Aldactone is a diuretic, which is commonly referred to as a "water pill." It is known as an "aldosterone antagonist," which means 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. This extra salt and water is passed out through urine.
By increasing the amount of water removed from the blood, Aldactone causes a decrease in blood volume. Because of this effect, Aldactone 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, Aldactone usually increases potassium levels, an effect which can be used to treat low potassium levels (hypokalemia).
Aldactone has not been adequately studied in children or adolescents and is not approved for these age groups. Talk to your child's healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of using Aldactone in children.
On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend Aldactone for treating a condition other than those listed in this article. This is called an "off-label" use. At this time, Aldactone is used off-label to treat the following conditions:
- Acne in women (see Spironolactone for Acne Treatment)
- Bloating and water retention due to premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (a lung disease in babies)
- Hirsutism (excess body hair in women)
- Hair loss in women
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).