Inspra (Eplerenone) Dosage and Side Effects
INSPRA is used alone or combined with other drugs for patients with hypertension (high blood pressure) to lower blood pressure. Also, INSPRA is used in combination with other drugs for patients with heart failure.
Proper Use of this medication
Your doctor and pharmacist will tell you how to take your medicine. Carefully follow the instructions given to you by your doctor and pharmacist.
INSPRA tablets may be taken with or after a meal or on an empty stomach. Swallow the tablets with a glass of water without chewing.
INSPRA is not recommended for children.
The usual starting dose will depend on the potassium level in your body and your kidney condition which will be assessed by your doctor.
In people with normal or near normal kidney function, for heart failure the usual starting dose is one 25 mg tablet once daily, increasing to one 50 mg tablet once daily in about 4 weeks, as instructed by your doctor. For hypertension, the usual dose is 50 mg tablet once daily.
The maximum daily dose for heart failure is 50 mg and for hypertension, it is 100 mg.
Lower doses will be used in people with elevated potassium in the blood or weaker kidney function.
Blood potassium levels should be measured before starting INSPRA therapy, within the first week and at one month after the start of treatment or after a change in dose. The dose may be adjusted by your doctor, depending on the potassium levels in your blood. It is very important that you comply with your doctor's recommendations particularly regarding the laboratory test which may be prescribed.
It is important to keep taking INSPRA as prescribed unless your doctor tells you to stop your treatment.
If you take more INSPRA than you should, tell your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
If you think you have taken too much INSPRA contact your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, hospital emergency department or regional Poison Control Centre immediately, even if there are no symptoms.
If you forget to take a tablet take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time to take the next tablet, do not take the tablet you have missed. Instead, take the next tablet when it is due and afterwards, continue to take your tablets as your doctor has prescribed for you. Do not take a double dose to make up for the forgotten tablet.
Side effects may include headache. The most common side effects seen with INSPRA are related to increased blood potassium levels.
INSPRA can cause abnormal blood test results. Your doctor will decide when to perform blood tests and will interpret the results.
Warnings and Precautions
BEFORE you use INSPRA tell your doctor or pharmacist if:
- you are pregnant or if you are planning to become pregnant. The effects of INSPRA have not been evaluated during pregnancy. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking any medicine;
- you are breast-feeding or intend to breast-feed;
- you have kidney or liver disease;
- you are diabetic;
- you are taking lithium (usually given as a mood stabilizing medication);
- you are using potassium supplements or salt substitutes containing potassium.
Please contact your doctor if you are taking any of the above medicines, or have taken them in the past.
You may feel dizzy after taking this medicine. If this happens, tell your doctor about it and do not drive or operate machinery.
Do not use INSPRA if you:
- are hypersensitive (allergic) to INSPRA or to any of the other ingredients of INSPRA (see below for the nonmedicinal ingredients);
- have high levels of potassium in your blood;
- are taking potassium sparing diuretics (certain types of water tablets);
- have severe liver impairment;
- have heart failure and severe kidney impairment;
- have hypertension and moderate kidney impairment;
- are taking other medications that may affect the elimination of INSPRA, such as:
- ritonavir or nelfinavir (antiviral medication for treating HIV);
- clarithromycin, or telithromycin (antibiotics used to treat bacterial infections);
- ketoconazole or itraconazole (medicines that are used to treat fungal infections);
- nefazodone (used to treat depression);
- potassium supplements.
Interactions with this medication
Certain medications can affect the way that INSPRA is broken down by the body. Interaction with other drugs is possible. Please inform your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines.
ketoconazole, itraconazole or fluconazole (used to treat fungal infections);
verapamil or diltiazem (used for heart problems and/or high blood pressure);
digoxin or amiodarone (used to treat particular heart conditions including irregular heart rhythms);
angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors which are any medication with generic names ending with “pril” (used for high blood pressure or heart conditions);
angiotensin II receptor antagonists, which are any medication with generic names ending with “sartan” (used for high blood pressure, or particular kidney conditions);
potassium sparing diuretics (certain water tablets used to treat fluid retention)
potassium supplements (salt tablets);
herbal preparations containing large amounts of potassium (such as Noni fruit or juice, dandelion);
saquinavir, ritonavir or nelfinavir (antiviral medication for treating HIV);
erythromycin, clarithromycin, telithromycin, or rifampicin (antibiotics used to treat bacterial infections);
lithium (usually given as a mood stabilizing medication);
nefazodone and St John's Wort (used to treat depression);
carbamazepine, phenytoin and phenobarbital (used to treat epilepsy);
non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (certain pain killers, such as ibuprofen and other pain relievers).
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medications, including prescription, non-prescription and natural health products.
Other related products
The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.