Spironolactone Causing Severe Shoulder Pain & Neuropathy in Feet? Help! What's happening to me?

by Lynn

Has anyone experienced severe side effects from Spironolactone? Not long after starting (no more than 1 month afterward - less, if I remember correctly) I began to have neuropathy-like symptoms in my feet, including burning, painless twitching, stinging pain in my big toes, and increased sweating. A few weeks later I developed debilitating pain/tightness along my clavicles (mostly just below) and in my shoulders. I often can't shrug/lift my shoulders (or pull them back to kind of stretch/open up the chest area) without INTENSE pain. It's like all the muscles have shortened. The pain has spread into my upper arms, neck, and head as well. It feels like a mix of more traditional, achey type muscle pain and sharp, stabbing nerve pain. It's really unlike any pain I've ever had before. The pain in my head is a tension headache/sinus pressure combo. It often feels like I'm wearing a very tight headband, or like there's a vice around the back of my head clamping down on the sides. I also have painless muscle twitching, mostly in my legs and bicep/front of my neck.

I am properly hydrated (I drink lots of water, no coffee, soda, or alcohol) and my potassium serum levels have always been fine when checked. I know Spiro can deplete some vitamins/minerals, including folate, but I’m wondering if this could be hormonal. I’ve read mixed information on how Spiro affects estrogen/progesterone levels. Some websites claim that Spiro raises estrogen. Others say it has anti-estrogenic effects and can lower it. Which one is correct?!

Any thoughts? I feel like I’m dying, to be honest. I stopped the Spiro about a month ago but the symptoms are persisting. I’m shoveling down magnesium and folic acid supplements, along with other helpful things like fish oil, a b-complex, etc., but still feel terrible.

I did discover some very interesting posts here from CamperKat about shoulder pain she experienced, but for her it was AFTER she stopped taking Spiro. Mine began very shortly after starting to take it. My doctors insisted my symptoms were unrelated to the Spiro, and I was so desperate to stay on it that I believed them. That might have been the worst mistake of my life. I was on the Spiro for just a little over two years. And yes, I quit cold turkey, but I honestly don't really feel WORSE than I did while taking it, so...

I'm thinking of getting some of my hormones tested through Direct Labs, as I'm sure my doctors will just roll their eyes if I try to request it from them and insist everything's all in my head. It's their "Basic Female Hormone Panel" that measures testosterone (total & free), estradiol, DHEA, insulin, and progesterone. Would this be a good place to start?

I'm wondering if the Spiro might have made me estrogen dominant with low progesterone? Does anyone have any advice for me? The pain is so terrible that sometimes I just want to eat a bullet and be done with it all. I can't live like this much longer.

Comments for Spironolactone Causing Severe Shoulder Pain & Neuropathy in Feet? Help! What's happening to me?

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Oct 10, 2014
Spironolactone Causing Severe Shoulder Pain & Neuropathy in Feet? Help! What's happening to me?
by: Carol K

Hi Lynn. I have some of these symptoms and I have never taken Spironolactone, so I would be interested to hear if anyone has any information which could help. I thought that my symptoms were caused from sitting at a computer all day. I hope that you can get some help. All the best.

Oct 14, 2014
by: Lynn

Yeah, I've had people try to tell me it's a posture-related thing, but I don't think so. Otherwise I'd feel better on the weekends when I'm not sitting at a desk all day. I did physical therapy too with no luck. Something more is going on here...

And of course, sitting at a desk all day doesn't generally cause neuropathy symptoms in one's feet!

I don't think working in an office is doing my shoulders and neck any good, but I don't think it's the root cause.

Feb 08, 2015
Spiro and estrogen
by: Melissa

I just wanted to share my experience with spiro.
I started taking it 2 years ago for acne which it was the only thing that really worked well for me, I had no problems at first about a year after I started it my periods started becoming irregular. First longer in between then about 6 months ago they started to be lasting 20 days then the next period lasted for 26 days. I've been bleeding for over 40 days this time. The DR told me I'm estrogen dominant and low in progesterone, I've been on Provera for a month with no luck. Last year my feet were killing me and I didn't think much about it because I'm very physically active with my job. I thought it was from bad shoes and always being on my feet. Maybe there is a connection with the spiro. I stopped using it a few weeks ago so time will tell. I just ordered natural progesterone oil and stopped the Provera. The dr's have really no explanation of why I'm bleeding all the time other than the low progesterone and high estrogen, but my blood work shows I'm not in menopause all my number are in the normal range. I think we have to pay attention to what our bodies are telling us and sometimes modern medicine just doesn't have an answer. I'm going to try the natural route and hope for the best. Good luck to you, I know how frustrating all of this can be.

Nov 11, 2016
Muscles Pain taking Spironolactone
by: Anonymous

I feel the same you terrible! I took Spironolactone for one month and I stopped when started muscle pain in all my body. I am trying detox, but it is very difficult, slow...

Dec 11, 2016
Spironolactone Post Usage Side Effects
by: Anonymous

I abruptly stopped Spironolactone after a month due to experiencing severe chest tightness. The symptoms have exacerbated ever since, it's been over 6 months. I have intermittent bleeding, tightness/pressure in the chest, esophagus, and abdomen. A feeling of starvation.

There seem to class action lawsuits against Pfizer in the U.S. where the drug is known as Aldactone. I am extremely concerned of what this is done to my body. I hope the side effects are not long term.

Mar 29, 2017
Foot pain
by: Anonymous

I have been on Aldactone for about 3 weeks. I woke one morning with severe pain in my foot. It actually felt like I broke it as I stood. 24 hours later I had severe nerve pain as well as bone pain in the affected foot. The next day it was greyish blue and swollen. X-rays and blood work all good. Treated as soft tissue injury which I know is not the case. Stopped aldactone on my own thinking it may be the cause. I went back to emergency a week later with pain in my two little toes on other foot as well. Blood work and X-rays still all good. Treated as vasculitis related to aldactone. Nerve pain is gone but continue with pain , discolouration and swelling. Started prednisone yesterday as my knee is affected now. Can anyone help? I need answers!

Jul 27, 2017
Spronolactone Problems Too!
by: Amy M.

I am a 52 year old female who has not gone through menopause yet. I have taken spironolactone for acne for 3-4 years. Everything started out fine, but approximately 1-2 years in I gradually got cramps in my feet and calves. I thought I was not drinking enough water since this drug is a diuretic. Drinking more water helped, but did not stop the problem.

Within the last 6 months I have gradually developed the sensation of: burning in the balls of my feet, nerves in my lower legs and feet feel like they are vibrating and these muscles twitch. All of these symptoms are at their worst beginning in the early evening until I go to bed. Waking in the middle of the night, the sensations are better. I too sit at a desk all day; I have for years and none of these problems ever plagued me until I took spironolactone!

I tried to talk to the prescribing doctor of my great concerns, that these are side affects and I am afraid this has caused permanent damage to my nerves. She gave me a 3 second diagnosis of wrestles leg syndrome, no plan of action and had no more time to talk to me. Unacceptable!

I have stopped spironolactone for a week, so am hoping over time these issues will resolve once my body adjusts. (By day 2 off the med, I had full body twitching; conservatively drank Gatorade to help balance electrolytes in my system. The full body twitching is better, but still happening.)

I have been searching the web to find out if others have had these problems as well. It is comforting to know that I am not alone, but am disgusted with the brush off from my doctor and am very concerned about those of us with these terrible side affects and the resounding silence about the long term affects of this drug from the medical community! I hope to find a post in here that someone's symptoms have resolved once off the drug. Until then, I will go with natural things to support my body and try to find a doctor who has time to deal with my issues.

I wish everyone well who has taken this medication and has had serious side affects.

Dec 05, 2017
Shoulder Pain
by: Anonymous

I took Spironolactone for about a month and experienced severe shoulder pain as well as pain and swelling in both breasts (I am a male). It has continued for over a month since discontinuing the med.

Since reading about it I dont think I will ever take it again. I suspect there will eventually be a class action lawsuit. Gynecomastia apparently occurs in about 10% of those taking the drug. An alternative is Epleronone where studies have shown that gynecomastia occurs in approximately 0.05% whereas Spironolactone causes it in 10.0 of patients.

Be warned!

Mar 19, 2018
Nerve Damage
by: Anonymous

Absolutely, 100% yes. 2 months of taking between 50-100mg of Spiro has pretty much ruined my life.

It's been 6 years now of chronic pain, numbness and tingling in my extremities. These symptoms mimic what I have read about Neuropathy and I am completely certain that taking this drug is what caused this (apparent lifetime) affliction. I would love to sue someone as my quality of life has decreased and I'm quite concerned that this will only intensify as I age.

Apr 12, 2018
Yes it causes neuropathy
by: Anonymous

I started using spiroline and got peripheral neuropathy.

Jul 17, 2018
Yes, severe muscle and nerve pain...
by: Anonymous

I was only taking Spiro for four months (2x/day at 50mg/dose) and stopped cold turkey because of severe muscle cramping, weakness, fatigue and shin splints - am avid runner, have been all my life and this drug has ruined my body. I went from being very fit and ready to compete in marathon to barely being able to move.

My doctors do not listen to me and say it is in my head and blame anxiety. I pay hundreds of dollars a month for required insurance coverage and cannot get a Dr. to listen to me, let alone believe and understand. I feel that only naturopathic Dr (in my area, anyhow) will be able to help, but cannot afford to see one. I am loading up on supplements, researching like crazy and doing acupuncture, ready to start chiropractic care, with mixture of apprehension and hope.

I am sorry I don't have more positive to add here to this, but had to comment to let others know that you are not crazy, I have experienced exact same symptoms and they continue to worsen, seven months off the drug and not a bit better. I have carpal and cubital tunnels in both arms, neuropathy from head to toe - so painful, I can't take it any more.

Aug 26, 2018
Any update??
by: Anonymous


I’m having almost identical symptoms to you. Mine started a few days after getting off 100 mg of Spironolactone for a month, and has lasted almost a month after stopping.

Please tell me you found some sort of resolution for this, I’m terrified that this nerve pain will be permanent but I’m hoping since I was only on it for a month that it will subside.

Did you ever find a resolution/ some sort of relief?

Aug 27, 2018
Spironolactone Causing Severe Shoulder Pain & Neuropathy in Feet? Help! What's happening to me?
by: Carol (SA)

My doctor recommended that I start using Metformin a few years, which is a drug for diabetics. Even though I am not a diabetic he said that studies were showing that it was a great anti-aging drug and it was completely natural.

I have been suffering from all these symptoms mentioned in this post, not knowing the cause and finally through my own research I realised that it was the Metformin because one of the side effects is that it depletes the body of Vit B12 and one of the symptoms of this is NEUROPATHY.

When I finally worked it out I was quite horrified that I had agreed to take a drug for diabetics and because it was so called "natural" I would be doing my body some good. I even saw a programme on TV about how scientists were predicting that Metformin is the anti-aging drug of the future. I thought I was being super clever but nothing was said about SIDE EFFECTS. I am telling you this because this drug that you all mention has done something similar. Maybe it has also depleted your Vit B 12? If you GOOGLE Neuropathy and Vit B12 you will get "A lack of vitamin B12 can cause serious nerve damage and degeneration of the spinal cord. A lack of B12 damages the myelin sheath that surrounds and protects nerves". So, for the last few weeks I have been going for Vit B injections once a week and every day I take 1000ug Vit B 12 called Methylcobalamin as this form is absorbed easier by the body.

I am feeling a little better. How long it will take to heal, who knows. I may never be pain free again but hopefully I am on the road to recovery. I hope this helps :).

Sep 16, 2018
Neuropathy in feet and lower legs
by: Rhode Island

I have been taking spironolactone for several years and first noticed pain in my feet for no explained reason. My doctor did not have any answers and I never related it to the drug.

Now over the course of the past year I have developed terrible burning sensation and tingling in my lower legs. It has been getting worse over time and since my doctor didn't seem concerned I started investigate on my own. I discovered that the spironolactone is likely to be causing the pain.

After reading others comments I am worried that the condition will not subside after I discontinue the drug. I am going to make an appointment to see doctor again but am going to stop taking drug today.

Does anyone know if you can stop taking abruptly or have to wean off?
Any advice would help

Sep 25, 2020
by: Anonymous


I know this is an older thread but does anyone have an update? I’m experiencing very similar symptoms after stopping spirolactone.

Thank you!

Oct 12, 2020
Same symptoms!
by: Trisha

I am having the exact same symptoms Lynn!
I am in agony with this nerve pain and wondered what ended up helping you.

Apr 05, 2021
Just an update!
by: Taylor

This happened to me after taking the drug two years ago, it was one of the scariest things to ever happen to me.

The only things that consistently helped were getting my hormones back in order, through exercise, b12/magnesium/vitamin D supplementation and with a noninflammatory diet. I cut out all sugars and refined carbs and saw an improvement after about a year, now at two/three years I don't really have the nerve pain anymore. I had no help from doctors to figure out what was happening, and taking care of myself and trying everything was the only thing that helped.

Best of luck to everyone here!!

May 01, 2021
Foot pain and widespread neuropathy
by: Anonymous

Like others I’m beginning to think Spiro is causing unintended consequences. Started with sudden unexplained pain in my foot—I thought it was broken. X-rays show only inflammation, maybe arthritis but more symptoms including nerve sensitivity in all extremities, debilitating fatigue and now crippling joint pain. I’m 68 but feel and walk like I’m 90! What the heck?

Who has some credible insight on this potentially dangerous drug?

May 01, 2021
Just an update!
by: Joy

Hi Taylor

Thank you for your update. It is important for people to read just how spiro causes major issues. I just don't understand why it continues to be used by many.

You found a way that worked for you and I can't stress enough the importance of B12 and Vitamin D3 see here. Keep going! Most doctors prefer prescribing drugs which is why most do not receive the correct help that they need. It's not all about taking drugs. You took matters into your own hands, you listened to your body, well done!

Aug 23, 2021
Neuropathy in feet and hands?
by: Vanessa Markfort

Hi everyone,

I stared taking Spironolactone In June and took 100mg for 3 months. I stopped august 1st I have had 3 ER visits and a cervical MRI and a brain MRI scheduled tomorrow. I am a healthy 22 year old female but my symptoms began with severe neck and shoulder pain which has now subsided. I have tingling in my hands and feet it isn’t painful nor constant but it’s there every few minutes. My doctors want to rule out MS and other disorders with the brain MRI. I have been eating better, taking vitamins and doing yoga which helps me. I will keep you all posted on the brain MRI but I think that spiro caused me to have peripheral neuropathy and that is scary since I only took it for 3 months. I hope you all feel better and know you are not alone!!

Oct 18, 2021
Hey Vanessa!
by: Anonymous

Hey Vanessa and Lynn! I’m experiencing almost identical symptoms and I feel like I’m losing my mind. Do y’all have any updates??

My ultrasound is clear and I’m about to have some hormonal, thyroid and vitamin d blood tests. Hopefully that will shed some light. I’ve been on spiro for years and recently have been trying to get off when these symptoms started.

Jan 07, 2022
took it too for about a month
by: Anonymous

very low dose. In the last week I've had a lot of peripheral neuropathy. But I had it before due to a B12 deficiency. If you get B12 shots that will help you significantly. But you have to build up your B12 stores again. It's probably gonna take a couple of months but the shots are the best. I go to the doctor today so he can do bloodwork to check my B12 and iron. If I'm low on B12 I'll start getting the shots again if my iron is depleted I'll go to a hematologist and get the iron infusions. But I am not taking spironolactone ever again.

Jan 12, 2023
Same symptoms
by: Anonymous

I've been taking spironolactone for about 3 and a half months. I was at my son's school in the parking lot where I started to feel very weird. My legs hurt and I could barely move them, I also have excruciating neck and shoulder pain,tingling feet, nausea, and really bad headaches. No one really believed me when I said it was this medicine. I'm glad I found this because I thought I was losing my mind. Needless to say I won't be taking these anymore.

Apr 21, 2023
Severe shoulder and arm pain
by: Anonymous

I started taking Spiro. In the middle of May, only 25 mg./day.
I had had some right shoulder issues in my past so a month later when I started getting this weird tightening in my right arm, I just thought it was more of the same.
At the end of June I was about 1 hour away from home when I started having the most excruciating pain I have ever had. Burning,stabbing, felt like I had liquid fire going down my arm, upper back, around my neck.
I ended up in an ambulance and ER visit and they just said it was neck related.

I had 8 episodes in the months to follow. Each episode lasted 5-7 hours, yes! 5-7 hours of sheer hell.

I gradually weaned off the Spiro. and the episodes are very mild compared to what I went through.
I cannot describe the level of pain I have had.

Apr 23, 2023
Severe shoulder and arm pain
by: Joy

Thank you for sharing your story with us and I am terribly sorry that you had to endure such pain. It must have been scary for you.

There is no need for me to explain how spiro can affect one, it's all been mentioned on this thread. I am just pleased that you came off as it carries a cancer risk, see here. I do hope that all the side effects were explained to you by your doctor.

You don't state the reason for being prescribed spiro but if you are concerned about Acne please read the page as the Vitamin D3 page.

May you grow from strength to strength.

Sep 08, 2023
Spironolactone issues
by: Melissa

I'm here bc of a search for unable to raise arms bc of pain and spironolactone.....My dad has congestive heart failure and was put on a diuretic along w spironolactone to keep his potassium levels up about 6 mo ago. Around 2 months ago he had severe pain in his L foot and couldn't walk on it, like gout. We got an xray and bloodwork but no real explanation other than a small bone spur on his heel....the pain was across the top of his foot and he's a 70y/o man with a very high pain threshold that a bone spur wouldn't cause him nor to walk. Also around the same time, he began having severe arm and shoulder pain, not being to raise his arms above his shoulders. He has been complaining of his whole body hurting since starting the new meds. We've had his potassium levels checked at different times since he started them and it's never off. Both his feet now hurt so bad he can't walk but his Dr's say it's arthritis. I'm convinced now it's the spironolactone. We're going to stop it and see if they'll check his B12 levels also. He takes magnesium vitd and calcium already and coq10 and phospatidyl choline. I'll just have him do a smoothie w bananas and avocado and coconut water for the potassium. He can't even put a shirt over his head anymore.

Sep 09, 2023
Spironolactone issues
by: Joy

Hi Melissa

How convenient for the doctors to say it's arthritis.  This problem only started when spiro was used.  I recommend that he comes off as already explained on this post.

Consider trying Arginine 500mg for his congestive heart failure and please have his vitamin D3 level tested.  Please read up on it on this post.  

Calcium, unless one is suffering from chronic osteoporosis, belongs in the trash can.  Vitamin D3, magnesium and K2 build bones.  Please see these videos on calcium see here and here.

One way to get potassium in you is to take the Adrenal Fatigue Cocktail.  He can only benefit from this as his adrenals are stressed.


* 125ml Orange Juice or *Grapefruit Juice, you are looking for vitamin C
* 1/4 teaspoon Celtic Sea Salt or Pink Himalayan
* 1/4 teaspoon Cream of Tartar (potassium)

Mix the above at the start of the day with enough liquid for two (2) applications i.e. 8oz/125ml of orange juice. Drink it mid-morning, as well as mid-afternoon. In addition, any time that you are feeling particularly anxious it would be advisable to prepare another mixture and take it.

PLEASE NOTE:  * Grapefruit/juice can affect some people.  It can cause interactions with many medications. Before drinking grapefruit juice one should consult a doctor. Essentially, grapefruit juice can block the action of intestinal CYP3A4, so instead of being metabolised, more of the drug enters the blood and stays in the body longer; this can be dangerous. Please always read inserts of your medication.  For those who have blood sugar problems, use lemon juice mixed with a little water, you are looking for vitamin C.

The original source of this recipe was Susan Blackard, NP, ND, PhD at the Rejuvenation Health Centre in Springfield, MO.

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