Spironolactone for hair loss: How does it work?

spironolactone for hair loss
Medically reviewed by Dr. Ola Tarabzuni


Hair in your appearance is vital in both positive and negative ways. However, its growth and loss depend on various factors, including age, genetics, external chemicals, hormones, and medications, all can contribute greatly in terms of hair health.

As per the widely published studies, hormones play a critical role in hair health. The fluctuations in the naturally present hormones in the body can result in dramatic and drastic hair loss. This type of hair loss caused by hormone imbalance, especially the androgen hormones, is called alopecia. Androgens are the male sex hormones present in the body, and their fluctuation can affect hair health badly. Hormones present in females in an excessive or comparatively increased amount, like progesterone, can also directly influence the hair health in the body. 

Healthcare providers prescribe medications after carefully diagnosing the underlying condition that leads to hair loss. 

Spironolactone is an FDA-approved drug for the treatment of heart failure, high blood pressure, and edema. However, it is also prescribed for the treatment of PCOS, hair loss, and hirsutism, depending on the nature and severity of the medical condition. 

How does Spironolactone treat hair loss? 

Spironolactone belongs to the diuretics class of medication that is usually prescribed by healthcare providers when the hormonal imbalance is diagnosed. To be specific, when the male sex hormones increase in the amount compared to estrogen present in the body, they lead to excessive and sudden hair loss. 

To treat this problem and medical condition, spironolactone is prescribed in different doses and dosage forms per the condition’s severity and the patient’s age. 

Spironolactone directly helps with hair loss by decreasing the number of androgens released, eventually leading to hair loss.

says Dr. Richard Honekar

How much spironolactone is prescribed for hair growth?

Spironolactone comes in different brand packaging with names like  Aldactone and Carospir. The dose and dosage form of spironolactone depends on the patient’s age. 

The usual recommended dose of spironolactone for females ranges from 100-200mg/day. It can be prescribed to be taken once daily or 2 times in divided doses.

says Dr.Richard Honekar 

The dose of spironolactone highly depends on the healthcare provider’s analysis and diagnosis of the patient. Consulting a healthcare provider for an effective and timely diagnosis is always beneficial. One contributing factor that treats hair loss is also the compliance shown by the patient toward the prescribed dose of spironolactone. 

If you miss the dose of spironolactone, it’s better to take medicine as soon as you remember to take it, only if it’s not the time of the second dose. Make sure never to take the double doses at the same time. 

You can now get a personalized prescription for Spironolactone now!

What are the benefits of Spironolactone for hair loss?

 Some of the major benefits of spironolactone for hair loss are as follows: 

  1. Treatment for Androgenetic Alopecia:

Spironolactone is generally prescribed as a treatment for androgenetic alopecia (baldness/hair loss due to androgens ), a common cause of hair loss in women. It is caused when the hormone levels fluctuate in the body and lead to imbalance, which often results in alopecia, a sudden and extreme hair loss. Consulting your healthcare provider at the right time can help stop the sudden hair fall. 

  1. Hormone Regulation:

Spironolactone helps regulate and reduce the impact of androgens, hormones linked to hair loss. Indirectly, it also improves the hair growth of the body. Slowing the action of androgens gives the adequate and required span for hair to grow with a strong hair follicle with minimum to no breakage. 

  1. Spironolactone as a DHT Blocker:

This medication blocks dihydrotestosterone (DHT) naturally present in the body. This hormone is a hair follicle miniaturization and thinning hormone in the body. Blocking this DHT hormone can gradually lead to decreased hair loss. It’s important to note that it’s not suitable for every age group to consume spironolactone, hence it can only be determined by your doctor. 

  1. Reduced Excess Oil Production:

An oily scalp can lead to hair problems that can contribute directly to hair loss. Spironolactone can decrease excess oil production on the scalp, contributing to a healthier environment for hair growth.

  1. Promotes Hair Follicle Health:

By addressing hormonal factors, spironolactone supports the health of hair follicles, potentially reducing hair loss and shedding. It also improves hair thickness, leading to growth and increased hair and hair follicle thickness. 

Can Spironolactone be used by women of all ages experiencing hair loss?

Spironolactone is not an over-the-counter medication and can only be taken on a healthcare provider’s prescription. Age and severity are two essential factors that can only be determined by a healthcare provider for the medication prescription. 

Usually, it is prescribed to women over 12 years of age for different medical conditions. It’s always beneficial to consult your healthcare provider for the appropriate dosage and medication prescription that suits your unique needs.   

Get a personalized Spironolactone prescription for your medical condition!

How long does it take for Spironolactone to work for hair loss?

For any medication purpose, Spironolactone can take up to 6 months to show its complete effect. You might notice the relief symptoms in 5 months if taken consistently. 

Similarly, when taken for hair loss, it takes 5-6 months to show its effects only if taken as prescribed and shows compliance with the medication. It can take longer if you discontinue the medication. It is good to discuss it with your healthcare provider when you have missed the spironolactone dose more frequently. 

When should I see a doctor?

Consult your healthcare provider when you experience hormone level changes that lead to hair loss or baldness. Only a healthcare professional can determine the contributing factors that lead to hair loss and prescribe medications to help control and treat this medical condition. 

FAQs about Spironolactone for hair loss

Is spironolactone used for excessive hair growth(hirsutism)?

Spironolactone can be prescribed to you for excessive hair growth. It’s also called hirsutism / facial hair and can affect women of any age. Consult your healthcare professional for timely diagnosis and effective treatment options.  

Is Spironolactone suitable for all women with PCOS?

Spironolactone can be prescribed to women with PCOS issues, but it’s highly dependent on the nature and severity of PCOS. It can only be determined by your healthcare provider for the effective diagnosis and treatment. It’s not necessarily important for every PCOS woman to take spironolactone. 

Your Doctors Online uses high-quality and trustworthy sources to ensure content accuracy and reliability. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and medical associations to provide up-to-date and evidence-based information to the users.

  • Rathnayake, Deepani, and Rodney Sinclair. “Innovative use of spironolactone as an antiandrogen in the treatment of female pattern hair loss.” Dermatologic clinics 28.3 (2010): 611-618.
  • Sinclair, Rodney D. “Female pattern hair loss: a pilot study investigating combination therapy with low‐dose oral minoxidil and spironolactone.” International Journal of Dermatology 57.1 (2018): 104-109.
  • Famenini, Shannon, et al. “Demographics of women with female pattern hair loss and the effectiveness of spironolactone therapy.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 73.4 (2015): 705-706.
  • Burns, Laura J., et al. “Spironolactone for treatment of female pattern hair loss.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 83.1 (2020): 276-278.

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