If you have high blood pressure, you know that you need to limit your intake of sodium to help improve your numbers. But you may not know that you need to avoid certain foods when taking medications to control your blood pressure. Consult your doctor or pharmacist about any new medications and their possible interactions with other medications and food. When you are prescribed Aldactone, avoid foods high in potassium.
Aldactone, generically known as spironolactone, is a medication used to treat high blood pressure. It is also used to treat elevated blood levels of the hormone aldosterone, fluid retention caused by kidney disease or congestive heart failure, and low blood potassium levels. Aldactone does not cure high blood pressure, and you need to take it daily for effectiveness. If you take Aldactone for heart failure, your doctor needs to carefully monitor your blood potassium levels.
Potassium and Aldactone
Aldactone is a potassium-sparing diuretic and works by preventing your body from retaining too much sodium, while helping keep potassium levels elevated. However, blood potassium levels higher than normal, known as hyperkalemia, are dangerous. Hyperkalemia may cause an irregular heart beat, nausea or a slow or absent pulse. In severe cases, it may also cause a heart attack. Because it is a potassium-sparing medication, avoid foods high in potassium when taking Aldactone to prevent hyperkalemia.
Potassium and Diet
Potassium is an essential nutrient necessary for fluid and electrolyte balance. It is found in a number of foods, including dairy products, fruit, vegetables, meat, nuts and seeds. However, fruits and vegetables are the primary source of potassium in the diet and contain the highest amount. Most adults need about 2,000 mg of potassium a day to maintain normal body functions. Consult your doctor to determine your individual numbers.
High-potassium fruits you should avoid when taking Aldactone include papaya, cantaloupe, prune juice, honeydew melons, bananas, raisins, mangoes, kiwis, oranges and orange juice. High-potassium vegetables to avoid include tomatoes, tomato juice, white and sweet potatoes, asparagus, pumpkin and Brussels sprouts. Also avoid salt substitutes that use potassium chloride instead of sodium chloride and low-sodium milk products.
In addition to high-potassium foods, avoid alcohol when taking Aldactone. Drinking alcohol may increase the side effects associated with the medication, including numbness, muscle pain, uneven heartbeat, drowsiness, shallow breathing and upset stomach.