The mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists have been shown to have favourable safety and cost-effectiveness profiles across a broad range of clinical indications, including heart failure, primary aldosteronism and resistant hypertension. The clinical biology of the first aldosterone blocker, i.e. spironolactone, and its effects in several organ systems has been well elucidated from multiple studies. The range of adverse effects experienced with spironolactone has led to its modification and the consequent synthesis of eplerenone. Scientific evidence accumulated so far supports the role of eplerenone as first-choice drug in heart failure, with lower prevalence rates of sex-related adverse effects associated with eplerenone as compared to spironolactone. In Europe, eplerenone is currently marketed only in some countries and only with the indication of heart failure, whereas its clinical efficacy and safety in mild to moderate hypertension is said to be uncertain. A review of available scientific evidence, however, discloses that 11 randomized clinical trials assessing eplerenone in > 3500 hypertensives have been reported so far. The results of these studies clearly show that eplerenone is an effective antihypertensive agent when used alone or in combination with other medications. In doses ranging from 25 to 100 mg daily, eplerenone monotherapy results in a dose-dependent reduction in clinic blood pressure. As compared to placebo, eplerenone reduces significantly blood pressure from baseline. In general, 100 mg daily eplerenone has a blood pressure lowering that is 50 to 75% that of spironolactone. Eplerenone results in a greater reduction in blood pressure as compared with losartan, and comparison between eplerenone and amlodipine shows that both treatments decrease systolic blood pressure to a similar extent but eplerenone is better tolerated. In conclusion, there is now evidence that eplerenone can play an important role in the treatment of mild to moderate arterial hypertension and therefore scientific experts and regulatory authorities should support its wider use in clinical practice worldwide.
- Arterial hypertension
- Blood pressure
- Heart failure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine