Hair plays an important role in defining our appearance. It also assists in keeping our bodies healthy and shielded from irritants from the outside world.
Spironolactone is an effective treatment for hair loss brought on by androgenic alopecia in women, but it can occasionally cause shedding that lasts longer than two months.
We’ll talk about spironolactone (Aldactone) and how it treats hair loss in this article. We’ll talk about any side effects you need to be aware of as well as who shouldn’t take the medication.
What is Spironolactone?
Spironolactone is a drug used to treat liver and kidney disease, high blood pressure, and heart failure.
It has been used to treat androgenic alopecia-related hair loss in recent years, along with other drugs.
In order to help people who identify as female manage their hair loss, healthcare professionals may prescribe spironolactone off-label for the treatment of female pattern hair loss (FPHL) or female androgenic alopecia.
How Does Spironolactone Work for Hair Loss?
Aldosterone receptor agonist (ARA) or mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist (MRA) is spirolactone.
This indicates that spironolactone reduces the production of androgens, or testosterone hormones, which are primarily accountable for hair loss.
Because of its antiandrogenic properties, which restrain what aldosterone does in the body, it promotes hair growth.
Although an increase in hair growth is the primary benefit of spironolactone for hair loss, this will depend on how well the body adapts to this medication.
Other medical conditions for which it is prescribed include acne, high blood pressure, and gender-affirming drug therapy.
Around 40% of women or people who identify as women experience female pattern hair loss (FPHL) by the age of 50, according to the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
More than 74% of patients in the study showed signs of improvement or stability in their hair loss after taking spironolactone.
Spironolactone worked best for people who had signs of hyperandrogenism.
Numerous internal and external factors, including hormones, genetics, emotional stress, and lifestyle, will affect how well spironolactone works.
Therefore, it’s crucial to keep in mind that it might not always be the best course of action for you.
Possible Side Effects
Since spirolactone is a diuretic, it aids in the body’s removal of extra fluids, minerals, and water.
In order to prevent dehydration while taking this medication, you must make sure to drink plenty of water.
You might urinate more frequently as a result.
Other possible side effects of spironolactone include:
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- High or low potassium levels
- Headaches, migraines, fatigue, and tiredness
- Changes in weight
- Changes in blood pressure and heart rate
- Tenderness in the breast tissues
- Changes in libido and sexual appetite
- Gastrointestinal effects such as vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, and heartburn
- Changes in appetite
- Muscle spasms or twitching
- Depression and anxiety
- Dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness
- Dark or bloody urine and/or stools
- Fever and chills
- Muscle aches and spasms
- Hives, itching, or skin rash
- Swelling in the limbs
Once your body becomes accustomed to the medication, many side effects go away on their own.
For advice on how to deal with any pain or discomfort, consult your healthcare provider. Find immediate medical help if any side effects become severe or intolerable.
How Long Does It Take to Work?
Don’t give up if you don’t notice results right away. Spironolactone takes some time to start working for hair loss.
For the majority of people, it takes at least six months of use before they begin to experience results. Others might not notice any benefits until they’ve taken it for at least a year.
After taking spironolactone for six months, make an appointment with your doctor. Depending on your results, they might increase your dosage or prescribe a different medication to take with or instead of spironolactone.
Is it safe?
Spironolactone is typically risk-free, but improper use can result in health issues.
Before taking any other drugs while taking spironolactone, consult your doctor. That includes diuretics and nutritional supplements, particularly potassium-based ones.
Before taking spironolactone, tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, or have:
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- High potassium
- Addison’s disease
- Electrolyte imbalance
Talk to your doctor right away if you become sick while taking spironolactone, especially if you have severe or persistent nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea. All of these can result in spironolactone use resulting in dangerously low blood pressure.
If it’s hot outside or you’re exercising, make sure to drink plenty of water while taking spironolactone. Know how to recognize the signs of dehydration, which include:
- Extreme thirst
- Infrequent urination
- Dark-colored urine
Get emergency medical treatment if you experience any signs or symptoms of a severe allergic reaction to spironolactone, including:
- Trouble breathing
- Rapid or weak heartbeat
- Loss of consciousness
The Bottom Line
When women experience androgenic alopecia, spirolactone is an effective treatment. However, it might not start working for a year. Speak to your doctor if you’re considering using spironolactone to treat hair loss. Make sure to tell them about any medical conditions you have and the kinds of hair loss treatments you’ve tried in the past.
Will Hair Grow Back After Spironolactone?
The production of androgens is slowed down by spirolactone. These hormones, which include testosterone, are sex hormones for men. Reduced production of androgens can slow down the progression of hair loss caused by androgenic alopecia. Additionally, it might promote hair regrowth.
Does Spironolactone Help With Female Hair Loss?
Many women benefit from taking spirolactone pills, particularly those whose hair loss begins months before menopause but progresses quickly. After menopause, spironolactone and hormone replacement medications like Prempro work better.
How Long Can You Stay on Spironolactone?
You would require Spironolactone for as long as your acne is a problem. The majority of women will only need treatment for a year or two, though some may need it for several.