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Spironolactone: A Promising Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder

Spironolactone: A Potential Treatment for AUDAlcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is a major public health problem, affecting millions of people worldwide. Currently, only a few FDA-approved medications are available for the treatment of AUD, such as naltrexone, acamprosate, and disulfiram.

However, these medications may not be effective for all individuals, highlighting the need for a range of medication options. In recent years, there has been growing interest in the potential use of Spironolactone in treating AUD.

This article will discuss Spironolactone, its use, how it works in the body, its potential as an AUD treatment, and its side effects.

What is Spironolactone?

Spironolactone is a medication primarily used to treat fluid build-up, heart failure, and high blood pressure. It is commonly known by its brand name Aldactone.

Spironolactone belongs to a group of medications called aldosterone antagonists. These medications work by blocking the action of aldosterone, a hormone that regulates salt and water balance in the body.

By blocking aldosterone, Spironolactone causes the kidneys to excrete more salt and water, leading to a reduction in fluid build-up in various parts of the body.

How Does Spironolactone Work in the Body?

Spironolactone works by blocking aldosterone receptors in the kidneys, which reduces the reabsorption of salt and water. This leads to more salt and water being excreted in the urine and a subsequent reduction of fluid in the body.

However, Spironolactone may also have other effects in the body that are relevant to its potential use in AUD treatment.

Spironolactone and AUD

There has been some evidence to suggest that Spironolactone may be a potential treatment for AUD. In one study, Spironolactone was found to reduce the amount of alcohol consumed in heavy-drinking rats.

While the exact mechanism by which it works in the context of AUD is unknown, it is thought that the medication may reduce the rewarding effects of alcohol, making it less appealing to individuals with AUD.

Side Effects of Spironolactone

As with any medication, Spironolactone has potential side effects. Some of the common side effects include dizziness, headache, and an increase in potassium levels in the blood.

Rare side effects may include breast tenderness, gynecomastia, and irregular menstrual periods in women. Caution should be taken when using Spironolactone in individuals with severe liver or kidney disease, as it may cause an imbalance of electrolytes in the body.


In conclusion, Spironolactone is a medication used to treat fluid build-up, heart failure, and high blood pressure. While its potential as an AUD treatment is still being explored, some evidence suggests that it may be effective in reducing the amount of alcohol consumed.

As with any medication, Spironolactone may have side effects, and caution should be taken when using it in individuals with certain medical conditions. Further research is needed to establish the effectiveness of Spironolactone as an AUD treatment.

How Spironolactone Works for AUD

Several medications are approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of AUD, but the effectiveness varies depending on the individual. Recent studies are indicating that Spironolactone, a medication used to treat fluid accumulation, heart failure, and high blood pressure, may reduce cravings and risk of relapse in individuals with AUD.

What is the MR Antagonist Drug Class? Spironolactone is a member of the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) antagonist drug class, which blocks the aldosterone hormones effect on the body.

This class medication is commonly prescribed initially to treat hypertension, fluid accumulation caused by heart, liver, or kidney disease. However, studies have shown that the MR antagonist class of drugs could benefit individuals struggling with AUD.

Reduction of Alcohol Cravings and Risk of Relapse

The lack of options and limited efficacy of approved medication has encouraged several researchers to investigate how Spironolactone might induce changes in reduction of cravings and relapse prevention in individuals with AUD. The medication, according to one study, could significantly help reduce cravings in patients with AUD.

The study evaluated Spironolactones efficacy in reducing cravings in rats and mice and concluded that it significantly reduced the alcohol consumption of the rodents. NIH Studies on Rats, Mice, and Humans

In 2017, a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) investigated Spironolactone’s effectiveness as an AUD treatment in both rodent and human models.

The researchers administered Spironolactone to alcohol-dependent rodents. They noted normal behavior in the treated rodents’ anxiety, motor performance, or depression but saw evidence of reduced alcohol consumption in the rodents.

The study also investigated the effect of Spironolactone on heavy drinkers with AUD. The researchers examined participants’ self-reported alcohol consumption and quantified levels of blood proteins linked to alcohol consumption.

The research team says the study was a significant step forward in examining Spironolactone’s efficacy in reducing alcohol cravings in humans. How Effective is Spironolactone for AUD?

The NIH conducted an observational study of available electronic health record databases to assess the efficacy of Spironolactone for AUD in real-world settings. The patients treated with Spironolactone had a significant reduction in their self-reported alcohol consumption compared to other patients who weren’t treated with Spironolactone.

In another study that investigated Spironolactone’s efficacy in treating AUD, heavy drinkers with an AUD diagnosis were treated with Spironolactone for five days. The participants had a significant reduction of self-reported alcohol consumption, which was measured through daily self-reporting of breath alcohol levels.

The study concluded that Spironolactone could be a promising option for AUD treatment with limited side effects.


Spironolactone offers a new potential treatment for AUD, given that the current FDA-approved medications are limited in efficacy. Studies show that Spironolactone can reduce cravings and risks of relapse in rodents, comprehensive real-world studies on humans, and small-scale studies.

The study and the research results performed by the NIH suggest that Spironolactone shows positive treatment outcomes and minimal side effects while being desirable as an AUD treatment. However, larger studies that confirm its effectiveness and elucidate its mechanisms of action are necessary.

Should I Try Spironolactone for AUD? The possibility of Spironolactone as an AUD treatment has given hope to individuals struggling with this disorder.

Although studies have shown successful preliminary results on rodents and human models, the decision to use Spironolactone as an option for AUD treatment should not be made without speaking to a healthcare provider.

Importance of Speaking with a Healthcare Provider

Individuals with AUD must speak with their healthcare provider before considering Spironolactone as an option for treatment. Physicians can assess a patient’s condition, medical history, and risks of side effects, and they can monitor the effects of the medication on their patients.

They may also prescribe Spironolactone in combination with other medications or interventions to create a comprehensive treatment program for the best results.

Medication in Combination with Other Support Options

Medication use and psychosocial intervention work well together to promote abstinence, reduce the rate of relapse, and improve the quality of life of individuals with AUD. Support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, rational emotive therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational enhancement therapy (MET), motivational interviewing (MI), and other approaches, can be used in conjunction with Spironolactone to help the individual with AUD change their drinking habits to realize a better future with higher social and fiscal outcomes.

Other Medications Commonly Used for AUD

There are also a few other FDA-approved medications for individuals diagnosed with AUD, such as Naltrexone, Acamprosate, and Disulfiram, which have shown efficacy in clinical trials. The goal of these medications is to either help individuals reduce alcohol intake or experience a negative response to alcohol usage.

However, every medication possesses distinct advantages and disadvantages when used for AUD treatment. Ultimately, the healthcare provider can advise the most effective medication based on individual needs and preferences,

RIA Health as an Option for Medication-Assisted Treatment

RIA Health is designed to be individualized, confidential care that is accessible and affordable for individuals who have AUD and wish to reduce their drinking habits. It’s an app that aids in the treatment of AUD by offering telehealth and medical support options that deliver medication-assisted treatment conveniently.

Clients prescribed Spironolactone and other medications via RIA Health get refills and consultations without the need to travel to a clinic or medication dispensary. The RIA Health app provides an individualized path that allows the user to approach their alcohol usage at their preference pace while being supported by a team of medical professionals this support can be invaluable as individuals navigate tough decisions about their AUD treatment.

Medical Expert Review

Medical Professionals perform an investigation to evaluate risk and benefit parameters for patients with AUD. After evaluating all aspects of the patient’s health history and medical status, a medical expert might recommend starting Spironolactone or advise alternative medications, which may be more effective, based on the individual’s metabolism and any underlying health issues.


In conclusion, while studies suggest that Spironolactone could be a useful addition to currently available AUD medication options, healthcare providers monitor their patients’ progress while on Spironolactone, and medication alone is not sufficient for treating AUD. It is important to consider a range of interventions, including psychosocial support, to make treatment more effective.

RIA Health can be an accessible and valuable resource for individuals seeking medication-assisted treatment for AUD. Ultimately, it is essential that individual healthcare professionals oversee AUD treatment for optimum results.

In conclusion, Spironolactone is a potentially valuable treatment option for individuals struggling with AUD, providing the support of other therapeutic options, and most importantly, seeking guidance from and monitoring by a healthcare provider. Although encouraging, any decision regarding Spironolactone as an AUD treatment must be considered carefully, alongside alternative medications and psychosocial interventions.

FAQs over concerns that readers may have can be answered as seeking medical advice is crucial before undergoing any course of treatment. Other medications for AUD are also available, including Naltrexone, Acamprosate, and Disulfiram, and RIA Health can provide valuable telehealth support for individuals undergoing medication-assisted treatment.

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