Eplerenone is used alone or in combination with other medications to treat high blood pressure. Eplerenone is in a class of medications called mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists. It works by blocking the action of aldosterone, a natural substance in the body that raises blood pressure.
High blood pressure is a common condition and when not treated, can cause damage to the brain, heart, blood vessels, kidneys, and other parts of the body. Damage to these organs may cause heart disease, a heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, loss of vision, and other problems. In addition to taking medication, making lifestyle changes will also help to control your blood pressure. These changes include eating a diet that is low in fat and salt, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising at least 30 minutes most days, not smoking, and using alcohol in moderation.
Side Effects Of Eplerenone
Eplerenone may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- stomach pain
- excessive tiredness
- flu-like symptoms
- breast enlargement or tenderness
- abnormal vaginal bleeding
Some side effects can be serious. The following symptoms are uncommon, but if you experience any of them, call your doctor immediately:
- chest pain
- tingling in arms and legs
- loss of muscle tone
- weakness or heaviness in legs
- lack of energy
- cold, gray skin
- irregular heartbeat
- Eplerenone may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
Warnings & Precautions
Before taking eplerenone:
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to eplerenone, any other medications, or any ingredients in eplerenone tablets. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- do not take eplerenone if you are taking amiloride (Midamor), amiloride and hydrochlorothiazide, itraconazole (Onmel, Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), potassium supplements, spironolactone (Aldactone), spironolactone and hydrochlorothiazide (Aldactazide), triamterene (Dyrenium), or triamterene and hydrochlorothiazide (Dyazide, Maxzide).
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and nutritional supplements you are taking. Be sure to mention any of the following: angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors such as benazepril (Lotensin, in Lotrel), captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec, in Vaseretic), fosinopril, lisinopril (in Prinzide, in Zestoretic), and quinapril (Accupril, in Accuretic, in Quinaretic); angiotensin II receptor antagonists such as azilsartan (Edarbi, in Edarbyclor), candesartan (Atacand, in Atacand HCT), eprosartan (Teveten), irbesartan (Avapro, in Avalide), losartan (Cozaar, in Hyzaar), olmesartan (Benicar, in Azor, in Benicar HCT), telmisartan (Micardis, in Micardis HCT, in Twynsta), and valsartan (Diovan, in Diovan HCT, Exforge); aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn); cimetidine (Tagamet); clarithromycin (Biaxin); danazol; delavirdine (Rescriptor); diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac, others); erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Erythrocin); fluconazole (Diflucan); fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem, Selfemra); fluvoxamine (Luvox); HIV protease inhibitors such as indinavir (Crixivan), ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra), and saquinavir (Invirase); isoniazid (Laniazid, in Rifamate, Rifater); lithium (Lithobid); metronidazole (Flagyl); nefazodone; verapamil (Calan, Covera, Verelan, in Tarka); and zafirlukast (Accolate). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor what herbal products you are taking, especially St. John’s wort.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had high blood levels of potassium, diabetes, gout, or liver or kidney disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking eplerenone, call your doctor.
Eplerenone comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once or twice a day, with or without food. To help you remember to take eplerenone, take it around the same time(s) every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take eplerenone exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor may start you on a low dose of eplerenone and increase your dose after 4 weeks.
Eplerenone controls high blood pressure but does not cure it. It may take 4 weeks or longer before you feel the full benefit of eplerenone. Continue to take eplerenone even if you feel well. Do not stop taking eplerenone without talking to your doctor.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will check your blood pressure regularly and order certain lab tests to check your body’s response to eplerenone.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.