Spironolactone for Acne


90 reviews

85% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.1

Price: $$

Package Quality: 4.1

Price: $$


on 3/23/2015 10:00:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I asked for this from my doctor specifically because I have both genetic high blood pressure and hormonal acne. He only gave me 25mg because I guess it's a little dangerous? I've been taking it regularly and tried doubling up, but I think less is more in this case. He warned me not to eat bananas while taking it, but I did anyway and it made me super lethargic. Avoid potassium, because this works by saving your body's potassium. (I am no doctor, but this is what I hear.) I asked if I could just eat more potassium but I don't think that is how this pill works...

Anyway I feel my blood pressure has gone down!!! Also I have noticed, even though it has only been three weeks I don't have any (new) cysts!

I probably wouldn't take this if it weren't for my blood pressure, but I am very hopeful so far. This is nothing like Accutane, I feel like it's resetting a glitch in my body that needed to be reset.

on 2/1/2015 12:31:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

Before using this I had been using Acne.org's system on and off for six years. I had good results from it, but got tired of my skin constantly being dry and of the time it takes to put on two full pumps of benzoyl peroxide on your face every morning and evening. Also, my dermatologist had recommended Retin A Micro for acne and anti aging benefits and trying to alternate it with benzoyl peroxide had my skin so dry and chapped it was unmanageable. I stopped using the Acne.org system in April of last year and had a bit of a honeymoon period after where my skin did not break out too terribly. Of course, it caught up to me and I started breaking out a little bit that summer. I asked my dermatologist about Spironolactone and she recommended trying a couple of antibiotics first. I think I tried Tetracycline, Doxycycline and one other that I cannot remember and none had great results. She also prescribed Aczone to apply topically, which I suppose may have helped but the results were so slow going that I ended up getting lazy with it and stopping.

Eventually in early August my acne had reached a boiling point and gotten so bad I considered asking for accutane. I had never considered that before because of all of the side effects, but I was that desperate. My dermatologist decided to finally try Spironolactone and said if that didn't work we could try accutane. She thought Spironolactone might benefit me because my acne was mostly on my chin and jawline, which is usually hormonal. She asked me to go back on birth control, because I had been off it at the time. She said that she wanted me on two forms of birth control at all times because Spironolactone can feminize male fetuses if you get pregnant while on it. She also had me get my blood tested before she put the prescription through and warned me that I cannot have much potassium, so I avoid bananas and coconut water.

She started me at a dose of 50 mg per day and had me get my blood checked every single month while slowly increasing the dosage. I didn't get results for the first several months and kept asking about accutane instead. She told me to be persistent and wait, which I did. I am now at 150 mg and my skin has been clear for the last few months. It is the clearest my skin has ever been and it is amazing. I can actually touch my face without having to worry about getting a breakout. I still have some hyper pigmentation leftover on one cheek from my horrible breakout last summer and cannot believe how long it is taking to fade. However, I've gotten maybe three small whiteheads that I can only see if I am leaning in super close to the mirror and they usually come after I pick at my skin. I still have some blackheads on my nose that haven't gone away, but they don't bother me that much. I'm really taking advantage of the clear skin while I can, but I know I'm switching my health insurance this July so I'm not sure if I'll be able to keep using this or not.

Now I'll mention some of my concerns with the prescription. First, like I said I was not on birth control until right when I started this prescription and I started taking birth control on the first day of my period. When I've started the pill this way before my period has always stopped. However, while taking Spironolactone, my period went on in a spotty fashion for ELEVEN days. This has obviously never happened to me before, but I haven't had any problems with it since taking the pill regularly.

My second concern may be totally unrelated to the pill, but I thought it was curious. I've been a vegetarian for thirteen years and my cholesterol has always been very, very low. I happened to give blood a few months after starting this prescription and when I got the thank you note in the mail a few weeks later I was shocked to see that my cholesterol was above the normal range. I haven't started eating more dairy or eggs, so I don't know why my cholesterol would have been raised and the only thing that has changed is this prescription. However, my dermatologist said that this wouldn't cause that so I don't know what to make of it.

My last concern is with the safety of taking this long term. My dermatologist said that this is only a short term treatment, so I don't know what I'm supposed to turn to if my acne returns when I stop taking this. Also, I started reading Anticancer recently and am worrying about how the effects of this drug on my hormones might affect my body long term. I think when I stop taking this I may try giving up sugar because I've read about great results in getting rid of acne as well as reducing your cancer risk. That would be incredibly hard for me, so I'm not looking forward to it. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know!

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 1/22/2015 2:22:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Acne-prone, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Red, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

To Sageraye‼️‼️.. I've been on it for two weeks and have noticed the breakouts being worse.. My Derm Doc, said it can often GET WORSE , BEFORE BETTER IN SOME PEOPLE. I'm as well holding out hope for improvement over time

Age: 30-35

Skin: Acne-prone, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I was on spirinolactone from 2012 to February 2014. I was getting frustrated with a resurgence in papular and cystic acne after a sweet spot free 2 years thanks to Accutane. It was actually my OBGYN that recommended it and not my derm. While I was happy with Accutane even though the results were temporary and despite cost and side effects, I wish I'd been aware of spironalctone first to try as I'd consider this treatment less intense and almost as effective. Keep in mind that I was still instructed to use birth control and avoid pregnancy while using spiro and advised about all the possible side effect, none of which I recall experiencing.

My OBGYN started me off on 50 mg daily and this worked until stress triggered a major cystic acne flare in August 2012, then I was increased to 100mg daily. My skin was mostly clear after that until another major cystic acne flare in March 2013. At this point it was my derm treating me with spiro and she suggested combining it with Solodyn (minocycline). By July 2013 my skin was pretty much at the level of flawless that I got with Accutane using the spironolactone 100 mg/minocycline 100 mg combinations every day. That sweet period lasted until I finally decided to self taper and discontinue the spiro in March 2014 to flush it from my system so I could try to have a baby. I subsequently stopped my birth control in May. Within two months of discontinuance of both, I'm validated that my acne is off the chain hormonal since my face has been an inflammatory mess of cystic acne flare ups from then up to present day. I continued the minocycline 100mg help me manage it, but it only takes the inflammation down and doesn't help eliminate the flare ups. If it weren't for my personal goal, I'd be back on that spirowagon in no time.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 9/18/2014 6:46:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Amazing, amazing, amazing.

I've been having a hormonal acne breakout that was attributed to coming off the pill...but this 'breakout' lasted a whole year. It just got worse and worse, and finally I got my OB-GYN to run some bloodwork. It turned out my testosterone was high though I was otherwise healthy, and she put me on 50mg spiro twice a day.

She told me it usually takes about 3 months to really see an improvement.

One month in, and about 90% of my body breakouts are GONE. My face is probably about 40% less oily, as is my scalp, and I only had two cystic breakouts during my period this month. My skin is SIGNIFICANTLY better, I'd say about 40-50% reduce in breakouts.
I still have trouble with clogged pores and small bumps, though.

Cons are: my hair, lips and hands are MUCH drier. I use a humidifier at night now because the dry air from the AC hurts when I breathe it in through my nose. My cuticles and lips crack when I don't apply Vaseline regularly.
I do find myself peeing more than I did before so I can't take my nightly dosage before I go to the movies, and if I know I'm going to be on a long drive I take my second dose AFTER I get back.
When I don't drink enough water, my muscles begin to ache and I get really, really tired... My libido is also way, way down.

Note -- I started out on 50mg ONCE a day (half the dosage prescribed to me) for the first week to get adjusted to the diuretic effect. Then after a week I increased the dosage to 50 mg twice a day as prescribed.This helped me a lot in getting used to the side effects.

I haven't noticed weight gain, but I've been trying to lose weight for awhile now so we'll have to see. But it's really, really helped my skin and I am extremely thankful for that.

I will update this review once I've hit the 3-month mark. :)

EDIT, 11/25/14: I got sick for two weeks and I wasn't taking my Spiro... sigh, I guess it's a good thing it doesn't stick around for long in the body, but in terms of oiliness I'm right back where I started. I also started to break out on my chin and a few spots on my back/chest. So note to self and others, take this as religiously as you'd take any other Rx! On the plus side, I can jump right back into the full dosage and not feel particularly dehydrated or dizzy like I did before.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

on 9/2/2014 6:51:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Dark, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Black

I have suffered from acne since i was 15. Its mostly hormonal and ive tried(do you have time? have a seat....list is long) everything from atropin(retin-a) to tazorac, doxycycline etc. Topicals and Ingested products. What's spiro? Its basically an androgen blocker. Meaning it blocks testoterone production. Testoterone is what causes some cases of hormonal acne, hair loss in some body parts(head), excessive hair growth in other areas etc. (DONT QUOTE ME IM NOT A DOC)
Ive been using it for about 6 months and about 3 mths ago, my derm upped my dosage from 50mg to 100mg. In the past few months ive also GAINED WEIGHT. I dont fit in most of my clothes. Ive gone from weighing 115lbs soaking wet to 130lbs!!! Am i upset? Of course!! Had to donate all my clothes. My tits are BIGGER, my butt is plumper and so is my freaking stomach. I didnt relate the weight gain to spiro until recently. Another TMI observation is i was spotting randomly and for weeks straight. I think the spiro had a lot to do with it!! :( Will it make me stop taking it? Absolutely not!!
I have not broken out/had ONE zit in about 3 months(after dosage increase) and i will take the 15lbs weight gain that i probably needed and hope its no more than that!! I might talk to my derm and see if she advises to go back down to 50mg and ill report back!!
Another pro is that Im no longer as oily. Before you could fry eggs with the amount of oil my face produced. Lancome teint idole ultra foundation and bioderma primer were my BFFs and now, i dont even bother to blot or powder my face in the humid summer heat all thanks to spiro!!

on 7/24/2014 11:01:00 PM

Age: 19-24

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

Hair: Brown, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Other

I've had stubborn acne since age 13. Recently, my face, chest, upper arm and back are breaking out like crazy. I have a very oily complexion in the t-zone area and pimples on my forehead, chin, jaw area and both sides of my face. These pimples leave behind brown/reddish marks all over the sides of my face that take years to fade away! After 2 weeks taking Spiro (once a day, 50 mg) i'm beginning to see a change. I've noticed my face is less oily, and my forehead has for the most part cleared up. I did however experience a a bad break out on my chin and the left side of my face after about 4 days of taking Spiro but that has cleared up now. Although I havent seen a HUGE difference yet, im going to be patient with it. SIde effects in the first wk were frequent urination especially in the few hours after taking a dose and I got my period 1 wk early. It was an extremely light period though--just brown spotting.

Age: 30-35

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Hazel

I have such mixed feelings about Spiro (along with Glucophage 1000mg for PCOS)

I have only been taking it for 3 weeks, and the side effects are insane.

I have lost 14 pounds in 3 weeks. My boobs are bigger. My skin is clear, glowing and.. beautiful, quite frankly. I have struggled with acne since the age of 17 on, and it has always been a source of embarassment for me. My hair in shiny, soft, and not falling out.

I feel dizzy and tired all of the time. I have ZERO appetite, have to force myself to eat anything or drink anything. I developed a kidney infection due to dehydration from not drinking enough. I feel jittery and have headaches a lot since starting Spiro.

I am taking 50mg once a day, and I am going to cut them in half to see if I feel any better. I love the pros, but the cons, to me, are almost unbearable.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 7/16/2014 6:14:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Red, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Hazel

Made me weepy and fat. And then had my period for 4 weeks when I stopped taking it. And then toxic shock. In the hospital for 9 days. Beware, these are strong hormones.

7 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

on 7/13/2014 7:00:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Very Oily, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I suffer from terrible cyctic acne and have since I was a teenager. I've tried everything under the sun to get rid of this curse that has left my face with many pock marks and dark spots. My dermatologist kept putting me on antibiotics, and, truthfully, they worked but only for so long. Not to mention, I'm not the biggest fan of prolonged antibiotic use, because it's really unhealthy for your insides. My other problem is that I knew my cyctic acne was caused mainly by hormones. Anyways, I happened to be watching a makeup blogger, and she explained the medication that she was using -- Spironolactone. She had success with this medication, and I knew that I needed to give this a try.

I'm in my first month of useing this medication, and this review is just of what I've experienced so far while taking Spironolactone, as this medication is supposed to take a few months before anyone can see significant results. The night that I started taking the medication I had bad stomach cramps and was in and out of the bathroom. A day after starting on this medication, I noticed that my face and the crown of my scalp was not oily. This is great because around that time of the month my face and scalp would get SO oily, that no matter how well I washed my hair, it felt like I hadn't showered. Yeah, it was gross. My face has remained oil-free feeling, but I have to use oil-free moisturizer after I wash my face because it does dry out and get pretty tight feeling. Many people have said that they experienced a major weight-loss, and, sadly, I haven't, at least not yet. hahaha! Really though, I haven't noticed any difference in less acne, but I have had a pretty bad breakout around my chin and even around my ears.

My hope is that this medication will work after a while. So far there is nothing too bad to complain about, but I'll keep everyone updated.

UPDATE July 27th-

The oiliness on my face and crown of scalp has kind of returned. The acne around my mouth and on my ears still hasn't gone away. I havent had acne around my ear area in a long time. No weight loss or weight gain. Though it hasn't been a month, it feels as though I'm almost taking a step backwards rather than progressing in my struggle to get clear skin because nothing has changed for the better. Anyways, I'm going to continue to stick with this for a few more months.

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