Spironolactone (brand name Aldactone) is a drug used to treat blood pressure, acne, and excessive hair growth. It works by blocking the male hormone testosterone at the skin level, directly stopping hair growth.
It usually takes at least 6 months before you see the effects of diminished hair. Spironolactone only helps prevent new hairs from growing and does not kill hairs that are already present.
To start treatment, take one 25mg tablet daily for one week, and then 2 tablets daily for one week, and then 3 tablets daily for one week, and then 4 tablets daily from the fourth week on. The goal is to take 100mg daily.
Spironolactone is a mild diuretic and can cause mild, frequent urination which usually resolves after several weeks. It can cause a rise in potassium levels in women who take potassium – saving diuretics. It can also cause a drop in blood pressure, fatigue, rash, itching, dizziness, heartburn, nausea, diarrhea, skin sensitivity to sun or irregular menstrual cycles. It should not be used without an adequate form of birth control as it can cause birth defects.
Before starting Spironolactone all patients should have blood pressure and blood chemistry evaluation. After taking the medication for 6-8 weeks, repeating blood pressure and blood chemistry’s are recommended. After 6 months of therapy, further treatment decisions regarding laser hair removal and continued medication can be determined.