Spironolactone weight loss and weight gain misconceptions are a genuine concern for many.
Strictly speaking, Spironolactone is not a weight loss pill or supplement.
However, some users of this prescription medicine claim to have achieved weight loss results with it. On the contrary, few others have reported weight gain after having Spironolactone.
A lot of individuals who are struggling to achieve the ideal body weight are willing to try anything that can help them lose weight.
There are already a number of prescription medicines, diet plans, supplements, workout guides, gizmos, and gadgets which are precisely designed and intended for weight loss or weight gain.
It is true that some prescription medicines like Spironolactone meant for treating a host of ills may also help in gaining or losing weight depending on the specific health condition of the individual. But these medicines are not supposed to be consumed for the purpose of shedding weight.
What is Spironolactone?
According to Drugs.com, “Spironolactone is a potassium-sparing diuretic (water pill) that prevents your body from absorbing too much sodium and keeps your potassium levels from getting too low (1).”
Aldactone is one of the most popular brands of Spironolactone pills sold in the drug stores.
This prescription medicine is used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure (2).
It is also a potential diuretic which works well for treating symptoms of water retention in the body. This pill can help remove excess fluid and sodium from the body.
Spironolactone is beneficial for treating the following health conditions:
- Hyperaldosteronism caused by excess amount of aldosterone;
- Excess water retention in the body;
- Congestive heart failure;
- Hepatic cirrhosis;
- Nephrotic syndrome;
- Hirsutism in women (excess hair growth on face or body);
- Acne in women;
- Female pattern hair loss;
- Hypokalemia (potassium deficiency).
Spironolactone Weight Loss
Many of the patients who have Spironolactone pills may experience a reduction in body weight because of its diuretic effect.
Water is the single largest constituent of the human body; about 60% total body weight is from the water. Excess water retention in the body is one of the common reasons that make people overweight.
Weight loss with Spironolactone pills possible because this pill reduces the excess water retention in the body. Using Spironolactone pills for weight loss is not a long-term healthy or beneficial method.
When this pill administered at a particular dose for weight loss, the body will respond by increasing aldosterone release, thereby making the weight loss effects of Spironolactone transient unless higher doses are administered.
Does Spironolactone Cause Weight Gain
‘Spironolactone weight gain’ is not true. There is no verified evidence supporting the possibility of weight gain caused by Spironolactone pills. On the other, most patients who have this pill tend to lose weight because it is a diuretic.
Some patients might experience weight gain during medication because of increase in appetite or due to fatigue and lower activity that happens over an extended period while the treatment is in progress.
The patient should take only the dosage recommended by his/her physician; taking Spironolactone pills in higher dosage may trigger digestive and metabolic issues which may cause weight gain.
The patient must minimize the intake of potassium while on this medicine; very high potassium levels may cause problems like muscle weakness or dangerous heart rhythm.
Spironolactone has no effect on weight gain, irregular menstruation, or other prominent PCOS symptoms.
Insulin resistance could also be one of the prime reasons for weight gain during medication.
Side Effects of Spironolactone
Spironolactone is precisely a prescription medicine that should be taken only under the strict guidance of a doctor.
Spironolactone essentially produces counter actions against the functions of aldosterone (a hormone regulating water and salt balance). It is a diuretic pill that induces expulsion of sodium and water through urine while retaining potassium.
Spironolactone increases diuresis and consequently has antihypertensive properties which lead to the lowering of blood pressure.
Continuous use of Spironolactone pills may result in urine, and serum electrolyte imbalance is leading to hyperkalemia in the body can potentially precipitate heart failure. Having foods rich in potassium or using potassium supplements while taking this pill can aggravate the hyperkalemia condition.
The FDA states an overt warning that Spironolactone/ Aldactone has been shown to have tumorigenic potential (causing cancer) in chronic toxicity studies in rats.
Most of the side effects of Aldactone are transient and gradually disappears after the completion of treatment. Here are the common side effects of Aldactone /Spironolactone:
- Dizziness, unsteadiness, tiredness, and headache;
- Stomach pain, cramps, diarrhea or vomiting;
- Excess thirstiness and dryness in mouth
- Irregular menstrual periods and post-menopausal vaginal bleeding
- Erectile dysfunction
- Increased hair growth on body
- Breast pain in woman and Gynecomastia in men
- Muscle pain, weakness, and cramps
In rare cases, a few of the patients who used Spironolactone in the past have reported severe side effects such as:
- Paralysis in the arms or legs
- Extreme tiredness, fainting, and mental confusion;
- Incessant bleeding or eruption of bruises;
- Severe skin reactions and allergies;
- Severe abdominal pain, loss of appetite, bloody stools or vomiting blood;
- Shortness of breath.
Should You Take Spironolactone For Weight Loss
There is no scientific evidence supports effectiveness and reliability of spironolactone for weight loss.
Being a diuretic pill, this help in flushing out excess fluid retained in the body. Sudden loss of excess fluid from the body will definitely reduce your bodyweight for a short term period.
One of the possible side effects of Aldactone pills is the loss of appetite; this can certainly produce some impact on weight loss with reduced intake of calories and fat.
Weight loss result from Aldactone pill is not a general effect in all patients who consume this pill. Patients with excess water retention in the body will experience few pounds of weight loss but for others nothing. It is not a prescription medicine for slimming or belly fat loss.
It is unhealthy and may produce potentially hazardous side effects if spironolactone is consumed for prolonged period. You are not advised to have this pill unless recommended by your physician for a specifically approved medical indication.
If you suffer from any form of edema (excessive fluid retention) caused by various hormones, liver, heart, or kidney conditions, then using Spironolactone as prescribed by the doctor will reduce the excess fluid in the body. This may result in weight loss for a temporary period.
The Bottom Line
Balancing optimal body weight (maintaining ideal BMI score) or losing belly fat and body weight requires conscious efforts from you on a regular basis. Healthy living style, diets, and adequate physical exercises are necessary to keep you fit and healthy.
Popping up prescription pills like Spironolactone (Aldactone) for weight loss is not healthy. It is not a fat loss medicine or diet pill.
Some patients might experience a temporary reduction in body weight because of the diuretic nature of this pill and decrease in appetite as its side effect.
The side effects of Aldactone and the electrolyte imbalance caused by it may produce serious harm to the body. At best, a person can lose 5 pounds of body weight by relieving the water retention in the body impacted by this pill.
Aldactone pills are exclusively meant for treating specific medical conditions and not for weight loss.
There is also no scientific evidence that proves the Spironolactone weight gain effects as reported by a few patients in the past.
The best solution for you to manage the weight problem is by following calories restricted diet, regular fat burning exercise and healthy diet and lifestyle habits.