Aldactone is a diuretic, which is commonly referred to as a "water pill." It is known as an "aldosterone antagonist," which means that it blocks aldosterone receptors. Aldosterone is a hormone in the body that causes the body to retain water. By blocking aldosterone, Aldactone increases the amount of salt and water that the kidneys remove from the blood, which is then passed out through urine.
By increasing the amount of water removed from the blood, the drug causes a decrease in blood volume. Because of this effect, it can lower blood pressure and also help with water retention.
Aldactone is a "potassium-sparing" diuretic, which means that it does not cause low potassium levels in the blood (like many other diuretics). In fact, it usually increases potassium levels, an effect which can be used to treat low potassium levels (hypokalemia).
Some general considerations for when and how to take the medication include:
- Aldactone comes in tablet form. It is usually taken by mouth once or twice a day. In some cases, it may be taken every other day.
- You can take it with or without food.
- Aldactone should be taken at the same time(s) each day to maintain an even level of the drug in your blood. However, some people do not need to take it every day, especially those who are taking it for fluid retention.
- Because Aldactone increases urination, it is best to take it the morning (to avoid needing to get up to use the bathroom throughout the night). If you take it twice a day, try to take the last dose before 6 p.m., unless your healthcare provider instructs you otherwise.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. It will not work if you stop taking it.