Eplerenone

Sounds like 'ep-leer-en-own'

Eplerenone is used to reduce extra fluid in your body caused by conditions such as heart failure. Find out how to take it safely and possible side effects.

Type of medicine Also called
  • Diuretic (causes you to pee more)
  • 'Water' tablet or 'water pill'
  • Medicine for heart failure 
  • Inspra®

What is eplerenone?

Eplerenone is a diuretic, which means it helps your body get rid of extra salt (sodium) and water. It is used to reduce extra fluid in your body (called oedema), which is caused by conditions such as heart failure. Read more about heart failure.

Diuretics can reduce symptoms such as swelling in your ankles or feet, or shortness of breath. In New Zealand eplerenone is available as tablets.

Dose

  • The starting dose of eplerenone is 25 milligrams once a day.
  • After a few weeks your doctor may increase your dose to 50 milligrams once a day.
  • Always take your eplerenone exactly as your doctor has told you.
  • The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much eplerenone to take, how often to take it and any special instructions.

How to take eplerenone

  • Timing: Take eplerenone once a day, in the morning. Swallow the tablets whole with a full glass of water. You can take eplerenone with or without food. 
  • Limit or avoid alcohol while taking eplerenone: Alcohol may increase your chance of side effects such as dizziness.
  • Missed dose: If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember that day. If it is nearly time (less than 12 hours) for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the usual time. Do not take 2 doses at the same time.

Precautions when taking eplerenone

Before starting eplerenone

  • Are you pregnant or breastfeeding?
  • Do you have problems with your kidneys?
  • Are taking any other medicines? This includes any medicines you are taking that you can buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines and medicines you can buy for pain relief.

If so, it’s important that you tell your doctor or pharmacist before you start eplerenone. Sometimes a medicine isn’t suitable for a person with certain conditions, or it can only be used with extra care.

While taking eplerenone

You may need blood tests while taking eplerenone to check the amount of potassium in your blood, and to see how well your kidneys are working.

Side effects

Like all medicines, eplerenone can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine.

Side effects What should I do?
  • Feeling sick (nausea)
  • Stomach upset


  • These are quite common when you first start taking eplerenone and usually go away after a few days.
  • Try taking your eplerenone with or after food.
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome.
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling light headed
  • Feeling faint when you stand up
  • Be careful when getting up from either lying down or sitting to avoid falls.
  • These effects put you at risk of falls and injuries, especially if you are elderly.
  • Be careful when driving or using tools until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Signs of dehydration (loosing too much salt and water) such as muscle cramps, weakness, dry mouth, thirst or passing unusually reduced amounts of pee
  • Cough
  • Tell your doctor.
  • Signs of hormone changes such as breast development (in men), changes in menstrual cycle (periods) in women, sexual problems   
  • Tell your doctor.

Interactions

Eplerenone may interact with a number of medicines and herbal supplements, so check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting eplerenone or before starting any new medicines.

Also check with your pharmacist before taking anti-inflammatories that can be bought over the counter, such as diclofenac (eg, Voltaren Rapid), ibuprofen (eg, Nurofen), naproxen (eg, Naprogesic).

Learn more

The following links provide further information on eplerenone:

Eplerenone (Māori) NZ Formulary Patient Information
Inspra Medsafe Consumer Information Sheets, NZ

References

  1. Eplerenone NZ Formulary
Credits: Sandra Ponen, pharmacist. Reviewed By: Angela Lambie, Pharmacist, Auckland Last reviewed: 18 Dec 2020