Spironolactone is a diuretic drug that inhibits the activity of the hormone aldosterone. This hormone is released in great quantity in heart failure and in some other medical disorders, such as Conn's syndrome. Aldosterone is a hormone whose primary function is to retain sodium and excrete potassium in the kidneys.By dampening the function of aldosterone, spironolactone leads to increased sodium excretion in the urine.
At the same time, potassium is retained in the body, giving this drug the label "potassium-sparing diuretic." Spironolactone also blocks the effects of aldosterone on the heart muscle, which can be toxic in high concentration. This drug is not approved for use in animals by the Food and Drug Administration but it is prescribed legally by veterinarians as an extra-label drug.
Who's Spironolactone For?
- Used to reduce fluid accumulation that may occur in disorders such as heart failure
- Used in the treatment of abdominal fluid distention (ascites) associated with some liver diseases
Side Effects and Warnings
- Spironolactone should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug
- This drug should be avoided in animals with kidney impairment, liver disease or excessive blood potassium levels
- Side effects are rare and typically mild, generally subsiding once the drug is discontinued. Some adverse effects associated with spironolactone include dehydration, low blood sodium, high blood potassium, lethargy, vomiting and diarrhea. These are more likely in animals also being treated with drugs called ACE inhibitors, such as enalapril or benazepril
- Spironolactone may interact with other medications including aspirin, enalapril, digoxin and other diuretics.. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with spironolactone
- Consult your veterinarian regarding any allergies your pet may have, and any other side effects of this medication
Use as directed by your veterinarian