with adrogenic alopecia out there who may be reading the comments to know whether aldactone works. I’ve been taking Aldactone (spiro) 100 mg 1x day for 4 months and it has worked for me! I started noticing less shedding around the 3-4 week mark, and noticed more fullness in the crown and middle part of my hair around six weeks-two months. The crown and top of my head is filling in for sure. I had lost about 50-60% of my hair in that area over the last 6 years and finally it was thin enough that my doctor recommended me to a dermatologist. I was lucky that I have a great doctor who knew this would help me because I had no idea what I was going to be prescribed. Right now I would say about 30-40% of that 50-60% has grown back. My doctor said it would be 6 months to 1 year before the full effects would be seen. I am hoping to recover 60-75% of the hair I lost. My doctor did say I should not expect it to ever get as thick as it was and in most cases there wouldn’t be much regrowth (just works on the hair loss), so I am happy with what I’ve seen so far. I will keep taking this medication long term as long as I can retain the amount of hair I have now. I am much more fatigued but I think that’s going away after several months of taking the drug. The first month was the worst – lots of lightheadedness and no energy. Good luck ladies – try everything once I say.

Cristy March 18, 2014 at 12:53 pm

I have been prescribed Aldactone by my dermatologist – Dermatologic Surgery Specialists in Macon, GA. They were very quick to recommend and prescribe it to me for hair loss. They gave me 400 mg per day at first, it was much too high for me. Only took it 2 days and was blacking out upon standing up and my arm muscles were so sore I couldn’t lift my arms. Wrote me a new prescription for 100 mg. 2x per day but now I am scared to start taking it again due to the bad reaction the first time.

Mag June 3, 2014 at 7:12 am

SPIRONOLACTONE was prescribed to me for excessive hair growth on my chin. (I have not started it yet, I’m reading up on it now) My GYN from Norwell Massachusetts prescribed 100 MG once a day- with a 6 month refill. I am 46 and take no meds…I am very weary about this medication and the side effects :(

ashley August 5, 2014 at 5:42 pm

I am on 200 mg and my doctor is in Rochester, NY. If anyone needs a doctor.

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