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What Aldactone is and what it is used for
Aldactone contains the active substance spironolactone. Aldactone belongs to a group of medicines
called ‘diuretics’ – you may know these as ‘water’ tablets.
You may have gone to your doctor because you had swollen ankles or were short of breath. This can
happen when your heart's pumping action has become weak because of too much fluid in your body.
This is called 'congestive heart failure'. Pushing extra fluid around your body means your heart has to
work harder. Your doctor has given you Aldactone to help you lose the extra fluid from your body.
This will mean your heart has to do less work. You lose the extra fluid as urine, so you may need to go
to the toilet more often while you are taking Aldactone You can also take Aldactone for the following illnesses:
• 'Nephrotic syndrome'
•a kidney disorder that causes too much fluid in your body
•too much fluid in your abdomen and ‘oedema’
•accumulation of fluid beneath skin or in one or more cavities of the body that produces swelling, for example caused by cirrhosis of the liver
• ‘Malignant ascites’
•fluid containing cancer cells that collect in the abdomen
• 'Primary aldosteronism'
•extra fluid in your body caused by too much of a hormone called 'aldosterone'. If you have these illnesses, Aldactone will help your body to get rid of the extra fluid. You must talk to a doctor if you do not feel better or if you feel worse. Children should only be treated under guidance of a paediatric specialist.
How to take Aldactone
Always take this medicine exactly as your doctor or pharmacist has told you. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure. The pharmacist's label on the pack also gives this information. The number of tablets you need to take depends on your illness. Recommended dose This medicine should be taken once a day with food. Adults The adult dose varies from 25mg to 400mg spironolactone a day, depending on the condition being treated. If you are not sure how much to take, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Elderly Your doctor will start you on a low starting dose and gradually increase the dosage as needed to obtain the desired effect. Use in children and adolescents If you are giving Aldactone to a child, the number of tablets you give will depend on the child's weight. Your doctor will work out the number of tablets that you should give. If you take more Aldactone than you should If you accidentally take too many tablets, contact your doctor or nearest hospital accident and emergency department immediately. The symptoms of an overdose are feeling drowsy, dizzy, feeling dehydrated and you may feel confused. You may also feel or be sick, suffer from diarrhoea and may have skin rashes that will appear as flat red areas of skin with overlapping small raised bumps. Changes in your blood sodium and potassium levels may leave you feeling weak and suffering from tingling, prickling or numbness of the skin and/or muscle spasms but these symptoms are unlikely to be associated with severe overdosage. If you forget to take Aldactone If you forget to take your tablet, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose. If you stop taking Aldactone It is important to keep taking Aldactone until your doctor tells you to stop, even if you start to feel better. If you stop taking the tablets too soon, your condition may get worse. If you have any further questions on the use of this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Possible side effects
Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
Tell your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms after taking this
medicine. Although they are very rare, the symptoms can be severe.
• Itchiness and blistering of the skin around the lips and the rest of the body (Stevens-Johnson syndrome)
• Detachment of the top layer of skin from the lower layers of skin, all over the body (toxic epidermal necrolysis)
• Skin rash, fever and swelling (which could be symptoms of something more serious, drug rash and eosinophilia and systemic symptoms)
• Yellow skin and eyes (jaundice), Aldactone can cause impairment of liver function
• Irregular heartbeat which can be fatal, tingling sensation, paralysis (loss of muscle function) or difficulty in breathing; which may be symptoms of raised potassium levels in your blood. Your doctor will conduct regular blood tests to monitor potassium and other electrolyte levels. They may stop your treatment if necessary.
Other side effects of Aldactone
• Nausea, stomach upset
• Confusion, dizziness
• Menstrual problems in women
• Change in sex drive for both men and women (libido)
• Disturbances in body electrolytes
• Reduced number of cells that fight infection
•white cells (leukopenia), reduced number of cells that help with clotting (thrombocytopenia)
• Excessive growth of breast tissue in men (gynaecomastia, this goes away when treatment is stopped), breast lumps, breast pain
• Skin rash, generalised itchiness
• Skin allergy with development of itchiness and weals (urticaria), excessive hair growth (hypertrichosis), skin condition presenting with fluid-filled blisters (pemphigoid)
• Hair loss
• General weakness, muscle or leg cramps
• Sudden kidney failure or abnormal liver function
• Raised potassium in the blood (hyperkalaemia)
Reporting of side effects If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. You can also report side effects directly (see details below). By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine. United Kingdom Yellow Card Scheme website: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard or search for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play or Apple App Store Malta ADR Reporting Website: www.medicinesauthority.gov.mt/adrportal
How to Store Aldactone
Keep this medicine out of the sight and reach of children. Do not store your tablets above 30oC. Do not use this medicine after the expiry date which is stated on the blister, carton or bottle label after EXP. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month. Do not throw away any medicines via wastewater or household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to throw away medicines you no longer use. These measures will help to protect the environment.
2 to 3 weeks on average
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