Recently I have had two of my acne clients ask about taking Spironolactone for acne. I know doctors will hand this to you many times like candy. But do they also inform you about the side effects or tell you what it is really for? Sadly, the answer to that question is a resounding no. Before taking this for your acne educate yourself about what this drug is, what it REALLY is for and the side effects associated with it. As an Acne Specialist, the protocol I offer works safely and effectively without side effects and my protocol will clear your skin.
The article below was written by a wonderful experienced Acne Specialist in California. Now read and consider.
Can I just say… Ridiculous side effects. Spironolactone is a synthetic hormone and an anti-androgen diuretic drug is used to treat high blood pressure and fluid retention. Because it decreases testosterone production, it is also utilized to treat hirsutism, PCOS and hormonal acne in women. The birth control pill Yaz® also contains this drug.
This is not a popular treatment for those who are NOT diagnosed with an androgenic hormonal imbalance. Side effects include dehydration, nausea, fatigue, irregular periods, sun-sensitivity, headache and a link to cancer. Since it interrupts the masculinization of male fetuses, foolproof birth control is mandatory. When severe acne is accompanied by insulin resistance, obesity and hirsutism, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) has been diagnosed, spironolactone is sometimes prescribed in combination with oral contraceptives and metformin, a drug used to treat adult-onset diabetes. Hormones and spironolactone are also prescribed for male-to-female gender reassignment patients as part of their transition therapy. However, acne and hirsutism can be genetic and cultural, i.e. run in certain families, and most cases are not always linked to PCOS.
Some tests have shown that topical spironolactone may be effective at 5% under an occlusive covering to address androgens (DHT) deep in the follicle (on the back). Some acne formulations are using trace amounts in their formulas (along with active OTC acne ingredients), but since it’s only effective at much higher percentages, the label would have to identify spironolactone as an active ingredient. The birth control pill Yaz®, which contains spironolactone, and the more potent oral spironolactone never received rave reviews for acne. While they may have worked for some, their side effects often outweigh the benefits.