I started on 100mg Spironolactone about 6 months ago. My derm told me it could take 3 months to see results. I was still having hormonal cystic acne for 3 full months, but I held on and by the end of the 4th month I was totally clear. I did, however, have a very bad breakout during the first two months which has left scars. Those are just now beginning to fade (my worst acne spots usually scar and take 6 months or so to fade). My skin looks and feels great, and I have switched to a light coverage foundation, just to achieve an even look.
Now, over 6 months in, I am starting to notice other effects -- mostly good. My hair is not as oily -- for the first time in my life I am able to shower at night and style my hair after it has been slept on. I also have no problem skipping shampoos. I have been shampooing every other day but can probably go even longer if the progress keeps up. Also, the hair on my upper lip is now a short blonde peach fuzz (I have dark hair). It was never that big of a deal, but it did need to be waxed every three months or so. Now it requires no maintenance whatsoever.
I have had some issues with dry skin and scalp. I have had to use Neutrogena t-gel for some issues with very dry and itchy scalp. My skin has been dryer than usual and can get itchy or painful if I do not moisturize every day. However, I have only been taking spiro during the fall and winter months when my skin would be dryer anyway.
I'm really pleased with my results, but the ultimate test for me will be the summer. I have usually had acne in the summer due to sweat and sunscreen. If the spiro continues these great results over the summer, I will consider switching down to 50mg (per my derm's advice) and see if that still works.
Overall, I highly recommend spiro if you have not tried it. Like anything, it doesn't work for everybody. I tried pretty much every topical treatment and had no results. I didn't want to try the harsh Accutane, and didn't really have bad enough acne for it. Just make sure your derm talks to you about Spiro and its side effects (my derm didn't talk much, I will actually not be returning to her -- i had to do the research on spiro and the potentially dangerous potassium-related side effects on my own).
Awesome for acne, especially cystic and hormonal acne. It definitely controls oil, depending on how many milligrams you take. I take 150 mg and it works really well for me. This will definitely lower the androgens and testosterone in your body which will in turn decrease acne and excessive oil. This is a miracle pill for me after trying everything else for my acne which did not help.
Gabbyik - I had a very similar experience as you -- my acne really cleared up the first two weeks, now I'm at the end of week four (spironolactone 100mg every day) and it's bad again. I'm not getting the large, more cystic acne, but getting small superficial little whiteheads. Annoying!
I'm also seeing strange wrinkles, like you mentioned.
However, I'm going to try to stick it out to around month four, like the other readers suggest, just in case! I'm also applying Dapsone cream in the morning and Retin-A micro at night! Why, at 35, do we struggle with acne!!!?? Here's to hoping.
i started spironolactone almost 2 months ago (1 month and 3 weeks). i'm on 50mg a day for hormonal cystic acne on my chin. it was so strange, i felt like the first 2 weeks my skin cleared right up, i was beyond happy, but then my acne flared up again. i would say that it's better than before i started the medicine, but far from great. i do feel it has decreased my lip and chin hair, which is good, but the downside is i'm a lot more tired and moody. also, before the spiro i would clear up a bit when i was having my period - now, it's the opposite, it gets worse around my period and better the rest of the month. i'm sure when i go back to the derm she will want to up my dosage, but due to the tiredness and moodiness, i will decline. my next strategy is to stay on the meds - see if i can get over the sluggishness. i'm going to keep a journal of what i eat, what time i take the meds, how i feel, how much sleep i get, how much water i consume, etc. to see if that answers any questions to the mystery of my acne! i'm 34, healthy weight and started this terrible battle about 6 years ago, every year it's getting gradually worse. UPDATE: the strangest thing, before taking this medicine i had no wrinkles (lines) on my forehead, after being on spiro for almost 2 months, i have so many lines across my forehead - for this reason and the moodiness/sluggishness, i am goingto slowly stop taking spiro ... if anyone else got new wrinkles when on spiro, please let me know
I used spiro for a little over a year. I used it for the huge hormonal cysts I was getting on my chin and cheeks. They would take months to heal and left pigmented scars. I started out on 75mg but was still getting cysts so I increased to 100mg. I really didn't have any side effects. My period was weird for a month but then it regulated. I was still getting small cysts every other month but it seemed manageable. Over the year my cysts got bigger and more frequent (only like 2 per month but when it takes months to heal...that's too many). I increased my dose to 125mg but was still getting the big cysts. My period also became pretty messed up when I increased the dose. At this point I decided to stop the spiro and try another round of accutane (I took my first round in 2001). That is what I'm on now and I'm praying it'll buy me another 5-10 years. Spiro really did help quiet things down but it just didn't stop those annoying cysts!
Back in 2010, my doctor put me on Spironolactone 100mg to treat acne, oily skin, and as a part of my PCOS treatment.
For the first three months, I broke out more than I even have in my life. I continued to stay on it til just under the 6 month mark as I did not find it was helping with the acne and I was so tired I could hardly get out of bed at times. I had never had a problem with hair falling out, but while being on the Spiro I did notice an increase of hair--the fullest I ever had in my life! I loved it.
Due to tiredness, frequent nosebleeds, and not improving my acne, I decided to go off of it with the help of my doctor. Within days of lowering the dosage my hair started falling out in large amounts and continued to do so for two years.
So here I am, forced to go back on Spiro., this time at a lower dosage of 50 mg. I am two days into it, and I will let you guys know my progress. This time it is to treat hair loss. I do have bags and dark circles under my eyes and I am curious to see if the bags could be related to fluid-retention associated with a history of kidney issues (too much creatine found in my blood). This is an issue with PCOS sufferers as PCOS and insulin issues frequently go hand in hand. Insulin issues also affect your kidneys if not in check, as it has with mine.
Spiro is probably the best treatment for female hormonal acne (pretty much all acne is hormonal). I have no idea why Drs are so reluctant to prescribe it... The side effects are pretty minimal and it doesn't damage your liver or kidneys the way so many other meds do. In fact it actually helps protect those vital organs. One side effect that can be annoying is it can bring menstrual cycles closer together if you're on a higher dose (100 MG+) so the addition of BCP is sometimes added to prevent that. On lower doses that doesn't usually happen. This medication worked wonders for me and cleared my skin beautifully. I had mild breakouts that just became annoying and I got fed up with trying 'miracle skin care products' that essentially did nothing because they didn't address the root issue. Unlike so many other meds, this gave my skin a natural glow and even reduced my PMS symptoms. I also noticed that my hair became thicker. It did make me thirsty, but that was easy to fix. I am so happy with this medication and definitely recommend it. It's essential that your don't become pregnant while on it, but the good news is that it leaves the body quickly once you stop taking it so there isn't a long 'wait' time. Before trying Accutane, antibiotics, or other harsh meds, I highly recommend Spiro. If your Dr. won't prescribe it then I would look for one who will.
Age: 40 (yes, 40 and I STILL have acne!)
Tried in the past: Everything! Accutane @ 16, Accutane again @ 23, other oral meds, topical meds, peels, microdermabrasion
I was complaining to my derm. that I was 40 and still getting acne. I got off all birth control about 4 years ago. She looked at my face and said "well- looks like textbook hormonal acne to me" and suggested Spiro. I read many reviews on user experiences so I went into it with the expectation that it may take awhile to work (my derm never mentioned it). Since I've gone for 28 years without having even one "no pimple" day I figured I could give it time to work and I had nothing to lose (if the side effects weren't bad).
Took 75 MG per day for 6 months with no results at all.
Derm upped it to 150MG per day after 6 months and I started to see somewhat dramatic positive results within a few weeks. I've only had minimal side effects: noticed an increase in urination frequency (but nothing major; I already drink a ton of water daily anyway), a few times I've had slight dizziness when standing up quickly, and got my period 2x in 30 days once but nothing that concerns me.
Been @ 150 MG now for 3 months. I'm a little nervous that I'm taking such a high dosage but I monitor my potassium intake and will get blood tests ever 6 months to make sure I'm OK.
Wanted to make sure I posted a review and "give back" as I really did learn a lot from these reviews. The main thing I learned from these reviews is GIVE IT TIME.
Usage - 6+ months
So I had a hate - hate - LOVE relationship with this med. Like so many people who have commented below me, I did not have acne as a teenager (just your regular pimple here and there during my cycle) Halfway through my 25th year, mother nature decided to get revenge on me for escaping my teens clear skinned. I began getting large cysts along my jaw line around my cycle. These would take weeks to go away. From there it only got worse, every pore in my face began to clog and eventually become cysts. I did everything possible to fix this new problem, and went to a derm for much needed help. After several topicals and anti-biotics failed me she prescribed me spironolactone.
Here is where my "hate" with this med comes in. She started me out on a pretty high dose of 100mg. Since this is a blood pressure medication designed to lower bp.. it did just that! Every time I stood up I would get so dizzy that I actually would fall to the ground. I was extremely tired, and I dropped about 4Lbs in just a few days (which may seem nice, but I am already quite thin and the starving model look is not for me) I went to my general practitioner who took my bp and informed me that it was extremely low. I didnt want to stop taking the med because it was my last resort before accutane. So I lowered the dose myself. Started at 25mg, then increased back up to 100mg where I am at now with no prob.
My hate continues just a few weeks later after I had solved problem 1. As a lot of people below me mentioned, there is the possibility of a major purge period. Some people seem to have one some don't. I did...... big time at about a month and half in. I was horrified at my face when I looked in the mirror. I did not recognize who I was. I cried almost every single night. My entire right cheek was covered in painful terrible cysts. I thought about stopping, but I read literally hundreds of reviews and many people said you need to wait it out for a few months before it works.
My love began about 4 months in. The 3rd month did not give me any new pimples, but I was still battling the ones from month 2. At month 4 all the pimples had gone (with some help from my derm and corizone shots) I had no new pimples coming in and my pores were beginning to clear. I also had an "acne surgery" done at the derm where they use a scalpel to cut open your closed comedones to remove the ick from your pores, which helped tremendously.
Today I am at about month 6 and I went in to my hair salon for a cut. My hair stylist had not seen me since month 3 when my face was monstrous, and she said "OMG your skin is glowing you look amazing! What are you using?!" It was such an amazing feeling to have that compliment after 2 years of struggling and battling my own skin.
It is so so so hard to stick with this when you have a purge period, or experience some of the other issues others have mentioned like hair loss, weight loss, dizzies etc. But if you can just stick it out until month 4 at least because it will change the way you look, but more importantly how you feel about yourself. GOOD LUCK!
My Pros & Cons with this:
Will clear your acne
Super cheap if you have insurance (mine is $15 a month)
Dizziness if not adjusted to the meds
Weight loss (see pro)
Must be super careful with birth control method because MAJOR BIRTH DEFECTS CAN HAPPEN!
I've had acne since I was 12 years old. Just like most of you, I probably tried everything. One day I finally had enough, and after doing some research online I decided to ask my dermatologist to prescribe me Spironolactone. She prescribed me 75mg, and after 2 months I had only seen very little difference. Even though I read so many times that it could take 6+ months to work, I got impatient and upped my dosage to 100mg myself. I saw results within 3 weeks, I was clearing up!
This is where everything went south. My breasts became unbelievably sore, I started getting my period every 2 weeks, but worst of all my hair began to fall out. As any girl will tell you, hair shedding is absolutely terrifying. I became so depressed at the thought of going bald, or getting bald spots, that I was crying all day long. I missed nearly a week of work because I couldn't get myself out of bed. I went to my dermatologist who told me 25mg is not a big difference, that any hormone fluctuation could trigger hair loss (telogen effluvium), and that it will sort itself out in a few months. She ordered blood work just to check my potassium levels, and told me to keep taking 100mg since it's working.
Well, I wasn't going to take any risks so I went and saw my regular doctor as well. I explained what was going on, what medication I'm taking, how much of it, and what's happening to my hair, and she said that sounds right. A hormone fluctuation could easily cause hair loss, and my body will get used to it. Just wait it out. I convinced her to order some full blood work, just in case something else was wrong.
My blood tests came back, and everything was normal. I requested a copy of the blood work and noticed my ferritin levels were on the low side at a 14ng, but the normal range is 12-135ng/mL. After some research, I learned that ferritin is your iron stores, and is responsible for hair growth. I discovered that your ferritin needs to be something like 30ng for your hair to NOT fall out, and 70+ for it to grow. I called my doctor right away hoping for some help to get it higher, but was told they can't do anything since I'm technically in a normal range.
I spiraled into more of a depression because I finally found what was causing my hair loss, but no doctors would help me. I researched more and more and figured out a safe amount of iron to take to raise that. I began eating lots of red meat and took my iron pill daily. I also went back to 75mg and the breast tenderness was gone within a day, and my periods were back to normal. After a couple weeks, my hair was already falling out much less! After a month now, my hair is back to normal and my face is COMPLETELY CLEAR!
I am posting this because in the endless research I did on the internet, many people taking spiro experienced hair loss, but they stopped taking spiro to fix it. I want this to be out there to help someone and to avoid the heartache and depression I had to go through. If you are shedding while taking Spiro, please get your ferritin and iron levels looked at, make sure your ferritin is above 30 (take iron if not), and find the correct dosage of Spiro for your body.