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Spironolactone for PMS

Table of Contents

Spironolactone for PMS


Generic NameBrand Name

Spironolactone is taken by mouth (orally) during the time when premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms occur.

How It Works

Taken only during the premenstrual phase, spironolactone blocks the body's use of the hormone aldosterone, which causes fluid retention in the body. This has a diuretic effect, eliminating excess salt and water from the body.

Why It Is Used

Spironolactone is sometimes used when bloating, water retention, and weight gain are the main symptoms of PMS.

How Well It Works

Spironolactone can reduce premenstrual bloating, breast tenderness, and weight gain.1

Side Effects

All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.

Here are some important things to think about:

Call 911 or other emergency services right away if you have:

Call your doctor if you have:

Common side effects of this medicine include:

See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)

What To Think About

Ask your doctor if you should watch the amount of potassium in your diet. Spironolactone is a potassium-sparing diuretic, so your doctor may want to make sure you do not get high potassium levels in your blood. Do not take a potassium supplement if you are taking this medicine.

Taking medicine

Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.

There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.

Advice for women

If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant, do not use any medicines unless your doctor tells you to. Some medicines can harm your baby. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements. And make sure that all your doctors know that you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant.


Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

Complete the new medication information form (PDF) to help you understand this medication.



  1. Kwan I, Onwude JL (2009). Premenstrual syndrome, search date July 2009. Online version of BMJ Clinical Evidence:

Credits for Spironolactone for PMS

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Last Revised June 8, 2012

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