General Information on Aldactone
Aldactone, with spironolactone as the active ingredient, belongs to the class of drugs known as potassium sparing diuretics. The drug is used for lowering high blood pressure, for treating water retention, controlling the production of aldosterone hormone in the body, increasing potassium levels in the body and also minimizing the risk of deaths in patients with heart failure.
Spironolactone is an aldosterone inhibitor, which means it blocks the receptors of aldosterone in the body. Aldosterone hormone is responsible for water retention in the human body. Thus, by lowering the production of spironolactone, the drug helps in releasing extra water and salt from the body through urine. Because of removal of extra water, the volume of blood in the body is also reduced, which helps in lowering blood pressure. The drug is a potassium sparing drug, unlike other diuretics, which helps in regulating levels of potassium in the blood.
Precautions/Side Effects of Aldactone
Like other medicines, there are certain side effects associated with Aldactone too. However, not all patients taking Aldactone may experience the side effects associated with the drug. Some of the most common side effects associated with Aldactone are:
- Irregular periods in women
- Erectile dysfunction
- Flu like symptoms
However, none of the side effects listed above are really serious and as such do not require immediate medical attention. But in some rare cases, Aldactone can lead to severe side effects which must be given immediate medical attention. Some of the serious side effects associated with Aldactone are:
- Abnormally low heart rate as a result of high potassium levels
- Lumps in the breast in women
- Rashes on the skin
- Difficulty in swallowing
Any such symptoms after taking Aldactone must be immediately brought to the attention of a physician. Caution should also be observed before taking Aldactone for patients with pre-existing problems of the liver, kidney or heart as well as pregnant or breastfeeding women. Aldactone is a Category C pregnancy drug. Thus, it may have adverse effects on the fetus as well as the newborn.
The drug is also known to react with certain medications such as ACE inhibitors like ramipril, prindopril etc., NSAIDs like ibuprofen, ketorolac etc., other medications such as digoxin, fluticasone, prednisone etc. Patients on any of these drugs should consult a doctor before taking Aldactone.
Important Safety information
- Consumptions of alcohol should be avoided while taking Aldactone as it is known to increase the risk of serious side effects to the drug.
- Products containing high amounts of potassium should be avoided while using Aldactone to avoid excess potassium in the blood.
- Intake of salt in the diet should be regulated while using this drug to maximize the effect of this drug.
- It is important to stay hydrated at all times while taking Aldactone. Strenuous exercises as well as other activities which lead to excess loss of water from the body should be avoided while on Aldactone.
Dosage of Aldactone
Aldactone is available in 25 mg, 50 mg and 100 mg tablets. The usual dosage of the drug is 400 mg daily, divided into doses. For treating high blood pressure, the usual dosage of Aldactone is 50 mg daily which is may be increased to 100 mg daily.
The usual dose of Aldactone for after a heart failure is 25 daily which may be increased to 50 mg per day, while that for treating water retention is 100 mg daily. However, the actual dosage may differ depending on the response of the patient.
The drug can be taken with or without food. However, it is advised to take the drug at the start of the day, since it is known to cause increased urination. Overdose of the drug should be avoided at all costs. If a dose is missed, it should be taken as soon as possible. However, it should not be clubbed with the next dose. Overdose of the drug can lead to severe symptoms such as rashes on the skin, hives, nausea etc. which require immediate medical attention.
Storage of Aldactone
Aldactone should be stored at room temperature, in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight. It should kept out of reach of children as well as pets at all times.