Spironolactone (Aldactone) is an aldosterone antagonist, classified as a diuretic. It competitively inhibits the binding of aldosterone to receptors, especially in the renal tubules, where aldosterone is involved in sodium-potassium metabolism. The drug increases the amount of excreted sodium and water, while potassium is stored. This distinguishes it from other drugs of this group, for example, from loop diuretics, such as furosemide, which can significantly increase the excretion of sodium, water and potassium. Usually, spironolactone is called a “potassium-saving” diuretic.
- It is used in medicine in some cases, including in the treatment of high blood pressure, edema associated with congestive heart failure, hyperaldosteronism and hypokalemia.
- Spironolactone is often used among professional athletes and bodybuilders to temporarily remove water from the body. The main goal here is to reduce the amount of subcutaneous water for a better type of muscles and the adjustment of weight category in sports with restrictions on weight categories.
Side effects include: gynecomastia, cramps, diarrhea, drowsiness, headache, skin irritation, rash, confusion, impotence, loss of coordination, menstrual disorders, virilization. It may also have some anti-androgenic properties.
When used for sports purposes, the usual dosage is 100 mg in the morning for 3-5 days before the competition. In women, it can be used as an anti-androgen at a dose of 25-75mg per day for 1-2 weeks. When combined with other diuretics, the dose of both drugs should be halved.