Aldactone is a potassium-sparing diuretic that is mostly recommended for treating edema, hypertension, and primary hyperaldosteronism. It might be recommended for treating women affected by hirsutism or pattern loss due to an increase in the levels of androgens. This write-up provides information on how this drug works.
Healthy hair not only enhance one’s beauty, but also indicate good health. Nutritional deficiencies, stress, or hormonal imbalance are some of the common contributing factors for hair loss. The treatment would vary, depending on the underlying cause, and might involve the use of prescription drugs, nutritional supplements, or medicated hair care products. Spironolactone, also known as aldactone, is a drug that is used for treating pattern hair loss and growth of excessive facial hair caused due to increased production of androgens. Due to its anti-androgenic effects, it is also used to treat acne.
How Does it Work
Aldactone is basically a potassium-sparing water pill that is used for the removal of excess fluid from the blood and tissues. It also inhibits aldosterone (corticosteroid hormone that is secreted by the cortex of the adrenal gland), which is why it is used for the treatment of high blood pressure and hypertension. It is used for treating female pattern hair loss due to its anti-androgenic properties. Testosterone is essentially a male hormone, but it is also present in women in small amounts.
When the levels of hormones fluctuate due to menopause or any other reasons, the levels of estrogen declines. Estrogen is mainly responsible for blocking the androgens and preventing them from binding to the receptors in hair follicles. When there is a dip in the levels of estrogen, the testosterone levels increase. This causes an increase in the levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Once testosterone is converted into DHT, it binds together with the androgen receptors and causes pattern hair loss or androgenetic alopecia in women.
Being an anti-androgen, it competes with DHT and blocks it from binding to the androgen receptors in hair follicles. Thus, when applied topically or consumed in the form of tablets, it prevents the receptors in the hair follicles from interacting with androgens.
When doctors feel that hair loss is caused due to effects of androgens, they might recommend the use of hormone replacement therapy or prescribe anti-androgens such as aldactone for preventing hair loss. If they do, make sure that you tell your doctor regarding any other medicines that you might be using. Doctors generally don’t recommend it for the treatment of hair loss in men. It is believed that the use of this drug might lead to a decreased sex drive, breast enlargement, or even impotence. Though this drug may be recommended for treating hair loss in women, it could cause certain side effects.
If you experience any side effects such as abdominal cramps, rash on the scalp, kidney problems, allergic reactions, inflamed stomach, bleeding from the stomach and duodenum, menstrual irregularities, fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea or hives, discontinue its use and consult your doctor immediately. Being a diuretic, it could minimize the loss of potassium, thereby causing a fluctuation in the levels of potassium. Too much potassium in the body could cause a medical condition called hyperkalemia. High levels of potassium could cause symptoms such as dry mouth, excessive thirst, weak or irregular heartbeat, muscle pain, or cramps.
Since this drug could cause certain side effects, it must be used under medical supervision only. Do inform the doctor about any other drugs that you are taking currently, so as to avoid adverse drug interactions. If you are not too keen on using this anti-androgen drug, you can consider other treatment options. Women affected by pattern hair loss can wear wigs or get hair transplants.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.