High blood pressure can slowly turn into a life-threatening medical condition. Frequent spells of hypertension are linked to incidence of cardiac arrests, strokes as well as a few renal conditions. Timely diagnosis of hypertension is a must to prevent the likely onset of any of these clinical conditions. In this milieu, drugs such as spironolactone are used to manage high levels of blood pressure. It is known as a potassium-sparing med – i.e., a diuretic. Can this drug cause any major side effects? It is important to know more about the adverse effects this drug may trigger.

Hypertension is often labelled as a silent killer. It can remain deep inside your system without any major symptoms. All of a sudden, it may result in a near-fatal or a fatal effect. It is hence essential to check your pressure levels on a regular basis. Management of your pressure level is also essential to prevent acute problems like kidney failure, heart attack and / or stroke. Always remember to take this drug under the supervision of a qualified physician.

Spironolactone is taken orally. As the active ingredients may cause a few abdominal conditions (such as nausea or indigestion), it is a good practice to take this drug along with milk or with a meal. As this drug may help remove excess fluids from your system, it is recommended to take it earlier in the day. It is considered safe to take it prior to 5 pm – i.e., before dusk. Those who took this drug after 5 pm has to make multiple visits to the bathroom – especially, during the night. This drug is also available in a liquid / suspended form. While using the liquid form, never use a household ladle or spoon for measurement. Instead, use the dropper or spoon provided along with the pack.

Side effects of spironolactone

This diuretic drug is likely to cause a few adverse effects. It is a safe practice to inform your treating doctor of any prior allergies or discomforts you may have experienced. Most common side effects include excessive levels of dizziness, feeling drowsy, being lightheaded, abdominal problems such as nausea, vomiting or indigestion (accompanied by loose stools), etc. In most cases, users have also experienced migraines / headaches.

In order to handle drowsiness, you are advised to shift positions in a slow manner. For example, when you are changing from a lying position to a standing posture, take it steadily and do it as slowly as possible. If dizziness is persisting and is turning into an acute condition, do not engage in adventure sports – such as cycling, jumping or swimming. It is unsafe to operate heavy machinery or do such other activities which may need a high level of mental focus / concentration.

Acute side effects of spironolactone

Spironolactone is unlikely to trigger acute reactions or very harmful side effects. However, a small share of users reported severe discomforts like high level of weariness, muscular weakness, mental health conditions (such as being depressed or feeling very low), etc. Severe reactions may also include symptoms of a likely renal condition (a marked decrease in the output of urine or discoloration of urine), enlargement as well as softening of breasts among males. In very rare cases, some users have noticed a sharp pain in upper abdomen, yellowish tint on skin or eyes and internal bleeding or bruises.

As an important development, you are likely to witness a very high build-up of potassium salt. This is not a healthy sign and needs to be attended as soon as you possibly can. Such an accumulation (of potassium) is highly pronounced among people living with renal problems – especially, a lower filtration rate of kidneys. High level of potassium salt may also impair your cardiac wellbeing; it is hence possible to encounter erratic heartbeats, abnormal pulse rate, overall weakness of the body, muscular pain, etc.

Allergic reactions intake of spironolactone may cause

A few inactive or passive substances present in spironolactone may cause some allergic reactions. Though allergies are not commonly experienced, you are advised to remain watchful of the typical allergies. These may include excessive level of itchiness, rashes on skin, acute levels of drowsiness, inflammation of lips or tongue. In some rare cases, a small percentage of people experienced respiratory conditions – marked by wheezing, gasping or shallow breathing cycles.

Upon experiencing one or more of these allergies, it is a safe practice to consult with your treating doctor as quickly as possible. Those living in the US are advised to call 911 on an emergency basis; you may also reach out to the helplines of the food and drug administration (FDA). You need to know that FDA runs its own helplines to record adverse events or side effects the drugs it has cleared may cause. On the other hand, those who live in Canada are advised to call Health Canada. As an alternative, you may consider rushing to a poison control center located in your province.

It is essential to remember that the aforesaid side effects do not constitute a complete listing of side effects / discomforts associated with the intake of spironolactone. It is hence possible to witness a few unknown or unlisted side effects. Upon encountering one or more such unlisted discomforts, you are advised to get in touch with your caregiving team as soon as you possibly can.

As a safety measure – report to your doctor if you are living with medical conditions like hepatic problems, imbalance of minerals like sodium, potassium or other essential salts, reduced functioning of your adrenal gland, drop in filtering efficiency of kidneys, etc. It is highly recommended to talk to your treating physician prior to taking supplements of potassium or other minerals / salts.

In sum, spironolactone is taken to reduce blood pressure. This med may cause adverse side effects such as acute levels of drowsiness, abdominal conditions like vomiting, indigestion, nausea, etc. As a precautionary measure, you are advised to stay away from performing adventurous activities like swimming or cycling. It is equally unsafe to work on heavy machinery. You are advised to talk to your caregiver / pharmacist to understand more about the likely side effects of spironolactone; above all, it is more important to know how to safely take this diuretic drug.

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