Aldactone (spironolactone) for hormonal acne


Aldactone ( spironolactone ) is a drug used to treat many different medical conditions. This includes things like high blood pressure and fluid retention.

Aldactone is also used to treat hormonal acne in adult women.

For people who break around the time of their menstrual cycle , this drug may be helpful. It can also be beneficial for adult women who have acne with other problems, such as unwanted facial hair.

The FDA does not officially recognize aldactone as an acne remedy. However, for this purpose it is often prescribed off-label. It is only available with a prescription.

This article explores the use of aldactone to treat hormonal acne. It also looks at how to take it and the possible side effects.

How Aldactone Works

Aldactone belongs to a group of drugs called antiandrogens. Androgens are often called male hormones, but both men and women have them.

Androgens like testosterone are present in the female body, but at a lower level. However, some women produce more androgen hormones than necessary.

Hormones, especially androgens, have been linked to the development of acne. Aldactone works by blocking androgen receptors in the body. This prevents cells from responding to androgen hormones.

Aldactone simply limits the hormonal fluctuations that can cause breakouts. Therefore, it is only effective against hormonal acne.

In some women, acne is caused by fluctuations in hormones. These patients can have good results with Aldactone.

How is aldactone used?

Unlike most acne treatments, Aldactone is not applied to the skin. Instead, it is taken orally. When Aldactone is used to treat acne, the most common dose is 50 to 100 milligrams (mg) per day.

Your dermatologist may prescribe a lower dose. Usually start with 25 mg per day and gradually increase to your target dose over several weeks. Your healthcare professional will prescribe the dosage based on your personal situation.

If the rash only occurs during your menstrual cycle , you may need Aldactone just one week before your period. It can help smooth out the hormonal spikes that cause acne.

Aldactone is often given together with oral contraceptives or birth control pills . You will likely continue to use topical acne medications while using Aldactone. It generally works best in conjunction with other acne treatments rather than as a single remedy.


Aldactone is taken by mouth. Most people start with a lower dose and increase until they reach their goal.

You may need to take aldactone just one week before your period. It works best with other acne treatments.

Possible side effects of aldactone

Get Medical Information / Cindy Chang

Low-dose aldactone side effects are not as common as high-dose side effects. When they do happen, they often include:

  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Tender breasts

Other side effects can include:

  • Thirst or dry mouth
  • Stomach cramps, vomiting, and / or diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Elevated levels of potassium in the blood.
  • Low blood pressure

Your blood pressure should be checked periodically while taking this medicine. Some women also need to monitor their blood potassium levels . Generally, women under the age of 45 do not need to have their potassium levels checked while taking aldactone.

If aldactone upsets your stomach, take it with food. Because Aldactone acts as a diuretic , it is also important to drink plenty of water.


Aldactone can cause side effects such as breast tenderness and irregular periods. Some women may need to have their blood potassium levels checked regularly while using this medicine.

Who should not take aldactone?

Aldactone is an acne remedy for adult women only. It is not recommended for men with acne, adolescents and adolescents. You cannot get pregnant while taking this medicine.


Sometimes aldactone is prescribed to treat hormonal acne. It works by blocking androgen hormones. It is usually used in conjunction with other acne treatments.

Aldactone is taken by mouth. This can have side effects like breast tenderness and irregular periods.

This medicine is for use by adult women only. People who want to get pregnant, have a history of kidney problems, or some types of cancer should not take Aldactone.

Get the word of drug information

Aldactone is not a first-line acne treatment. Your dermatologist will likely ask you to try common acne medications first. This includes:

Your healthcare provider may prescribe aldactone if you have hormonal acne and these medications are not effective enough.

Try to be patient while waiting for the results. It may take three to four months before you notice a significant improvement in your skin condition. Stay on top of your treatment and inform your doctor of any side effects you may have.

Frequently asked questions

  • Possible side effects of aldactone (spironolactone) include irregular menstrual periods, breast tenderness, dry mouth, stomach cramps, vomiting and / or diarrhea, dizziness, headache, and low blood pressure. These side effects are less common with low doses.

  • Spironolactone is a drug that is sometimes prescribed for weight loss, but it is not considered an effective option. There is no scientific research examining its effect on weight loss. It can remove some of the water from the body, but it does not lead directly to fat loss.

  • With spironolactone, it can take three to four months before skin improvement is noticeable. Keep in mind that spironolactone works best when combined with other traditional acne treatments, such as topical retinoids , topical antibiotics, or benzoyl peroxide .

  • Yes, spironolactone is a diuretic. A diuretic increases the amount of urine you make and removes salt and water from your body faster than usual. This means that drinking plenty of water is especially important when taking spironolactone.

Related Articles
Foods to Avoid If You Have Dry Mouth From Radiation

Dry mouth (xerostomia) is a common side effect of radiation therapy for people undergoing treatment for head and neck cancer. Read more

Thyroid adenoma: Causes, Treatment, and Diagnosis

The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your throat that produces hormones affecting a number of Read more

NSAIDs and You Thyroid Function

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the most frequently taken over-the-counter medications. Due to their systemic or whole body effects, it's Read more

How Doctors Are Failing Thyroid Disease Patients

The thyroid disease community has continually mentioned the lack of support they experience and the difficulty they have navigating the Read more