Tue 9 Oct 2007
Spironolactone (25mg, 50mg, 100mg), marketed as Aldactone, Novo-Spirotin, Spriactin, Spirotone, or Berlactone is a medication primarily used to treat high blood pressure. Ultimately it helps the body retain potassium while helping excrete water and sodium from the body. Typical dosage for this type of treatment is 25mg twice a day totalling 50mg.
Because of it’s anti-androgen affects, it has been used as a treatment for hirsutism (excessive and unwated hair growth in women where the occurrence of terminal hair is typically minimal or nonexistant). It is also used as a component of hormonal therapy for those undergoing sex changes. And finally, it has been used as a female hair loss treatment or for high levels of acne in women.
Studies appear to suggest that one would need to take at least 200mg of this medication per day in order to potentially stop hair loss and most likely will not regrow hair (reverse the hair miniaturization process).
Because of the extremely high dosage required to potentially fight against future loss, the patient could be at risk of developing hyperkalemia (an elevated blood level – above 5.0 mmol/L of the electrolyte potassium) among other side effects that I’ve listed below.
This medication seems to require a subscription and there are a number of possible side effects including:
- Numbness or a tingly sensation
- Slow, fast, or uneven heartbeat
- Muscle pain or weaknes
- Drowsiness, restlessness, or light-headedness
- Minimization or stoppage of urination
- Shallow breathing
- Tremors or confusion
- Nausea or stomach pain
- Low fever
- Lloss of appetite
- Dark urine
- Clay-colored stools
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
Less serious but possible side effects are also reported:
- Mild nausea or vomiting
- Dizziness and/or headache
- Stomach pain
- Skin rash
My conclusion therefore is to talk with a doctor and learn about the potential benefits, risks, and limitations of this medication as a treatment for female hair loss.
Technorati Tags: Spironolactone, Aldactone, Novo-Spirotin, Spriactin, Spirotone, Berlactone, anti-androgen, hirsutism, hair growth, terminal hair, hormonal therapy, hair loss treatment, hair loss, regrow hair, hair miniaturization, hyperkalemia, female hair loss