What Is Spironolactone Used For?
Spironolactone is used for treating high blood pressure, heart failure, primary hyperaldosteronism, water retention, and low potassium levels in the blood. It is a type of diuretic that works by increasing the amount of salt and water that the kidneys remove from the blood. Healthcare providers may also occasionally recommend off-label spironolactone uses, such as for the treatment of acne in women, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and hirsutism.
An Overview of Spironolactone Uses
Spironolactone (Aldactone®) is a prescription medication that has been licensed to treat a couple of conditions. These specific spironolactone uses include:
- Diagnosing and treating primary hyperaldosteronism (overproduction of the hormone aldosterone)
- Decreasing the risk of hospitalization or death in people with severe heart failure
- Controlling high blood pressure (hypertension)
- Treating water retention (edema) caused by the following conditions:
- Treating low levels of potassium in the blood (hypokalemia).
Spironolactone for Primary Hyperaldosteronism
Aldosterone is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands. It plays a role in maintaining fluid levels in the body. Too much aldosterone can cause various health problems, such as high blood pressure (hypertension) or low potassium levels in the blood (hypokalemia). Hyperaldosteronism is the medical term for producing too much aldosterone. It can be caused by various conditions (such as cirrhosis or kidney disease) or may happen for no apparent reason. Primary hyperaldosteronism (as opposed to secondary hyperaldosteronism) is not caused by any other condition outside the adrenal glands and includes hyperaldosteronism due to adrenal tumors.
Spironolactone can be used to diagnose and treat primary hyperaldosteronism. It can be used short-term, while waiting for other treatment (such as surgery), or long-term (for those who cannot or will not have surgery).