Aldactone, an aldosterone inhibitor, is a potassium-sparing diuretic. This medication is used to treat patients with heart failure when systolic dysfunction is present.
Aldactone is usually prescribed to prevent heart failure symptoms from becoming worse. Aldactone protects the heart by blocking a certain chemical (aldosterone) in the body that causes salt and fluid build-up.
The symptoms of heart failure can be related to the pooling of fluid in the body or can be secondary to decreased blood flow to the body. Some people with heart failure don't experience symptoms, but here are some of the more common signs:
Shortness of breath with exercise or difficulty breathing at rest or when lying down
Swollen legs, ankles, or abdomen
Dry, hacking cough, or wheezing
Other symptoms may include:
Fatigue, palpitations, or pain during normal activities
When receiving aldactone, you may be given a low dose that does not provide enough diuretic effects by itself. Your doctor may prescribe another type of diuretic in addition to aldactone.
How Do I Take Aldactone?
Follow the label directions on how often to take this drug. If you are taking a single dose a day, you may wish to take it in the morning with your breakfast or right after eating your breakfast. If you are taking more than one dose a day, consider taking the last dose no later than 4 p.m so that you are not waking up late at night to urinate.
The number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and how long you need to take the medication will depend on your condition.
What Are the Side Effects of Aldactone?
Side effects you may experience with Aldactone include:
Extreme tiredness: This side effect may be strongest when you first start taking Aldactone. It should decrease as your body adjusts to the drug. Call your doctor if this symptom persists.
Increased urination: This is normal and may last for up to six hours after a dose.
Abnormal enlargement of one or both breasts in men: This may be associated with breast pain. Contact your doctor if this symptom persists or is severe.
Upset stomach: Take this drug with meals or milk to reduce this symptom. Contact your doctor if this symptom persists or is severe.
Skin rash or itching: Stop taking the medication and call your doctor right away.
Shortness of breath: Call your doctor right away.
Confusion; irregular heartbeat; nervousness; numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips: Contact your doctor right away.
Should I Avoid Certain Food or Drugs While Taking Aldactone?
Yes. Here are some guidelines for taking food and medicine with Aldactone:
Aldactone is generally prescribed in combination with an ACE inhibitor, digoxin, other diuretic and beta-blocker. If you experience an increase in side effects after taking your medications together, contact your doctor.
Before this drug is prescribed, tell your doctor about all the other medications you are taking, particularly other drugs for high blood pressure, Sandimmune, potassium-containing drugs, digoxin, or lithium.
Before this medication is prescribed, tell your doctor if you have diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, gout, a history of kidney stones, menstrual problems, or breast enlargement.
Follow your doctor's dietary advice, which may include: following a low-sodium diet, or including (or avoiding) high-potassium foods (such as bananas and orange juice) in your diet.
Other Aldactone Guidelines
Weigh yourself at the same time every day (on the same scale) and record your weight. Call your doctor if you gain 2 pounds in one day or 5 pounds in one week.
While taking this drug, have your blood pressure and kidney function tested regularly, as advised by your doctor.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory so that your response to this medication can be monitored.