Questions About Spironolactone – Ame

by admin on April 15, 2008

Questions About Spironolactone - AmeSo 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
to work?
2. How well did it work/is it working?
3. Were there any unpleasant side effects?

Thanks
Ame

*******************
Hi Ame,

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.

~Y

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda April 22, 2008 at 6:27 am

Hi, well I have been losing my hair since I was 18, now that I’m 44 and have been told it’s too late for me to grow my hair back. Another thing I lost my eyelashes and eyebrows when I was 2. Do you think the doctor is right. Now I’m hypothyroidism.
Is it too late!

Linda

P August 4, 2008 at 12:24 pm

I’m on Spiro 200 mg for just over a month. I have high t from my adrenals but not PCOS. Last week I added prescription iron to my regimen – with the two treatments, my hl has halved!!

The spiro gives me clear skin and my hair is not oily. I’m thirsty but overall happy on it. No dread shed or irregular periods.

Vicky June 10, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Hey Y, you say you have been taking Aldactone and BCP for about 9 years but have regretted it. I wanted to ask you during those years where you said you did think it was helping, did you feel even though you still shed, your loss stabilized? or has your hair been slowing progrssively been getting thinner? Because you said going on the synthroid started the loss again but how about before that? because if it did somewhat stabilize it where it wasnt getting worse year after year, I think thats a great success even if there was no regrowth. Please let me know thank you so much.

Dottie Kahare September 16, 2009 at 4:35 pm

I have a-fib and I am on cumadin and high blood pressure medicine…can I take spironolactone????

Heather May 1, 2010 at 9:47 am

I’ve been losing my hair gradually over the past few years and gaining it in other places. I went to a dermatologist who the sent me to a endocrinologist. All I know to date is that I have a high level of Andostenedione hormone which is causing my symptoms. I can start taking spironolactone but I’m wondering if it will work with high levels of androgens in my system? Does anyone know?

Kaci May 2, 2010 at 6:49 am

Heather,
Yes Sprinolactone is prescribed because of its anti-androgenic properties. A more potent and effective anti-androgen however is Cyproterone Acetate, but for unknown reasons, it is not prescribed in the US. I live in Europe and am currently on it because of hair loss. It has so far worked in halting the hair loss altogether.
The only downside is that you have to be on the birth control pill with this anti-androgen – on its own, it may wreak havoc on your menstrual cycle and therefore this aspect needs to be regulated by the Pill.
I have read that certain doctors (I think Dr.Redmond in NYC) tells women to trek to Canada to get ahold of Cyproterone Acetate, or order it online. It is considerably stronger.

Are all your male hormones elevated (i.e. testosterone, DHEAS as well)?
How old are you?
High male hormones is more often than not, a sign of PCOS. I was diagnosed with it this year, and it helped explain why I started losing hair so young.
So while the dermatologist was spot on for sending you to an endocrinologist, it may be worth making a trip to the gynecologist also – to check your ovaries. I do not know how familiar you are with this condition, but it affects up to 1 in 5 premenopausal women (in different ways: facial hair/acne/hair loss/irregular periods/weight gain/infertility)…so it is worth checking out.

Hormonal imbalances don’t come from nowhere – and almost most of the time, they come from (otherwise harmless) ovarian cysts.

Linda March 2, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Hi!
I am 60 and have been thru hair loss 4 times due to various medications, namely Topomax, Trazadone, Ambien, and Xanax. My hair came back beautifully after getting off the Trazadone, but to sleep, I started on Ambien (I have chronic insomnia). Lost the new, beautiful hair shortly thereafter. I am currently on Spironolactone 100 mg. b.i.d. and it does help and my oily skin looks great! Xanax causes the least hair loss for me and have only stopped shedding recently. I also use a professional laser that I sit under every other nite for 20 minutes and I do think this helps, as well. But, the BEST THING EVER, is that I finally got a human hair wig that is my exact color and cut as my previous beautiful hair. Wearing a wig isn’t perfect, nor is it for everyone, but I can’t tell you how relieved I am to look like myself again and to go out and not have to spend two hours alone on my hair and worrying about how I’m going to look ! I am a former model and makeup artist and I made my living on how well I looked, so I was/am as devastated as all of us on here. My GF just went thru horrible cancer treatments and lost everything and wears wigs and you cannot tell she’s bald…only that she’s happy and survived! Please, all of you, just try a decent wig and have it cut to your style and I think you’ll be so relieved that we’re all still beautiful and not defined by our hair! Love to all the gals on here! Linda Hudson

SOPHIA March 29, 2012 at 12:13 pm

JUST STARTED THIS HAIRLOSS THING ABOUT 6 M0NTHS AGO
BUT I AM 84 IN GOOD HEALTH IT WAS MY CROWNING GLORY
MADE ME LOOK SO MUCH YOUNGER SO YOU CAN IMAGINE HOW DEVASTED I AM .HAVE NOT STARTED SPIRONO LACTONE
MY GP PRESCRIBED IT –NOT MY RECENT VISIT TO A DERMATOLIGIST DAH? WHAT TO DO
SOPHIA

tracy July 16, 2012 at 1:21 pm

I started losing my hair at 27 Minoxidil caused me to grow facial hair, tried the Aldactone but didn’t think it helped. My hair has cycles of heavy shedding followed by no shedding but seems to get thinner the older I get. Some birth control pills seem to lessen the shedding and some seem to make it worse. I’m 44 and got off my Birth Control but have had extremely heavy shedding. Thinking about getting back on to see if it slows down. Other than that, nothing grows it back you might just be able to slow down the process. I have resigned to just letting it be and probably wear a wig at some point. It’s very thin doesn’t grow much and I keep it very short.

Bridget July 27, 2012 at 7:43 am

I just started Sprirolactanone 100mg. I have noticed very tender breasts but not really any improvement to my hair loss (I’m 42). I have always had thinning hair and an oily scalp but not really bad acne. I have to wash my hair daily, which they say is bad for hair, because if I don’t it is an oily mess and I find more hair falls out than if it’s shampood daily. I have been on the drug for about 5 weeks now and stopped for 4 days over a week ago…big mistake, my hair fell out by the handfuls. So now I guess I have to stay with it and I’m wondering when I’m going to see results? Also, I have light brown hair and have been getting highlights for years but decided to go back natural a few months ago and went to the salon for brown color. Do you think I can go back to highlights again since my hair loss is not from chemicals but hereditary? Just wanted to know some of these things, especially when my breasts won’t be so tender anymore? Thanks, Bridget

Malvika February 2, 2016 at 11:55 am

Hi
I am also undergoing an episode of telegon effovilium and androgenic alopecia . I was on 50 mg aldactone for 6 months for acne and after stopping it two months after that my hair started shedding badly . I waited and after 3 months of severe shedding started 50 mg of aldactone and after 2 months 100 mg of aldactone . It has been total of 4 months of taking aldactone but my shedding hasn’t stopped though it has reduced . I have lost nearly 50 percent volume in last 7 months and very scared to loose more . I had thick silky hair which have now become very thin and dry . Please suggest and advice if you can guide and help me . How long did it take for shedding to stop and then after how long did you see regrowth . And how much hair were you able to regrow . Pl help me as this is consuming me completely .

Thanks a lot

deb G August 13, 2016 at 7:34 am

I started taking spiro in 2010. I had lost about 60 per cent of my hair due to hormone problems after a hysterectomy, compounded by cholesterol and acid reflux meds. The spiro Did bring most of my hair back. Within the past 2 years I slowly stated going off spiro. Big mistake. I slowly started losing hair and aa almost back where I started. I am taking 100 mg I am 5.3 140 lbs. So here is the thing about spiro. It can overcome a lot of hair issues, but not always drugs or hypothyroid drugs which can override why spiro can do for you. Something to keep in mind. Even birth control pills back your hormones out. There are usually 4 reasons you lose hair. Thyroid, drugs known to cause hair loss, hormones and sometimes heredity In this case go to a hair surgeon. There is a test to determine if you have the gene for hair loss, it goes by a sliding scale as how likely your hair loss is attributed to genes. I have been struggling with this since 2006, on and off for many years. I had hormone imbalance, low thyroid. The best thing so far 5% minx and spiro. It has done the most good. Don’t forget, in the beginning you will have a red shed with spiro. It will last about 3 months. By 6 months your will start to see hair fullness. You just have to get through the shedding. But hang in there, it will bring you back a full head of hair. Best luck yo all. It’s very difficult and devastating o lose hair. But it seems we have lots of company.

deb G August 13, 2016 at 7:37 am

Malvika,
It could be the low dosage.50 mg doesn’t seem right to me. You usually need at least 100. I take 75 because I get dizzy on 100.

Malvika September 25, 2016 at 9:23 am

Hi I have been on 100 mg since 8 months and my hair has progressively gone thinner dry and brittle .all my long hair keep shedding and it’s more during my cycle .but Spiro isn’t helping ….could it be causing it as I am sick of my hair falling since past one year and my part is widening progressively .can it get better after quitting Spiro for good .I am confused to.lower the dose or increase the dose .pl advice .will Diane 35 help

Carol September 27, 2016 at 2:26 pm

I just started Spiro at 200 mg recently. After 2 weeks I felt dizzy and ill so had a blood test. I was dehydrated and had to go off the pill. My Derm said cut the dose in half so I did. When I started to feel dizzy again, the Derm cut my dose to 25 mg. I will get another blood test this week to see how it’s going. I have been drinking lots of Propel and hope I can gradually increase the dose again. My GP would not work with me on this, so I have switched to a new doctor. I have hypothyroidism and alopecia areata and have been fighting hair loss for 8 or more years; I’m not giving up yet! The Derm also prescribed Ketoconazole shampoo 2%.

Marsha August 10, 2017 at 11:47 pm

I started spir. In May at 25 mg. it was just upped to 50 in July and my hair loss is worse and I now have really bad bald spots and my hair seems to come out more…is this common. I also hate the blood testing…will I have to do this blood rearing for ever…I hate needles…

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