*Results may vary. The information in this site is NOT to be construed as medical advice. Cirrhosis of the liver is a serious condition and if you have it, you should see a doctor. I am not a doctor and am not able to dispense medical advice. My husband saw a doctor (many of them) and they were able to do things for him that I could not. However, they were unable to recommend alternative treatments, and in MY OPINION they were VERY beneficial to my husband, so I am providing some of that information here. My husband and I tried all of these alternative therapies at our own risk, and if you try them you will be doing the same. At your own risk. No promises are made in this blog. I am not saying there is a cure for cirrhosis or any other condition. However, I believe most people can get well, like my husband did. My husband is alive, happy, productive, functional and has his energy back. He no longer worries about having to go on disability or getting a $577,000 liver transplant. Cirrhosis is a serious condition. He is currently in the fibrosis stage (Stage 2 liver disease), which is still serious. I cannot guarantee you will have the same results. I just want you to know about what worked well for my husband. I hope you will share what you learned with others, and share your story with us as well. This blog was made for YOU! Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Spironolactone has a BLACK BOX WARNING ... it causes tumors in rats!

With all the years I've been researching stuff, you'd think I would have seen this somewhere, but NOPE!  Today was the first time I'd ever heard that Spironolactone - which I thought was one of the more relatively safe medications my husband was on - actually has a black box warning.

I'm not telling anyone to NEVER take this, but... you guys should know about this, because we sure didn't!!! I just did some "light research" into the side effects and apparently hadn't seen the full extent of how bad it is.  I had always thought of Spironolactone as one of the "safer" medications my husband had been on, and if you asked me which diuretic I thought was "less of a risk": Spironolactone or Fuosemide, I would have guessed Spironolactone.

I shudder to think what I will find when I dig a little deeper into the side effects of Furosemide. I haven't had time but plan to do this in the future, but if YOU have time I suggest you do it now!

Please have a look at what is highlighted in yellow, below.


What Is Spironolactone (Aldactone)?

Spironolactone is the generic form of the brand-name drug Aldactone, a prescription diuretic drug.
The drug is used to treat a condition called primary hyperaldosteronism, in which the body produces excess amounts of the hormone aldosterone, which regulates your body's sodium and water levels.
Spironolactone helps restore a healthy balance of sodium and potassium in your body.
It's also used to treat:
  • Essential hypertension (high blood pressure with an unknown cause)
  • Hypokalemia (potassium deficiency)
  • Edema (fluid retention) from various conditions, including congestive heart failure, kidney disease, and cirrhosis (liver scarring)
  • Severe heart failure
Spironolactone is a potassium-sparing diuretic. Sometimes called "water pills," diuretics help the kidneys expel water and salt in urine while retaining potassium.
The drug may also be used in combination with other medications to treat precocious (early) puberty and myasthenia gravis, a neuromuscular disease.
Manufactured by Pfizer, spironolactone was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1985.
Though spironolactone has been around for over 25 years, the FDA is still updating the drug's safety labeling.
In 2011, the FDA added Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis — two life-threatening skin disorders — to spironolactone's list of possible side effects.
In 2013, the agency added a warning about a potentially fatal condition called hyperkalemia (high potassium levels in the blood).

Spironolactone for Acne

Spironolactone is sometimes used off-label to treat women with persistent adult acne due to increased androgen levels, because the drug is able to inhibit the activity of sebaceous glands (small skin glands that releases an oily, lubricating substance called sebum).
The development of acne lesions is associated partly with increased sebum secretion, which can be stimulated in women by androgen excess.

Spironolactone for Hair Loss and Hirsutism

Because of its anti-androgen activity, spironolactone is also used off-label to treat female-pattern hair loss and hirsutism.
Women with certain endocrine disorders produce more androgens than normal, leading to hair loss on the top or front of the scalp, and increased hair on the face and other (generally hair-free) body areas.
Spironolactone helps by slowing down the production, and blocking the action, of androgens.

Spironolactone Warnings

Spironolactone carries a black-box warning for tumor risk, due to chronic toxicity studies that show spironolactone can cause tumor development in rats.
Spironolactone shouldn't be taken with potassium-supplementing drugs or diets because the excessive potassium intake may cause hyperkalemia, which can lead to abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias).
Your doctor should also know if you have severe heart failure, because hyperkalemia has an increased risk of death in such cases.
Additionally, tell your doctor if you have liver problems such as cirrhosis, as even minor changes in fluid and electrolyte balance may cause liver-related coma.
Spironolactone shouldn't be used if you have certain kidney problems or conditions associated with hyperkalemia, including the adrenal gland disorder known as Addison's disease.

Pregnancy and Spironolactone

Spironolactone may pose risks to a developing fetus.
Some research suggests that spironolactone has the potential to feminize male fetuses during early pregnancy and cause endocrine problems in late pregnancy by inhibiting the activity of male hormones (androgens).
In general, diuretics such as spironolactone aren't recommended for pregnant women.
Unless the drug is absolutely necessary, it's not recommended for women who are breastfeeding because canrenone, a byproduct of spironolactone, is excreted in breast milk.

Spironolactone Side Effects

Common Side Effects of Spironolactone

  • Vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain or cramps
  • Dry mouth and thirst
  • Dizziness, unsteadiness, and headache
  • Gynecomastia (enlarged breast tissue) in men, and breast pain in women
  • Irregular menstrual periods and post-menopausal vaginal bleeding
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Deepening of the voice and increased hair growth
  • Drowsiness, tiredness, and restlessness

Severe Side Effects of Spironolactone

  • Muscle pain or weakness
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Paralysis in the arms or legs
  • Arrhythmia
  • Confusion, extreme tiredness, and fainting
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Life-threatening skin reactions
  • Flu-like symptoms, pain in the upper right abdomen, loss of appetite, vomiting blood, or bloody stools
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Decreased urination

Spironolactone Interactions

Always tell your doctor about any legal and illegal drugs, supplements, and herbal remedies you are taking.
Spironolactone can have a negative interaction with the following drugs:

Spironolactone and Alcohol

While taking Spironolactone, consumption of alcohol, narcotics, or barbiturates (a sedative) can cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting when you get up too quickly from a sitting or lying position.
Therefore, it may be best to avoid drinking alcohol when taking spironolactone.

Spironolactone Dosage

Spironolactone comes as 25 milligrams (mg), 50 mg, and 100 mg oral tablets.
Dosage depends on your health issue:
  • Primary hyperaldosteronism: 100 to 400 mg daily
  • Edema: 25 to 200 milligrams every day, for at least 5 days
  • Essential hypertension: 50 to 100 mg every day, for at least two weeks
  • Hypokalemia: 25 to 100 mg once daily
  • Severe heart failure: 25 mg once daily, which may be increased to 50 mg once daily or decreased to 25 mg once every other day, depending on your tolerance of the drug

Spironolactone Overdose

Overdosing on spironolactone can result in:
  • Drowsiness, dizziness, or confusion
  • Rash
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Loss of muscle tone, weakness, or heaviness in the legs
  • Tingling in the arms and legs
  • Arrhythmia
Call your local poison control center if you've overdosed on spironolactone. If someone has collapsed or is not breathing from a spironolactone overdose, call 911.

Missed Dose of Spironolactone

Take your missed dose of spironolactone as soon as you remember it.
Skip your missed dose if it's almost time for your next dose.
Don't "double-dose" to make up for a missed dose.

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