Aldosterone receptor antagonists

 

Drug class: aldosterone receptor antagonists, also called mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists

Generic (Brand) names: eplerenone (Inspra), spironolactone (Aldactone)

Heart failure causes your body to hold on to too much sodium and fluid. As a result, fluid builds up in the lungs, and swelling occurs in the legs, ankles, and abdomen.

This drug blocks the action of aldosterone, a hormone that encourages sodium and fluid buildup. By blocking aldosterone, this drug helps the body to release sodium and fluid.

This type of drug is usually prescribed in addition to ACE inhibitors or angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs), ARNI and beta blockers.

This drug lowers blood pressure and helps to remove excess fluid from your body.

It improves symptoms, reduces hospitalizations, and can help you live longer.

Side effects may include:

  • High levels of potassium in the blood
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Worsened kidney function
  • Sexual side effects including diminished libido
  • Growth of breast tissue in men

  • Your provider will have told you what dose of this medication to take, and how many times per day to take it. The label on your medication bottle should also tell you how many pills to take, and how often.

    Over time, your provider may adjust your dose.

    Make sure the dose you need to take matches the strength of the tablets in your bottle. If the strength of your tablet does not match the dose you have been prescribed, you may need to split the pill and have only part of it, or take more than one pill. Always remember to consult your provider if you are unclear about what your most recent dose of aldosterone antagonist is.

    Take this medication at the same time every day, with or without food.

    Tell your provider if you experience side effects. He or she may be able to switch your medication or adjust the dose.

    This drug stimulates the body to hold on to potassium. High levels of potassium can be dangerous. Your provider may advise you to limit your consumption of potassium-rich foods such as bananas and nuts. Notify your provider immediately if you experience any new or worsening weakness, fatigue, or palpitations.

    You may need regular blood tests to check your potassium levels and kidney function.

    Your provider may also ask you to monitor your blood pressure at home to make sure it is not too low.

    Over time, if you do not take this medication as directed, you will feel worse and be at greater risk for hospitalization. In addition, your heart failure will continue to progress.