Spironolactone oral tablets can cause mild and serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the main side effects that can occur from taking spironolactone oral tablets. These lists do not include all possible side effects.
For more information about the possible side effects of spironolactone oral tablets, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you advice on how to deal with side effects that may be worrying or bothersome.
To note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks the side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to tell the FDA about a side effect you have had with spironolactone oral tablets, you can do so via MedWatch.
Mild side effects
Mild side effects * of spironolactone oral tablets may include:
Most of these side effects can go away within days or weeks. But if they get worse or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
* This is a partial list of mild side effects of spironolactone oral tablets. To find out more about other mild side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist, or check out spironolactone oral tablets. prescribing information.
Serious side effects
Serious side effects of oral spironolactone tablets are not common, but they can occur. Call your doctor immediately if you experience serious side effects. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms are life-threatening or if you think you have a medical emergency.
Serious side effects and their symptoms can include:
* For more information about this side effect, see “Side effect details” below.
Details of side effects
Here are some details about some side effects that this medicine can cause.
One of the most common side effects of oral spironolactone tablets is gynecomastia, which is breast growth in men. * With this condition, you may notice that your breast tissue becomes swollen and tender.
This side effect is more likely to occur if you take a high dose of spironolactone. And it can start to happen any time between 1 month and more than a year after starting treatment with spironolactone.
Breast changes have not been reported as side effects in women (women *) for studies oral spironolactone tablets.
If you notice any swelling or growth of the breasts while taking spironolactone, talk to your doctor. They will usually recommend that you switch to a drug other than spironolactone for your condition.
Breast growth due to spironolactone usually goes away after stopping the drug. At this point, your breast tissue should return to its normal size.
* Sex and gender exist on spectra. The use of the terms “male” and “female” in this article refers to the sex assigned at birth.
Hyponatremia and hyperkalaemia
Oral spironolactone tablets can sometimes cause hyponatremia (low sodium level) and hyperkalaemia (high potassium level). These conditions are described below.
You can develop hyperkalemia with spironolactone because the medicine helps your body retain potassium.
It is not known how often this side effect occurs. But you are more likely to have hyperkalaemia with spironolactone if you have kidney problems.
You are also more likely to have this side effect if you take spironolactone with potassium supplements or other medicines that increase your potassium levels. Eat lots of foods high in potassium, especially salt substitutes which contain potassium, also increases your risk of hyperkalaemia. See the “Interactions with Spironolactone Oral Tablets” section below for more information on this risk.
Hyperkalemia usually does not cause symptoms. But if your potassium level is very high, symptoms may include:
- fatigue (lack of energy)
- muscle weakness or cramps
- tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
- palpitations (sensation of heartbeat, beating or irregular beating)
- difficulty in breathing
Your doctor will usually check your potassium levels within a week of starting treatment with spironolactone. And they will check your level after any dose increase. You will also have blood tests to check your potassium levels on a regular basis while you are taking spironolactone. It is especially important that your potassium level is monitored if you have kidney problems or if you are taking spironolactone with other medicines that increase potassium.
If you have symptoms of hyperkalemia at any time while taking spironolactone, see your doctor immediately. This way your potassium level can be checked.
If you have hyperkalaemia, your doctor may reduce your dose of spironolactone until your potassium level returns to normal. If your potassium level does not improve, you may need medicine to treat it. Your doctor may also ask you to temporarily stop taking spironolactone. Or they may switch you to a different drug.
You can develop hyponatremia with spironolactone because the medicine allows your kidneys to filter more sodium out of your body. It is not known how often this side effect occurs.
Symptoms of hyponatremia can include:
While you are taking spironolactone, your doctor will order blood tests to check your sodium levels regularly. If you have symptoms of hyponatremia, see your doctor immediately. This way your sodium level can be checked.
If you have hyponatremia, your doctor may reduce your dose of spironolactone until your sodium level returns to normal. If your sodium level does not improve, you may need medicine to treat it. Your doctor may also ask you to temporarily stop taking spironolactone. Or they may switch you to a different drug.
Spironolactone can sometimes cause kidney problems. These include worsening kidney function or more rarely kidney failure.
It is not known how often kidney problems occur with spironolactone. But you may have a higher risk of kidney problems if you have low blood pressure or are dehydrated during treatment. (With dehydration, you have a low level of fluid in your body.) Spironolactone causes your body to lose fluid, so you’re more likely to have low blood pressure or become dehydrated from the medication.
Symptoms of dehydration can include:
Symptoms of low blood pressure can include:
If you have symptoms of dehydration or low blood pressure while taking spironolactone, see your doctor immediately. They may need to reduce your dose of spironolactone.
Kidney problems are more likely if you take spironolactone with other medicines that can cause kidney problems. See the “Interactions with Oral Spironolactone” section below for more information.
Symptoms of kidney problems can include:
- edema (water retention and swelling) in the legs and feet
- muscle cramps
- loss of appetite
- urinate little or no
While you are taking spironolactone, your doctor will order regular blood tests to check the health of your kidneys. If you have symptoms of kidney problems, see your doctor immediately. This way your kidney function can be checked.
If you have kidney problems with spironolactone, your doctor will likely switch you to another medicine.
As with most medicines, some people may have an allergic reaction after taking oral spironolactone tablets.
Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:
- hot flashes (temporary warmth, redness or worsening skin color)
A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:
- swelling under the skin, usually on the eyelids, lips, hands or feet
- swelling of the tongue, mouth, or throat
- difficulty in breathing
Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to oral spironolactone tablets, as the reaction could get severe. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms are life-threatening or if you think you have a medical emergency.