My Experience with Spiro (For Acne): Beautiful Skin and Nasolabial Folds Gone but Weight Gain and Constant Periods - New York NY

With regret, I stopped taking spiro 5 days ago. I...

With regret, I stopped taking spiro 5 days ago. I had been taking spiro (100mg) for 3 months. I am 36 and my skin has never looked better (most of my blackheads are gone and my skin looks generally so much better). I tried many treatments in the past 20 years (including accutane) and nothing worked as well as spiro.

Why did I decide to stop?

1) I have been gaining weight. Although most people report losing weight, it was clear to me that my weight gain was caused by spiro. I am skinny and have been the same weight for 15 years (after losing some weight in my early twenties). I eat pretty much the same every day and I exercise. All of a sudden (after maybe a month of taking spiro), I started ballooning. I have gained about 6 or 7 pounds (i.e. half a stone or 3 kilos) in total. My reflection in the mirror is fine but my clothes have become too tight, I feel very uncomfortable in them and in fact, I feel uncomfortable in my own skin. Somehow, I just feel inflated. The weight gain is really around the waist, the bottom and the thighs (and the bust, the one area I am not complaining about). I did a quick search on the internet and quick enough I found a number of forums discussing weight gain with spiro (in the exact same areas). Weight is a sensitive issue for me because I did struggle a bit with it in my teens/early twenties. Since naturally losing some weight in my early twenties, this is something I never thought about since and don't want to have to think about again.

2) I have had my period back-to-back for 3 months and it was irregular (if I may use the term irregular when the period is pretty much constant!). I was lucky to get one week off! Also, I used to have bad cramps while on my period before taking spiro and would take ibuprofen, which worked very well. Unfortunately, I read that one cannot take ibuprofen while on spiro. Luckily, until last week, none of my periods was really painful so I was fine. That was until last week when I was crawling on the floor in pain.
I should maybe point out that I don't take the pill. I am aware that one may not fall pregnant -- my husband and I use alternative methods.

3) At 36, I am thinking about having kids sooner rather than later. I am scared to make the jump and sometimes think I should just let nature take its course. But clearly, with spiro, this is not an option and the idea that I may not have a baby while on it bothers me.

For the 3 reasons above, I think that I am better off stopping spiro. But we shall see. It has only been a few days and I wonder how I will feel when my skin starts becoming worse again.

Also, another feature that depresses me as much as my acne are my nasolabial folds (lines between the mouth and the nose). My face always looks tired, probably not helped by the fact that I am skinny. For a couple of years, I have had restylane injections, which are expensive but help (although I do not like them because I don't think that the result is very natural). When I started taking spiro, I was due to have another restylane injection but I chose to postpone it because I was having a course of salicylic peelings. Approximately, two months after I started takking spiro, it became quite apparent that my nasolabial folds were gone. I don't know what I am happier about: my beautiful skin or the fact that my nasolabial folds are gone. I'd say that I look about 5 years younger. I also feel about 5 years younger. I could always feel the fatigue on my face, as if my skin was heavy. That feeling has completely disappeared. Strangely, I did not find anything about spiro having an effect on nasolabial folds on the internet. I don't know what else would have caused it (the peelings? I doubt it). My face is rounder and puffier overall and as far as I am concerned, it looks fantastic (may not suit everybody) so my opinion is that just like my waist/bottom/hips and bust, my face is 'inflated'.

In conclusion, stopping spiro was not an easy decision to make and then again, I wonder how I will feel when my nasolabial fold start returning.

At least, I hope that the weight will come off and that my old body shape will come back because I just don't feel like me and there is nothing worse than gaining weight and being completely powerless about it. Who knows where it would have ended? One thing is for sure, I won't miss the constant periods.

From London, UK.
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Comments (7)

I'd love to know what your outcome has been? I have been on spiro for the last 12 months. My skin looks amazing, and has since I began taking the pills. Also- it's funny you mention the nasiolabials because I felt like my face was really looking full and younger since the spiro, (which I now understand is from my weight gain). I started on 100mg per day and have cut back to 50mg per day with no negative side effects (i.e. pimples), however, I have gained about 8 lbs in the last year. I am very active, have always been fit and eat great. I'm 33, 5'7 and weigh typically about 124lbs. Now, at 132 lbs, I know I'm not "fat", but I'm fat! I'm covered in cellulite on thighs, have a gut which I have NEVER had before and I had twins! I never had a gut in my life or gained fat in my midsection. Ever, even after pregnancy I never had it there. Until the last 12 months. I feel like my body has changed and I can't get it back. I'm bulgy, chunky, soft and it's so not me! I've juice cleansed, taken up running daily, fasted, dieted, exercised, everything under the sun, and the weight stays! I know without a doubt, there is no other possibility but the spiro. I'm just wondering, if I stop taking it, will the weight come off? I'd love to hear how you've come along? Please post an update?
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Hello goodnews1, thank you for your message. It has now been 6 months and unfortunately, I never lost the weight or got my old body shape back, although I run pretty much every day (I have done so for years). As a result, whilst I don't diet, I am now aware of what I eat, which I don't think is healthy (never thinking about what I ate but being unconsciously sensible about it seemed to work fine for me). I wish I could lose these extra kilos because all my clothes are slightly too tight (including what I am wearing right now hence I have been thinking I must do something about it all day). I was very aware of it all this summer when wearing a bathing suit. The worst thing, which I must have forgotten to mention in my original post, is actually the cellulite on thighs (which you also report). I never had cellulite before and now have some (not much, but some). Have you noticed that you keep gaining weight? That was my main worry when I decided to stop. I had only taken spiro for 3 months and had gained about 5 kilos (which I believe are about 11lbs - I suppose that I only stated 3 kilos in my original post because I lost the first 2 kilos in the first few days after I stopped the medicine), so I freaked out thinking this was going to get worse, very quickly. As for my skin, it is back to what it used to be, maybe slightly better but I wish I had never taken spiro (except for one big spot I had for years and finally nearly disappeared in the 3 months of treatment, although it now appears to be slowly coming back) All in all, it is maybe not as bad as it sounds... or I am simply getting used to my new (not-improved) body. One final thought: I do sometimes wonder whether 36 was the age my body was meant to lose it and spiro had in fact nothing to do with it, but no, I don't believe really believe that. I wish you all the best.
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I'm glad that this was posted only a couple weeks ago, because everything that I had been reading was 2-3+ years ago and I was curious if anyone had had the same experience I have as of late. I am a 26-yr old female with a fairly active lifestyle (yoga, running) and started on this medication (25MG BID) approx. 3 months ago at 107 lbs. (I'm only 5'0" tall). I went on holiday soonafter I started the medication and when I came home I had noticed that I was feeling a little more "bloated" and also had gained about 5-6lbs. in 10 days. I thought it was all related to the holiday eating (shame on me!) and being fairly inactive, but once I got back into my routine...there was definitely something off. Now, I have been off the medication for about 10 days... and the final weight changes: 15 lbs. in 3 months. On my short frame, this is a GIANT number. This is also especially heartbreaking seeing as I have spent the past year and some months working out and eating right to lose weight in a healthy manner. My clothing no longer fits and I can barely stand it that this is all due to a medication that was supposed to help me with my self-esteem, re: acne. Ironic how I finally become comfortable in my own skin -- then try to correct a skin issue -- and now I am, once again, severely uncomfortable with my weight. Granted, my skin is definitely more oily and I am already having bouts of cystic acne... It was not worth it. Has anyone read anything regarding the weight loss process after stopping the medication? I found a research article stating that 6 months post-medicaiton, nearly 100% had NOT lost the weight they had gained while on the medication. Which is very, very disheartening. Any information would be much appreciated!
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Hello emilyjun, I am really sorry I did not see your message until now. I have now posted an update in my reply to goodnews1. I am afraid that I did not lose the weight either so the 100% still stand. As it has been 6 months for you too, it would be interesting to know how you are getting on with spiro or if you have stopped taking it. All the best.
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Oh wow, I can so relate to loving what Spiro does to clear your skin, but hating the other side effects. I chose to get off it to, several months ago. My skin is much more broken out now, which sucks, but it just wasn't worth the other side effects.

As for your nasolabial folds filling out more, I bet your thoughts on it being associated with the weight gain are correct.

Please update us on how your skin does as the spiro works its way out of your system. I'll be hoping your skin stays clear!!

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Hi Megan, Thanks for your message. I have been off spiro for 10 days now. My skin still looks good but it is getting oily again and the feeling of heaviness/tiredness (in the evening) is coming back. As for the weight gain, it was worse than first thought (more like a stone, i.e. 6 kilos) so my nasolabial folds vanishing may indeed have been the result of the weight gain rather than the spiro itself, although I still believe that the weight gain was caused by the spiro. After 10 days off spiro, the weight is not going away (if anything, it keeps piling on) so I am now having to take drastic action (or I will need to invest in a new wardrobe!) and go on a diet (which is a big thing for me as I haven't watched what I eat for 15+ years -- and hate the idea of it, after so much yo-yo-ing when I was a teen). I will keep you updated!
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Yeah, having to keep super close tabs on everything you put into your mouth is never fun. :-/ Hopefully it will work and your weight will go back to where you started. Hoping you don't feel too deprived between now and then.

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