Aldactone For Hair Growth – Why I Stopped Taking It

Aldactone For Hair Growth – Why I Stopped Taking It
August 24th, 2011

aldactone hair growthI’ve been on Aldactone (Spironolactone is the generic name) in attempts to achieve hair growth, but I just recently stopped taking it. Yep, that’s yet another hair loss treatment I’ve tried that has been a failure for me. After being diagnosed with Androgenetic Alopecia last year, I thought the medication Aldactone was my answer because it suppresses androgen and DHT activity, and the theory is that by doing this, your hair will stay on your head. Since my hair sheds too much every day, I thought this would help minimize my hair loss.

My Aldactone journey
I started on Aldactone back in October with such high hopes (I’m calling it by the brand name because I’m tired of typing Spironolactone). Since I was told by a hair loss specialist that I have genetic hair loss, I honestly had hope this would help me. Sure nothing else has worked for growing my hair back, but I thought this could be it! I started with a super low dose of Aldactone because that’s all the Dermatologist would give me. I ramped my way up to 100mg a day of Aldactone for hair loss back in March, and I was on that until just a few days ago. In hindsight, I wasted too much time getting up to the 100mg dose, but I wanted to be safe and go slow, and the biggest obstacle I faced was getting the doctor to increase the dose.

As I’ve chronicled on, altogether I was taking Aldactone for 9 months, but only on the 100mg dose for about 4-5 months. In that time my hair loss never got better, my hair shedding never subsided (except for a few days here and there when I thought I was seeing progress, but then a few days later the shedding would come back), and my hair is worse now than it was when I first started on the medication. My hair has been rapidly thinning for the past year or two, so I’m sure it would have gotten worse even if I wasn’t on the Aldactone. If I had to guess, I’d say the Aldactone did nothing. It didn’t help my hair and it didn’t hurt it. But there’s no way to know for sure.

After reading Dr. Redmond’s book on female hair loss, one comes to the conclusion that Aldactone is the wonder drug for all women with hair loss. This myth has been perpetuated on the internet, and because so many thousands of women have taken Aldactone to achieve hair growth, that’s why I was so adamant about trying it. I have read some success stories about women that have regrown their hair after taking Aldactone, but there are just as many stories like mine – where the results are nonexistent.

• Why did I stop Aldactone?
After seeing the hair restoration doctor last month, and having him tell me he didn’t see miniaturized hairs on my head, I am now questioning if my main hair loss problem is even genetic after all. If my hair loss is being caused by a non-genetic factor, Aldactone isn’t going to help me. Plus I haven’t seen any positive results from it, so why would I continue to use the medication? The hair restoration doctor also thought it was making my hair loss worse and causing it to shed more, but I don’t think that’s true – my hair has shed a lot consistently before, during, and so far after the Aldactone.

Assuming Aldactone hadn’t helped my hair, I didn’t want to stay on it and incur unnecessary side effects. I thought it was giving me heart palpitations, and when I’d work out I’d feel winded and slightly dizzy. Scary! And it was causing heavy periods (which I ended up fixing by taking ibuprofen), but still – the last thing I need is an iron deficiency. Why didn’t I try to raise the dose to 200mg a day, which is what Dr. Redmond suggests? First, my doctor wouldn’t prescribe that high of a dose for me. And since I was seeing a few side effects, I knew the medication was definitely doing something to me, so I figured I should at least see some positive results if the Aldactone was going to work on my hair loss.

Will stopping Aldactone cause my hair to shed even more?
I’m afraid I will experience a major shed in 2-3 months from stopping the Aldactone. Hopefully I won’t, since it didn’t seem to help keep any hair on my head, but you never know. Stopping any hair loss medication poses a risk for increased shedding a few months later. The past month or two has also been extremely stressful for me (having nothing to do with hair issues), so I anticipate even more shedding than normal coming my way soon. Great:(

Aldactone was a bust for me, but it does work for some women. None of my blood work was out of range, but my Testosterone level was high, so I thought the Aldactone would counter that. And since I was told I have Androgenetic Alopecia, Aldactone is often prescribed to treat it. Alas, it had no positive effect on me. For someone that has PCOS, high androgen levels, or symptoms of excess androgens, maybe Aldactone would work better for stabilizing female hair loss (the medication is not to be taken by men). Obviously speak with your doctor before starting or stopping any medication. And don’t be surprised if your doctor won’t prescribe Aldactone because many don’t know about it, or they don’t believe it works for hair loss. Of course, though, other doctors think it’s a miracle hair growing medication.

Do you take Aldactone or Spironolactone for hair growth, or have you taken it before? What has been your experience? Did it help your hair loss?

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Tags: Categories: Hair Loss Treatments

14 ResponsesLeave a comment
  • Paige
    August 24, 2011 at 12:55 am

    I’m sorry to hear the medication didn’t work for you. I know it’s a really popular thing to take for female hair loss, but I haven’t read that many success stories either. But you have to try everything because you just never know what will work.

  • Gerald
    August 25, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Hey, have you tried using Minoxidil to treat your hair? Come check out my blog. It’s all about that.

    • Jeni - Hair Loss Hell
      August 27, 2011 at 2:43 pm

      Gerald, yes I am currently using Minoxidil on my hair. It hasn’t worked for me, but like I’ve said before, nothing works for me to grow my hair! Also, you didn’t leave your URL in the URL field of the comment box.

  • Mary
    October 26, 2011 at 3:52 am

    I’ve was also taking Spironolactone for 6-8 months. I have genetic hairloss, but it didn’t really work for me. Plus, the side-effects were horrible. I was constantly dizzy and nauseous and called my doctor to complain and he immediately decreased my dose. I’ve come to terms with my hair loss. If I’m not wearing my beanie, I disguise it with dark eye-shadow. Looking forward to buying a topper/wig!

  • Natasha
    March 3, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Spironolactone is not even FDA approved for hair loss. I am on it 200 mg/day (if I were you I’d retry it at that does- it is supposed to actually be the only dose that does any good for AGA). I can’t say whether or not it did much for me as I was taking other things while I took it. I started at 50 mg around the time Rogaine started working, so I don’t know which could be accounted for. I upped the dose to 100 mg (w/much prodding of my dermatologist at the time) at the same time I started Diane 35 bc- (which worked wonders for me and I’ll get to in a second) so again I’m not sure. Though I did have it upped FINALLY to 200 mg at a new, more liberal Derm this past summer, and my hair was better than ever in the next few months, so I think it may be to blame. I must say though that I don’t know if everyone can handle Aldactone @ that dose- I have to pee constantly, and to be honest with you I sometimes pee/drip a little bit (sorry gross tmi- i know) even when I don’t need to. I feel like an old woman, but I’d rather wear pantiliners inbetween periods than be bald. Also am ALWAYS craving salt and thirsty.

    There are more potent anti-androgens available now that I myself would also like to hear about. Flutamide has been proven to work superior to both Spironolactone and Finasteride in females (I’ll find the studies online if you’re interested, specifically). However, Flutamide can leave you prone to serious liver damage. So there is a newer drug I’ve talked to a girl from another hair loss forum about which is equally potent to flutamide but much less dangerous called Bicalutamide- I was at the Dermatologist last week, and unfortunately he hasn’t heard of this. But I am moving soon and I am going to try to find a good Derm, probably at a college (they’re always more motivated than the old Dermies who haven’t read a medical study in 20 years) and I want to see if I can replace Spiro with with the Bi.

    I see you’re in the U.S. like me, so you can’t get Diane 35 birth control as a prescription since it’s not FDA approved. But you can order it online. I know some people are hesitant to do that but let ME TELL YOU, it has worked so well for me out of all the things I’m on so far. The first few months on it my hair was falling out all the time, though not in clumps, and my skin wasn’t good. After a few months my hair was SO much less greasy- for the first time since puberty, I didn’t have to wash it religiously on a daily to twice/daily basis, and my skin cleared up amazingly well. In other countries it is very commonly prescribed for androgen-related conditions in females. For whatever it’s worth, I am not hyperandrogenic, I am just “sensitive” to the normal amount of androgens I have- which is what it sounds like you likely are, too. Keep trying girl. I know the hair systems are very intimdating and I don’t blame you. I figure I might do that if my hair gets worse and/or once i hit menopause and can’t take all these hormones like I am now. Just keep seeing about your options before you do that. Even a hundred dollars a month for medication is going to be MUCH cheaper and less hassle than having to deal with the hair system too.

    I’d also like to let you know that I started Avodart (I saw in one of your more recent posts that you were going to get into that later) and I’d love to update you on how I’m doing. I’ve been on it now about 3 months, and the past few weeks I’ve had a slight increase in shedding. I’m kind of wondering whether or not I should have bothered, as my hair is slightly thinner now from it- and I was actually satisfied with the point it had gotten to a few months after the Spiro increase, but I just want to be able to get the best hair I physiologically can. It looks like the temporary shed is normal, so I have decided I’m going to try and stick it out for an entire year.

    Sorry I know this comment has been very long, but I would be more than happy to keep in touch with you and exchange info/insight into hair loss stuff. I’d go more into a biography but I don’t want to take up to omuch space :P

    • Jeni - Hair Loss Hell
      March 4, 2012 at 3:48 am

      Thanks for your comment! I told myself if the Propecia I’m on doesn’t work that I would give up on medications, but I don’t know what to do anymore. I am pretty sure I couldn’t handle more than 100mg of Spiro because I had heart palpitations at 100mg, and my hair just seemed to get worse the whole time I was on it. Hopefully your shedding from Avodart will go away. I wouldn’t even know where to find a doctor to prescribe it! This week I am freaking out because I think the Propecia may be messing up my thyroid, so I’m almost ready to throw in the towel on all these medications! I guess I could consider switching from Yasmin to Diane 25, but again I don’t know where I’d find a doctor to prescribe it! And part of me wants to get off bcp altogether.

  • Jess
    July 24, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    I don’t think you gave it enough time if it was just one year. It took two years for spiro to take effect for me. Although I had amazing results for just one year. My hair was shedding normal and getting thicker, but then it began to fall out again. I’m no longer taking it, and am trying the rogaine route now, but if anyone wants to try spiro I would say give it two years AND very very important….take it WITH food. This helped immensely.

  • mish
    January 11, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Sorry to hear about ur disappointment with aldactone. My dermatologist prescribed it to me but I didn’t want to take something that is not primarily meant for hair loss. Instead I also asked to see an endocrinologist who sent me to do blood work for all possible hormones that affect hair growth (his words) – my hairloss started when I stopped taking oral contraceptives- I got my life back getting of of them and I’m so happy I did-I would recommend that for every woman. There are so many issues caused by those tiny pills …anyways hairloss was my price to pay for being on the pills for almost 10 yrs. My blood work came back with hi prolactin which apparently causes hairloss (the cause of hairloss due to stress) I’m nit stressed I can tell u that. .. but I guarantee u that its related to hormonal shifting ..anyways my point is ….when one hormone is high usually there’s an overall shift that can cause hair loss-make sure u run a good list of hormone in ur blood before taking anything. WISHING YOU GOODLUCK!!!!

  • julia
    February 13, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    Hey I just started this medication… I think that it is still safe to take up to 200 mg, which is the dosage that some women require to get the aldactone working, so maybe you could have tried 150mg.

  • Lacey
    April 14, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    I was on Cyproterone Acetate which had elevated my prolactin levels and caused hair loss. I was switched to Spironolactone and the hair loss stopped after 6 months.

  • Aud
    May 6, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    For those who haven’t already: please get your Fe levels and Vitamin D levels checked. Both are very important for hair growth (and overall health).

  • Paleo Moxie
    June 25, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    I was having hair loss while on 100mg of spiro. My endocrinologist bumped me to 200mg. I also started eating an extremely healthy diet and I have had hair regrowth and the shedding has stopped. I’ve learned the key to all of the above mentioned side effects is drinking a ton of water. I keep a water bottle full with me at all times.

  • Ravina Czerwinski
    July 6, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    One of your commenters asked if you had tried Minoxidil, invited you to check out his website about it, and forgot to leave a link to it. Well, regarding Minoxidil, I just threw out the Keranique product because it gave me severe headaches, as did Rogaine, and they both contain Minoxidil.

    Rather than risk my health I’ve chosen to go with wigs. They are safer, and lighter and more realistic than ever before. We shouldn’t be so vain that we would risk our health for hair, and I believe the FDA is negligent in putting their stamp on such risky products.

  • SisterInTheStruggle
    July 28, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    I’m a new reader of your website, and I commend you for sharing your hair loss struggle.

    I, too, began experiencing hair loss–nearly 10 years ago during college. Although my hair loss was a result of straightening my hair with relaxers, after I cut off my hair (and opted to wearing various wigs) my real hair continued shedding and thinning.

    It was nerve racking, and like you I cried, felt inadequate, and became obsessed with women’s real hair. :)

    Long story short, about five years ago I learned of organic remedies that actually worked through hair care forums, reviews, Youtube tutorials, and the vast Internet personalities who’ve opted to ‘go natural’ (it’s a process in which women–typically, Black women–shave off their processed hair to allow their natural hair to grow).

    It’s a very organic regime that basically asks you to ‘listen to what your hair is asking of you.’

    For example, my hair–during my hair loss period–needed moisture, protein treatments, and vitamins necessary for my hair’s health (like sulfur, vitamin A, etc.). Also, my hair had grown tired of my constant mistreatment. Behaviors like irregular washings and an unstable hair care routine led to my hair’s poor health. And my most blatant sin (that many women who rely on extensions, wigs, weaves, and hair wefts commit), i.e., failure to properly care for my hair while wearing wigs. It was bad but I’ve learned from my mistakes,

    I’d like to share some products with you that have helped regrow my hair, stopped shedding, and thinning.

    MSM pills (to extend your hair growth cycle)
    Hairfinity vitamin pills (basically a mixture of prenatal pills & vitamin A) (to increase growth)
    Apple cider vinegar (with the Mother of Pearl complex) as a hair rinse
    Black Jamaican castor oil (as a scalp moisturizer, split end remedy, and hot oil treatment)
    Coconut oil (as a scalp moisturizer, split end remedy, and hot oil treatment)
    Miconazole nitrate cream (to treat bald spots and a receding hairline; apply topically by massaging it 2X daily)
    Fantasia Ic Hair Strengthener Treatment Repairs Breakage (treats split ends and shedding)
    Fantasia IC Herbal/Vitamin Braid Sheen Spray, 12 oz (loaded w/organic remedies and vitamins to promote hair growth)
    Fantasia Leave in Treatment Moist Aloe Complex 12 oz.
    Fantasia IC Reconstructer Treatment (intense, salon-worthy treatment to stop shedding)
    Aphogee’s Protein Treatment (salon-worthy protein treatment)

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