Spironolactone for Acne


91 reviews

85% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.1

Price: $$

Package Quality: 4.1

Price: $$


on 11/28/2013 5:49:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

I'm almost nervous writing a post to say I've gotten my acne under control with Spiro because I feel like I'll jinx all of my progress! Hopefully not.

I've had acne since age 13 but it was never very serious. Then, out of the blue when I was 22 it turned from mild to severe. I was finally at the stage when I should be growing out of acne and it was worse than ever. I even got a few severe cysts on my cheek that scarred. I was actually depressed, had no self confidence and was truly in a bad place.

Then, I saw an endocrinologist (which I REALLY recommend, especially for women). She was able to diagnose me with PCOS, which explained the severe hormonal acne. I went on Yaz, which was able to stop the horrible acne and it went back to mild.

But I was still frustrated, I would constantly have at least 2 or 3 spots at any given time and I wasn't confident without makeup. I went on Spironolactone 2 months ago and was led to believe by my dermatologist and endocrinologist would finally sort me out.

The most important thing: BE PATIENT. I waited for results for the first 6 weeks and saw no change. Some weeks, things actually seemed to be getting worse. Now, at around week 8, I'm beginning to see a change. Almost no new spots and no severe cysts.

From other reviews, I hope I can expect consistent progress in the coming months and see full effects in the next 6 months. I highly recommend Spiro: it has few side effects and is a mild treatment compared to Accutane, oral and topical antibiotics, and even a lot of topical treatments like Benzoyl Peroxide, which can rapidly age skin.

In general, I encourage people treating active acne to look towards internal treatments for long term success. Topical skincare- washing, moisturizing etc- is important, but it won't change the underlying cause of your acne.

These days, I'm working with a combination of birth control pills, diet (and lots of water!), vitamins, and of course, Spironolactone, to change my body from the inside out and correct the hormonal irregularities that cause my acne.

Try spironolactone, be patient, and good luck!

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

on 11/6/2013 5:48:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair, Warm

Hair: Red, Curly, Medium

Eyes: Green

Where to start? I have been taking Spironolactone for over two years now. I find that some people swear by it while others do not. I am one who does. I stopped taking BC pills (Ortho Tri-Cyclen) because I had gained 60 pounds in 6 years and it no longer had an effect on calming my acne. Within a year I lost all of the weight but I started breaking out so badly with painful cysts and my hair started shedding/thinning. I actually wished they were those little pimples I used to get with Ortho. After 2 months of research I chose Spiro over BCP and Accutane.

I started out at 25mg in Aug 2011. The first 3 months taking it I could feel my skin getting tighter and the acne drying up but it did not go away. (NOTE: realistically this takes a while to clear completely-be patient) I had just finished antibiotics for a wisdom tooth infection and broke out horribly after I finished my round. Antibiotics always make me break out when I quit them so I never take them unless it is serious. By Feb 2012 I had cleared 30% so I bumped my dosage to 50mg/day. I had a breakout that lasted a month but within 2 months my overall face looked a lot better. I still broke out badly on my jawline and a couple strays on my face during my cycle that would hang around forever.

When I increased my dose to 50mg I realized quickly that I needed to drink more water! I had been drinking 3 bottles a day and it was not nearly enough for the new dose. I had muscle cramps, a bloated midsection (retaining water), dry hands, lips and eyes. If you have these symptoms you need to drink more water because you are dehydrated. Once I increased my water consumption to 6 bottles a day all of those issues went away and I ended up losing 10 extra pounds. A couple drops of lemon juice and apple cider vinegar in each bottle doesn't hurt as well. I knew the Spiro was helping but it was not fixing the problem completely. Everybody has different hormone levels. 25mg might work for one person and the other may need 200mg. You have to find the correct dosage for YOU and allow yourself a few months to see results before bumping up. If it doesn't help at all after 3 months you may not have hormonal acne.

By Dec 2012, I was still at 50mg but the stress at my job caused me to go through a horrible breakout that had lasted 6 weeks. My cycle was more frequent but it leveled out after a couple months. All of my PMDD symptoms went away. But my hair seemed to be getting worse with shedding and my face was flaking bad in the winter. I took a hard look at the products I was using to wash my face and hair. I also looked at my diet. Being on Spiro meant I had to back off my potassium rich foods (fruits and veggies). I also had to drink less coffee/soda because it dehydrated me. I started an aggressive organic vitamin therapy regimen everyday to replace those minerals. Vitamin A, B, C, D, E, iron, zinc, hyaluronic acid, saw palmetto, biotin, coconut oil, DHA, Oregano Oil, and red grape extracts. The texture in my skin and hair was amazing after a few months. I also changed to non-sulfate shampoos, conditioners, face wash, vitamin c toner & moisturizer, and noncomedogenic makeups. The side effects only bother me in the winter so I have to deep condition my hair twice a week, drink a little more water and I use hemp oil on my face after exfoliating. Those little changes made a big difference in addition to the Spiro. By April 2013 my face was 75% clear up but I had a couple of cysts that just would not go away.

In May 2013 I started 100mg/day (50mg with breakfast & 50mg with dinner). I had a slight breakout after bumping the dose up but unlike last time this one only lasted 2 weeks before it was gone completely. I also had to increase my water intake from 6 bottles to 8 bottles a day because my hands were dry at first. Since June 2013 I have had no break outs (not even during my cycle) and for the first time in 12 years my face is finally healing up. Without insurance I have to pay $23 monthly which sucks. I have yet to find a cheaper pharmacy.

If you have hormonal acne, I advise you to try Spironolactone over other treatments and use my tips to reduce your side effects. Give it time to work and find out which dose works best for you. If you experience dizziness, cramping, dry skin, or itchy scalp - these are signs that you are dehydrated. Make sure you drink primarily water (limit caffeine after lunch time). Take the Spiro with meals for better absorption in the body and less nausea. Most importantly give it a chance to work it's magic. It takes a while for the body to correct itself, repair itself and finally heal itself.

**** If you are also experiencing hair thinning with your acne and taking spiro for it please note that it can take 2 years to grow your new healthy hair to your shoulders. Don't expect your dry, damaged hair to suddenly perk up like a wilted flower. Keep trimming the damage off and treat it the best you can. (condition, condition, condition, wear it down as much as possible and only wash it 2-4 times a week) It may take 50mg to clear your face but it may take 200mg to grow all of your hair back in that has fallen out. Stay positive and be patient. :)

7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

on 11/1/2013 1:18:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I'm caught between a rock and a hard place. I have found that Spironolactone has helped my acne dry up and blocked the cystic acne from spreading BUT it has caused severe dryness around my eyes. When I say severe I am talking lizard skin! The dryness is causing mulitple lines under my eyes.

I am 43 years old. I am quite often mistaken to be in my late 20s but no one has told me that since the dry lines have appeared. I have tried all types of eye creams (Lancome, Chanel, Arbonne, etc) and currently using SebaMed anti-dry which is very emollient but my eyes are still dry. I also switched from Lancome face powder to Chanel's cream-to-powder hoping it would keep moisture on my eyes but it creases with the SebaMed. Plus, the Chanel makes me have shiny skin. I currently have Derma e Hyaluronic & Pycnogenol Eye Creme on order because the reviews looked great.

I haven't gained any weight but I do find myself hungrier and it is hard to control my eating. Also, my boobs and thighs have gotten slightly bigger which is not what I want since I like to jog. Running and boobs is not a great combo and who wants fat thighs? Spiro is a diuretic so I thought it would help me lose weight since people take water pills to lose weight. But no such luck here.

I was on 100 mg/day but I cut the dosage to 50 mg to see if it would help but it did not.

I don't know what to do.
I don't know what is better: a litt bit of acne with dry, old-looking eyes OR have acne and look younger.

Does anyone else have this trouble with Spironolactone? If so, what product did you use to help alleviate the dryness?

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

on 10/30/2013 4:59:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I am never looking back. I have struggled with acne since puberty. Accutane TWICE, you name it. I finally deduced it to hormones and was prescribed Metformin for symptoms of PCOS. This did not help my acne much although it was more glowy. I had heard Spiro could be used for acne and asked my Derm to prescribe it to me. Costs me nothing with insurance. I use this with Epiduo and my skin has never been better. But for me, I HAVE TO TAKE IT IN CONJUNCTION WITH METFORMIN. I went off Metformin for a while and immediately started getting little breakouts here and there. For me, taking medication every day for the rest of my life is nothing compared to the embarrassment of adult acne. So worth it.

on 10/3/2013 4:42:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Normal, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Many of the reviews on spiro are very positive, so I wanted to share my experience. About a year ago I started breaking out with cystic acne after I stopped nursing my 2nd child. It was painful and my doctor recommended spiro since I had tried topicals/antibotics with little success. I didn't want to go on bcp because they previously caused melasma (which I will probably have forever, ugh...). I slowly worked my way up to 100mg over the course of a month and my skin started to clear up within 2 months. But I immediately noticed the side effects starting the first week. And the side effects were awful, I had to go to the bathroom every hour, I was extremely bloated all of the time, I immediately gain 5-6 lbs (all in my stomach and thighs), I went up a dress size, random spotting, and I also noticed that I was developing wrinkles on my forehead. I stuck with it and maintained at 100 mg for about 3 months. I was miserable so I started decreasing down to 25 mg, which I stayed on for 3-4 more months. My skin stayed pretty clear, but the side effects didn't decrease and I continued to gain weight. I finally stopped 2 weeks ago and unfortunately I'm still experiencing most of the side effects, I'm hoping after I'm off for awhile my body will return to normal. I have had a slight breakout since quiting, I expect in the next few months the cysts will probably increase. I'm disappointed that I had all of these side effects, I would have stayed on it if not for them! The worst part was the weight gain/bloating, I've had 2 kids and it wasn't easy to get back down to my pre-baby size, so it's been a really blow to my ego to have to buy larger clothes and deal with stomach bloating, my doctor told the weight gain would level off, but it didn't and I'm not willing to end up with a 10 or 20lb weight gain just to have clear skin!

on 9/26/2013 1:57:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Normal, Medium, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

The story with my skin is a loooong and frustrating one. As of now, spiro has been a a great solution and continues to get better.

Since age 12ish, I've battled with cystic acne. My first course of accutane was successful, and results lasted from age 13-16ish. When my skin started to get bad again, I took a second course of accutane. This time my results lasted a little longer. Then I started to get some breakouts around sophomore year of college and started taking Yaz, which probably helped my skin a lot. Until a few months ago, I had been off of BC for about 3 years.

Last January, I went down to Costa Rica to volunteer and teach English. I started breaking out a little around my mouth and wrote it off as change in environment, pollution, etc. Come March, my cheeks, upper neck and jawline - areas in which I had never had problems in the past - were littered with painful, stubborn cysts.

Because of their location and cystic nature, it was pretty clear that my acne was somehow hormone related. Nothing topical would work, and the cysts on my jawline would never come to a head, they would just lay deep under my skin and harden. In April, I saw a doctor in CR who gave me an internal ultrasound and found some cysts on my ovaries. She recommended a hormone test and prescribed me Qlaira, a new BC not yet approved in the states. She told me the BC would work for both my acne and ovarian cysts.

Fast forward to August, and went to my derm and gyno back in the states. My ovarian cysts were gone, so we knew it wasn't pcos. After seeing no improvement in my skin on the BC, my derm prescribed Spiro 75 mg a day and doxycycline 100 mg/day, as well as mononessa. I am just now - almost 2 months later - seeing improvement for the first time since March. Right now, I only have maybe 3-4 active pimples on my face as opposed to the usual 10 or 15. Instead of waking up to 2 or 3 new cysts, I'm waking up to maybe one, or none!! The spiro is what does the trick, my derm only prescribed the doxy to calm the inflammation and redness. After 6 weeks, we upped my spiro to 100 mg/day and the results are even better.

Its important to understand that if your cystic acne isn't related to testosterone or androgen over production in your body, then spiro won't be effective for you. If this is what's going on in your body, it's also important to understand that your skin is NOT the problem! I actually have really soft, smooth, non greasy or dry skin beyond the cysts and scars. My derm also assured me that the "scars" I'm seeing are just post-acne healing marks, and will slowly fade. In the mean time, I also use .25% retin-A about every other night as an additional acne defense and to help speed the disappearing of marks.

So, love spiro and the fact that I didn't have to go through accutane again. Hopefully I'm over with the little breakouts and my marks will start to fade. If you think hormones are your issue, DEFINITELY try spiro!! I know it sucks, but you do have to give it about 6-8 weeks to see the results you're looking for. But it's totally worth is cause they'll come!

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 9/23/2013 4:04:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

My stats: 30 years old, mild-to-moderate acne since 13. My doctor thought I was the perfect candidate for spironolactone, since my adult acne had clear hormonal links, and everything else I'd tried -- antibiotics, topicals, diet, etc. -- had ultimately failed.

I started taking 100 mg/day, and within the first week I could detect a noticeable difference. My skin was considerably less oily, my light chest acne was gone, and my facial acne was slowly diminishing. I had a facial about 20 days after I began the course, and my aesthetician -- who's used to dealing with my sad cystic face -- was amazed by my progress. Unfortunately, however, I seem to have had a mild allergy to spiro. After taking my first dose, I woke up with symptoms that felt comparable to seasonal allergies: slightly sore throat, light congestion, a couple of swollen lymph nodes. I kept taking the meds, hoping that these symptoms would eventually go away . . . but three weeks into my prescription, I awoke one morning covered in hives. Yikes. Obviously stopped taking the spiro immediately after that. (Moving on to accutane now, in a last-ditch act of desperation.)

Also worth noting: some women report menstrual irregularities on this drug. I had one period on the drug, which was completely normal, but I stopped taking it mid-cycle and now I'm about two weeks late. My body seems to be taking its time putting its hormones back in their normal order.

on 9/14/2013 12:29:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Acne-prone, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

I've been on Spironolactone for almost 3 years now and it has been a miracle drug for me. I have really bad hormonal acne and it started when I was 24. I was on the birth control Yasmin and I couldn't take the constant stomach aches and hormones with that pill. So my doctor suggested Spiro. I stopped Yasmin after 6 months and started Spiro immediately. My face never broke out from changing over so I didn't have an initial breakout. I take 100mgs everyday and never have cystic acne or anything really bad. My pimples are so small and actually go away within 2-3 days. Around that time of the month I do break out, but not like I used to before Spiro. I did something bad and tried birth control again. This time it was Ortho-Cyclen. Terrible mistake! Terrible birth control pill! I still was taking Spiro and I'm sure my skin would of been way worse had I not been on Spiro. I stopped my BCP about 2 months ago and my skin has been getting better and better each day. Still on Spiro and I hope I never have to go off of it. It's the only thing that has ever worked for my acne. I've tried many products, doctor prescribed products. I do use the restroom alot more but I drink alot water and coffee, so. I would say give this a chance if you're fed up with your hormonal acne.

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Spironolactone was a miracle for my chin hormonal acne. But it didn't start out that way. Initially I got severe head aches, that would not go away. I started out on one 25 mg. tablet. Initially I was afraid to continue the pill because of my headache. But what I did was cut the small pill into 4 peices, and spread the four peaces out equally through the day. Eventually I built up to a half in the morning and the remaining half in the evening. Now I take the full 25 mg a day. I tried 4 different types of birth control, but one made me feel sick, the others that were lower estrogen made me spot everyday all day. I ended up going back on the pill Ortho Tri Cyclen AKA Generic Norgestimate and Ethinyl Estradiol. And I took the Birth Control at night, so that when I got queezy, I would be asleep. You have to be on the pill while on Sprironolactone other wise you will have bleeding. So the magic formula for my super clear less oily face attributed to hormonal acne, (I am 44 years old) is the 25 mg of Spironolactone, and the generic Ortho Tri Cyclin. I have no queeziness or headaches. Prior I tried Minocycline and Tetrocycline, and many topicals. They only helped temporarily. And not very well. And they should not be used long term. I highly recommend this, and detailed my experience hoping it will help you. I am healthy and walk at least 4 days a week, I am thin and don't smoke. I think you have to be in decent health to be on the Spiro, because it can lower blood pressure. They also did a blood test on me to check my potasium level. God Bless.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 8/18/2013 3:07:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Other, Other, Warm

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

I wish I had discovered spironolactone much sooner as I would have saved myself time, money and low self-confidence.
As soon as I turned 45, perimenopause came out full on and it was as if a big switch went off in my body. Literally overnight, my acne popped up on the chin and jawline, especially the left side of my chin. For about a year and a half, I tried however many topical creams/solutions without much success. A doctor suggested spironolactone and I was reluctant to go that route because I wanted to avoid using drugs.

When it was obvious my acne was getting worse, I asked for a Rx for spironolactone. I did my research about the drug and the side effects so I was prepared.

I have been taking spiro for 7 weeks and my skin has improved considerably. I'm not 100% clear but I'm almost there with pre-acne skin. I did have a few new breakouts here and there but nothing serious. Apparently it's not unusual for some people to experience a big breakout at first with this drug. Fortunately, that didn't happen to me.

In addition to taking this drug, it's important to maintain a good skin care regime to deal with the existing acne. I use Cerave hydrating cleansing lotion to wash in the am and pm, followed by Paula's Choice 2% BHA lotion, Cerave lotion (the cream was too heavy and I suspect it caused the cystic acne on my forehead) and Vichy sunscreen during the day.

A good sunscreen is essential to help the skin heal, especially with the hyper-pigmentation. The spiro seems to be helping with the healing of the hyper-pigmentation and my cheeks are not so red any more. (i have rosacea)
I have not worn makeup during these several weeks as I want my skin to breathe and heal as quick as possible. (I can still wear eyemakeup and lipstick/gloss but I avoid any foundation/powder)

As for the side effects, they have been minimal. My blood pressure has decreased slightly but that's to be expected as this drug is prescribed for hypertension. It is also a diuretic so I'm peeing a bit more and I find I'm drinking more water too.
I'm on 100 mg/day and this dose works for me. My doctor wouldn't recommend any more than 100 mg/day and this seems to be the ideal dose to see results. (again, individual results may vary as with the dose)
I was taking 1 x 25mg four times a day and this made me extremely tired. When I took 50 mg once in the am and pm, the fatigue went away.
My cycle seems to be okay (this drug can cause irregular periods) although I'm still monitoring that. (I'm not on bcp and not needed in my case)
This drug can cause birth defects so use proper birth control.

Watch your potassium and salt intake as this drug can increase potassium levels in the blood and get blood work done regularly to make sure you're in the normal range.

If you're suffering from hormonal acne and don't want to go on Accutane, then spironolactone maybe a good alternative. It's working wonders for me, although I'll need to continue taking the drug to avoid the acne from returning, I'm willing to do so. (provided there aren't great long term risks)

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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