Spironolactone for Acne Treatment
Doctors prescribe oral spironolactone for off-label use, with acne treatment being a non-FDA approved indication. Spironolactone is prescribed for women experiencing acne vulgaris which is affected by hormonal changes in the body.
The SkinnySpironolactone for Acne Treatment
- avg. recovery
About the Procedure
Spironolactone is a medication for women who suffer from severe homonal acne vulgaris. For women who have acne that hasn't responded to over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide treatments or prescription Accutane, Spironolactone may help clear up clinically diagnosed acne vulgaris. Acne vulgaris involves blockage and/or inflammation of pilosebaceous units (hair follicles and their accompanying sebaceous gland). Hormonal acne is acne that typically flares before or after hormonal cycles. Spironolactone is a weak diuretic commonly used to treat fluid retention but has shown results for patients suffering from hormonal acne. Spironolactone binds the androgen receptor and reduces androgen production. These anti-androgen effects counter the hormones that promote the development of acne. It is advised to take the medication after a meal, once daily or as prescribed. Results from Spironolactone may take 4-8 weeks, so it is important to take this medication for the entire length of time prescribed.
The goal of Spironolactone is to reduce the appearance and occurrence of acne, specifically acne vulgaris in women.
What to Expect
For women experiencing acne flare ups caused by hormonal changes, Spironolactone may be prescribed to treat unwanted blemishes. While acne treatment is an off-label use, many women have seen improvements in their complexions when using this medication. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after treatment with Spironolactone.
- No special measures need to be taken before treatment of acne with Spironolactone
- Notify your primary care physician once you have begun treatment
During Treatment: Week 1-4
Side effects will start to develop during the first month of treatment and may include:
- Menstrual irregularities
- Fatigue and dizziness
- Breast tenderness
No recovery is needed during or after acne treatment with Spironolactone.
The ideal candidate for spironolactone is a post-adolescent woman who is experiencing acne vulgaris (defined clinically as primarily inflammatory papules, many deep-seated and tender, that are located predominantly on the lower half of the face and anterior-lateral neck region).
Not Recommended For
Spironolactone is not recommended for men due to its anti-androgen properties. This medication is also not recommended for women who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
Side effects from Spironolactone may include menstrual irregularities, fatigue, dizziness, and breast tenderness, all of which are typically mild and rarely cause individuals to stop taking the medication. Most side effects are dose-dependent, except central nervous system symptoms (lethargy, headache, lightheadedness, dizziness). Women who are pregnant or are trying to become pregnant, should not take spironolactone because of the risk of feminization of the male fetus. Men should not take spironolactone due to a risk of gynecomastia.