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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Spironolactone

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

What is Spironolactone and Possible Side Effects [posted 11/3/98]
Question: I am being prescribed it for hyperaldosterononism. I trust my doctor but am concerned about reports that it is banned in Britain since studies show that it causes tumors in animals! Internet reports also say that it is not to be prescribed to men due to its hormonal effects breast enlargement, possible breast cancer etc. Thanks!!

Answer: Spironolactone has a structure similar to estrogen and can cause breast enlargement. This is the contraindication in men, although not all men develop the problem. As to the tumors, I have not seen this problem with patients and the drug has been around 30 years or so. I suspect that we would have seen a human problem if one existed.

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