Spironolactone for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
How It Works
Why It Is Used
Spironolactone used alone can cause irregular bleeding and could cause problems if used during pregnancy. For these reasons, it is usually taken along with birth control pills. It is used to control irregular menstrual bleeding and to reduce hirsutism.
How Well It Works
About 70% to 80% of women with PCOS see a reduction in excess hair growth after taking spironolactone. It may take up to 6 months of daily use to be fully effective.1
Side effects from spironolactone may include:
Side effects go away when you stop using spironolactone.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
Unless your doctor advises it and is monitoring you carefully, do not take potassium supplements when using spironolactone. Doing so may cause excessive potassium levels.
Your doctor may not recommend spironolactone if you have kidney problems. This is because it affects how your kidneys get rid of potassium.
Use birth control when using spironolactone. Spironolactone is not safe for use during pregnancy. It has been reported to cause a change in the genitals of a male fetus, although this is rare.
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