Author(s): Sica DA
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Abstract Aldosterone-receptor antagonists dose-dependently reduce both the epithelial and nonepithelial actions of aldosterone. These compounds are used commonly in the treatment of hypertension, with or without aldosteronism, and in the volume-overload periods of various forms of heart failure, cirrhosis, and renal failure. In this regard, the relevant site of action for these compounds is compartmentalized to the distal nephron. The cardiac benefits of aldosterone-receptor blockade now are sufficiently well established to warrant routine use of these compounds for their survival benefits in moderate to advanced stages of heart failure. Aldosterone-receptor antagonists spironolactone and eplerenone commonly are used in the treatment of resistant forms of hypertension. Spironolactone, but not eplerenone, is a commonly used add-on diuretic that provides incremental benefit for salt-and-water excretion in excess of what may be seen with a loop diuretic given together with a thiazide-type diuretic. The dose-response relationship for natriuresis with spironolactone has not been explored completely as to its combination therapy responses. The quite high doses of spironolactone used in patients with cirrhosis and ascites would infer that the overall treatment effect with this compound exceeds simple receptor blockade and may include a nervous system effect that operationally reduces renal sympathetic nerve traffic. The adverse electrolyte and renal function side effects with aldosterone-receptor antagonists are not uncommon in at-risk patients, such as those with chronic kidney disease, and require that dosing be mindful of the tendency of these drugs to importantly increase serum potassium levels. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.
This article was published in Semin Nephrol
and referenced in Anatomy & Physiology: Current Research