Spironolactone is an aldosterone receptor antagonist. It is also known as Aldactone. This medication is approved by the FDA and is used for the treatment of fluid retention which is caused due to different reasons including kidney and liver diseases. Along with this, it is also used to treat other conditions like high blood pressure level, hyperaldosteronism, and heart failure.
Recently, doctors have started prescribing this medication for treating female hair loss pattern that is caused by androgenic alopecia. In this, women lose hair due to the overproduction of the male sex hormones androgen.
This medication is only prescribed when other treatment such as minoxidil fails to show expected results. But, Spironolactone does not help in treating hair loss in men.
It is also ineffective in treating female hair loss due to non-hormonal reasons such as stress, deficiencies of nutrients or chemotherapy.
How does spironolactone treat hair loss
Spironolactone slows down the production of the male hormones, androgens. This helps to slow down the process of hair loss and helps in boosting the re-growth of hair.
According to a study that was performed in 2015, around 75% of the participants with female hair loss patterns noticed improvements after taking this medication.
Moreover, in the 2017 study, it was found out that the combination of spironolactone and minoxidil had a lot of benefits.
Researchers saw a reduction in hair loss, an increase in hair growth and improvement in the thickness.
How much dose is prescribed by the doctor?
If you have hair loss then your doctor will prescribe a dose of 100 – 200 mg. They will ask you to start with 25 mg dose per day and will gradually increase it to reduce the risk of its side effects.
This medication sometimes makes you feel drowsy so it is advisable to take it at night and can be taken with or without food. If you have not got your menopause yet then the doctor will prescribe birth control pills along with it. They might prescribe minoxidil with spironolactone.
The dosage will differ and depend on the severity of your hair loss and if you are on any other medication.
How long does it take to see the results?
Spironolactone takes some time before reducing the hair loss. So, if you are not seeing any results right away, you will have to be a little patient. Most of the people will have to take this medication for around 6 months to see results. Others might see results after a year. So you will have to wait a little to see results.
You should follow up with your doctor after 6 months. Depending on the result, your doctor might increase the dosage or might prescribe an alternative medication.
What are the side effects?
Spironolactone is very common for lowering the blood pressure. So, it can cause low blood pressure in people who are taking this medication for hair loss. You should check your blood pressure on a regular basis.
Other common side effects are:
- Gaining of weight
- Irregular periods
- Breast tenderness
- Low sex drive
More serious but rare side effects are:
- High levels of potassium
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
Having high levels of potassium can be life-threatening. You should contact your doctor right away if you see any of the below symptoms:
- Muscle fatigue
- Abnormal heart rate
Is Spironolactone medication safe?
Spironolactone is a safe medication but if you do not take the correct dose then it can cause health problems. You should consult a doctor before taking any other medication while you are taking spironolactone.
While taking this medication, you should drink plenty of water especially in hot weather or if you work out because it can cause dehydration. You might experience the below signs:
- Excessive thirst
- Dark-colored urine
- Infrequent urine
You should get emergency treatment if you notice signs of an allergic reaction.
Signs of allergy
- Trouble in breathing
- Sudden rise or drop in heart rate
- Loss of consciousness
Spironolactone is an effective treatment for treating the hair loss caused due to hormonal reasons. But it will take up to a year to show results. If you wish to try this medication, you should consult your doctor before taking it.