Aldactone, or by its generic name: spironolactone, is a drug used to block the action of the hormone aldosterone, whose main function is to reabsorb and, therefore, retain water and sodium in the body.
As this drug creates the opposite effect, there is an increased excretion of urine from the kidneys (water and salts) while maintaining potassium. This is what is called a diuretic and it is mostly administered to keep the balance of the sodium-potassium pump in the body system while maintaining the amount of corporal water and homeostasis.
Diuretics are mostly administered when kidneys are not functioning correctly or when there´s a hormonal disorder leading to problems with the beating of the heart and excretion. In fact is quite common with the use of Aldactone on hypertensive patients, in order to help their metabolism and also normalize blood pressure and heart rhythm.
Spironolactone in particular, is a potassium-sparing diuretic, since it retains this electrolyte in the organism even when it’s supposed to be passed out with urine. This is pretty useful when there are irregularities in the balance of electrolytes (in a case of high osmolality and excess of sodium) because you can decrease the amount water and of salts (getting rid of the excess) and not losing too much potassium on the way. That way you can bring back the delicate balance between these two.
The medicament, specifically Aldactone generic name: Spironolactone, is particularly harmful for unborn babies when it’s used to treat gestational hypertension or high blood pressure during pregnancy. Suspend its use if you’re pregnant or if you have suspicion of it.
The medicine can be passed into breastmilk and be harmful to the child, for that reason, to avoid problems, you should not take Aldactone while you’re lactating or consult your doctor for alternatives to the situation. The administration of Aldactone is however dependent on the importance of the drug to the mother’s health. If it’s not mandatory to use it, then it should be suspended but if it is essential and the benefits outweigh the risks, an alternate way of feeding the infant must be employed.
The dosing of Aldactone can present some mild and severe side effects which is largely dependent on the dose administered and the duration of use.
Some common side effects:
Vomiting or nausea
Impotence or difficulty to have an erection
These side effects may disappear with time, while you get used to the drug, nonetheless if they persist, call your doctor.
Signs of bleeding
Coughing up blood or vomit
Signs of High potassium
Slow and weak heart rate
Signs of Low sodium
Loss of coordination
Symptoms of any electrolyte imbalance:
Fast heart rate.
If you have any of these symptoms, stop taking the drug and call your doctor immediately.
The Aldactone dosage is usually 400mg daily for three or four weeks. Still, when it’s administered to make a test and check the levels of serum potassium, the drug is administered in 400 mg daily for four or five days. If levels of serum potassium increase during the treatment but decrease significantly after the suspension, then there are signs to suspect a possible hormonal problem known as: hyperaldosteronism
Take Aldactone exactly as your doctor indicates. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts than prescribed, or, even for longer periods of time than the one determined by treatment. Likewise, don’t quit the medication even if you feel better unless you have doctor’s orders to do so. Quitting the medicine abruptly may bring very unpleasant symptoms and complications.
If you miss a dose all you need to do is: take it as soon as you remember but skip it if it’s already time for another dose. Don’t try to double up your dose to make up for the one you forgotten.
In case of overdose or suspicion of it, please call the emergency room.
And how do I know? : Overdose symptoms may include.
Dizziness and uncoordinated movements
Nausea or vomiting