Aldactone is a diuretic and belongs to the subgroup of potassium-sparing diuretics. Aldactone is an aldosterone antagonist. It influences the body's own hormone, aldosterone, which accelerates the excretion of potassium and reduces the excretion of sodium and water Simplified, aldosterone regulates the endogenous water household. The higher the aldosterone level, the more water is stored in the body. The use of Aldactone results in a significant reduction in the aldosterone level so that an increased excretion of sodium and water occurs while, at the same time, potassium is reabsorbed. This also explains why Aldactone is called a potassium-sparing diuretic since it does not cause a loss of potassium like thiazides and furosemides
Athletes must strictly observe that during the use of Aldactone no additional potassium is taken since this would cause a life-threatening increase in the serum potassium level. lotassiumsparing diuretics have relatively low diuretic effects so that Aldactone can be called a mild diuretic. It is interesting to note that Aldactone is also an antiandrogen since it reduces the androgen level. Female athletes take advantage of this characteristic by using it to minimize the virilization symptoms during steroid treatment or the symptoms after treatment. For this purpose Aldactone is normally taken daily for 10 to 14 days, ustially in a dose of 50 mg/day. In men this could cause problems since the relationship of the androgen level to the estrogen level changes in favor of the latter Thus, common side effects in men include pain in the nipples and breast swelling (gynecomastia).
Bodybuilders use Aldactone almost exclusively during the last week before a competition. Since this causes neither a dramatic nor an linmediately noticeable draining effect, it is usually taken over 5-6 days in a dosage of 2 tablets of 50 mg daily. Aldactone should not be used to expediently drain water at the last minute. Both male and female athletes take it. The side effects of potassium-saving diuretics are relatively low compared to thiazides and furosemides. The main problems in men consist of gynecomastia and possible impotence. Other side effects can be low blood pressure, muscle spasms, dizziness, gastrointestinal pain, vomiting, irregular pulse rate, and fatigue. It is important to note that there is Ii', sigiuficant increase in the serum potassium level (see above).
Aldactone is a prescription drug available in American pharmacies. Aldactone by Hoehringer Mannheim of Germany is often found on be black market. A package contains 50 dragees of 50 mg each and costs approx. $30. on the black market. The Mexican Aldactone by Searle can also frequently be found on the black market. The 25 mg tablets are of light-brown color; indented, and have a SEARLE imprint. The original package contains three strips, each with 10 tab-lets. There are currently no Aldactone fakes available.
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