Spironolactone is a prescription medication used to treat high blood pressure. Despite its effectiveness, spironolactone poses a risk of side effects in some patients.
Spironolactone is a diuretic medication that removes excess fluids from your body through your excretory system. Because of this, frequent urination is a necessary and expected part of spironolactone use and not considered a side effect.
Common Side Effects
Common side effects of spironolactone include abdominal cramps, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and fevers. Some men develop impotence or a feminine swelling of breast tissue while taking spironolactone, while women report a complete lack of menstruation or the occurrence of menstruation after menopause.
When combined with a heart drug treatment called an ACE inhibitor, spironolactone can cause an increase in potassium levels in your bloodstream. Over time, this can lead to a condition called hyperkalemia, which can damage or interfere with the heart and cardiovascular system.
In some rare cases, use of spironolactone contributes to breast cancer in women. Gastric bleeding, kidney failure, inflammation of the liver and severe allergic reactions are additional risks of spironolactone.
Because spironolactone causes toxic effects on the developing fetus, doctors rarely prescribe the drug for pregnant women. If you have a history of liver or kidney disease or hyperkalemia, your doctor is not likely to recommend spironolactone for you due to its side effects.