So I went to a new derm, who diagnosed me with telogen efluvium AND androgenetic alopecia, for which he is going to prescribe me Spiro (sorry can’t spell the full name) and Minoxidil, however I told him about my misfortune with taking Minoxidil previously and he said well then just take the Spiro, 50mg (IMO I need 200, because I have less than a fifth of my original hair left). I appreciate that there is already a lot of info in this site with regards to Spiro, but can anyone specifically answer me these questions please?
1. Providing that it helped at all, how long did it take before it started
2. How well did it work/is it working?
3. Were there any unpleasant side effects?
I do take 200mg Aldactone (brand name for Spironolactone) so I can speak from my own experience having been taking it for about 8 years now. I think the easiest of the three questions for me to answer is the last one. The only side effect I noticed from taking the drug was that I seemed to get a little light headed, especially when I would stand up from a chair. The doctor told me that could be related to perhaps not enough sodium in my diet. Since Spironolactone is also a diuretic you do loose extra electrolytes since you go to the bathroom more frequently. I found that eating a pickle or sucking on a ketchup packet would instantly make me feel better. Actually as I am typing this I do remember being tired a lot as well, but taking in that extra sodium seemed to always do the trick and bring me back to life again. I speak in the past tense because I no longer experience any of these side effects and haven’t for many years.
Your first and second questions sort of go hand in hand so I’ll answer them together. It is hard for me to say how long it took for Aldactone to actually work. I don’t remember having that “ah ha” moment and feeling like now the drug is working. I just sort of went on blind faith. Just based on what I read it does take sometime to see any benefits from the drug, probably 4-6 months would be a good guess. And as far as if it works… well thats the million dollar question. It is hard to say how my hair loss would have gone had I not been on any treatment at all. I do know this, I stopped taking the medication around 2003 ( I think that is the year) because I felt like it wasn’t doing anything. A few months later my hair started shedding like crazy so I immediately went back on, and at a higher dosage. I originally was only on 100mg. The year 2004 was probably my most memorable best hair year, hardly any shedding and I just remember feeling a sense of relief from it all. I continue to take it because I feel at this point I would be worse off without it, and my hair would most definitely shed at an alarming rate. I’ve already experienced that when I stopped it before. It is an anti-androgen so I like think it is doing some good.
Something to remember about taking any hair loss treatment is that you do have to take it forever, or until they find a cure. When you stop taking the medication any benefits you got from it will be lost. I know there are quite a few woman on this blog that also take spironolactone so I hope they share their experiences with you too.
I know how tough a decision this is, so take your time and don’t rush into anything.