Aldactone is a diuretic and belongs to the subgroup of potassium-sparing diuretics. Spironolactone is an aldosterone antagonist. It inﬂuences the body’s own hormone, aldosterone, which speeds up the excretion of potassium and reduces the excretion of sodium and water.
Aldosterone regulates the endogenous water household. The higher the aldosterone level, more water is stored in the body. Using Aldactone results in a significant reduction in the aldosterone level so that the increases excretion of sodium and water occurs while reabsorption of potassium takes place. This also explains why Spironolactone is called a potassium-sparing sparing diuretic since it does not cause a loss of potassium like thiazides and furosemides do.
Athletes must observe that during the use of Spironolactone they take no additional potassium. This would cause a life-threatening increase in the serum potassium level. Potassium-sparing diuretics have low diuretic effects so that Aldactone can be called a mild diuretic. It is interesting to note that Spironolactone is also an anti-androgen since it reduces the androgen level. Female athletes take advantage of this characteristic by using it to reduce the virilization symptoms during steroid treatment or the symptoms after treatment. A dosage of 50 mg/day for 10-14 days will take advantage of the anti-androgen effect.
In men, this could cause problems since the relationship of the androgen level to the estrogen level changes in favor of the latter. Thus, common side effects in men include pain in the nipples and breast swelling (gynecomastia).
Uses in Bodybuilding
Bodybuilders use Spironolactone almost only during the last week before a competition. Since this causes neither a dramatic nor a noticeable draining effect, they usually take it over 5-6 days in a dosage of 2 tablets of 50 mg daily. Last minute water draining is not what Spironolactone should not be used for. Both male and female athletes take it. Potassium-saving diuretics, compared to thiazides and furosemide, are mild diuretics. The main problems in men care gynecomastia and possible impotence. Side effects can be low blood pressure, muscle spasms, dizziness, gastrointestinal pain, vomiting, irregular pulse rate, and fatigue. It is also significant to note that there is no significant increase in serum potassium level.