Spironolactone for PMS


Generic Name Brand Name
spironolactone Aldactone

Spironolactone is taken 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 in the body.1

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 effectively reduces premenstrual bloating, breast tenderness, and weight gain.1

Side Effects

Side effects of spironolactone use are uncommon but may include:

  • Cramping, diarrhea.
  • Drowsiness, lack of energy.
  • Headache, confusion.
  • Irregular menstrual periods.

Side effects go away when use of spironolactone is stopped.

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

What To Think About

Before considering spironolactone treatment, see whether reducing the amount of salt and caffeine in your diet relieves premenstrual bloating, water retention, or weight gain.

Do not take potassium supplements when using spironolactone—doing so may result in excessive potassium levels, which can cause lethal heartbeat problems (arrhythmias).

Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.



  1. Dickerson LM, et al. (2003). Premenstrual syndrome. American Family Physician, 76(8): 1743–1752.

Last Updated: June 19, 2008

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