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Spironolactone withdrawal can occur if you stop taking this medication suddenly (as in, without gradually tapering off). Since some of these spironolactone withdrawal symptoms can be severe, it’s important to learn more about them.

How Long Do Spironolactone Withdrawal Symptoms Last?

The amount of time that spironolactone withdrawal symptoms last for varies for each person. This is due to different factors, such as weight, medical conditions, dosage amount, and length of time that this medication has been taken. These symptoms might appear soon after you abruptly stop taking spironolactone.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms that can occur when you stop taking spironolactone suddenly include water retention, which can increase the risk of severe complications for those who have certain medical conditions. Blood pressure levels can also increase after stopping the use of this medication.


Those who have heart failure, hypertension, cirrhosis, or other conditions affecting the heart, liver, or kidneys may have a higher risk of experiencing complications due to withdrawal. For starters, sudden water retention can worsen symptoms of these conditions, while an increase in blood pressure can increase the risk of stroke or heart attack. Those who are at a higher risk of any of these conditions should talk to their medical provider about how to safely stop the use of spironolactone.

Treatment Options

Treatment options for spironolactone withdrawal involve lowering the risk of experiencing sudden water retention or increases in blood pressure levels. Research shows that gradual tapering instead of abruptly stopping the use of this medication might help reduce the risk of having withdrawal symptoms.

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.


Generic Name: Spironolactone


Class: Aldosterone antagonist, potassium-sparing diuretic

Availability: Prescription

Molecular Formula: C24H32O4S

Substance UNII: 27O7W4T232

What is Spironolactone?

Spironolactone is an aldosterone antagonist and potassium-sparing diuretic. It is often sold under the trade names Aldactone and CaroSpir.

What is Spironolactone Used For?

The FDA has approved spironolactone for the treatment of heart failure, hypertension, edema associated with nephrotic syndrome or hepatic cirrhosis, and primary hyperaldosteronism. People also sometimes use it to treat acne or to promote weight loss.

How Does Spironolactone Work?

Spironolactone works by blocking the activity of aldosterone, a steroid hormone associated with water retention. This fluid retention can cause certain problems to worsen such as kidney, heart, or liver diseases or conditions. Taking this medication causes higher amounts of water and sodium to be eliminated, thereby reducing water retention.

Spironolactone also prevents your body from excreting or getting rid of potassium. Notably, potassium helps reduce water retention through promoting urination and excretion of sodium during urination.

How Long Does It Take for Spironolactone to Work?

The time it takes for this drug to work depends on what it is being used for and other factors, such as the presence of other medical conditions and dosage being taken. A 2012 study found that it generally takes a few weeks for spironolactone to become effective when it is used for treating acne.

Do Not Use Spironolactone If:

There are several situations where this medication may not be the right choice for you. According to the FDA, the following should not use spironolactone:

  • Patients with hyperkalemia (high potassium)
  • Patients with Addison’s disease (hypocortisolism or adrenal insufficiency)
  • Patients who are using eplerenone (Inspra)

Please note that this list may not be complete, and there may be other situations where use of this drug is not advisable.

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.

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