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Am J Cardiol. 1987 Oct 1;60(10):820-5.

Efficacy and tolerance of spironolactone in essential hypertension.

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  • 1Service d'Hypertension Artérielle, Hôpital Broussais, Paris, France.


The long-term efficacy and tolerance of spironolactone in essential hypertension was evaluated among 20,812 patients referred to the Broussais and St. Joseph systemic hypertension clinics between 1976 and 1985 by using information prospectively collected in the computerized ARTEMIS data bank. In 182 patients (51 men, 131 women) treated with spironolactone alone during a mean follow-up period of 23 months, a mean dose of 96.5 mg decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP) by 18 and 10 mm Hg, respectively, below pretherapeutic levels. The BP decrease was greater with doses of 75 to 100 mg (12.4% and 12.2%) than with doses of 25 to 50 mg (5.3 and 6.5%, p less than 0.001), but no additional decrease was found with doses above 150 mg. Plasma creatinine level increased modestly (8.3 mumol/liters), as did plasma potassium level (0.6 mmol/liters) (both p less than 0.001); uric acid level increased, but not significantly (10.5 mumol/liter). Fasting blood glucose and total cholesterol levels did not change, triglyceride levels increased slightly (0.1 mmol/liter, p less than 0.05). These changes were similar in both sexes and were not influenced by length of follow-up. Among the 699 men prescribed spironolactone alone or in association with another antihypertensive treatment, 91 cases of gynecomastia developed (13%). Gynecomastia was reversible and dose-related; at doses of 50 mg or less the incidence was 6.9%, but 52.2% for doses of 150 mg or higher. Despite limitations inherent in the interpretation of data banks, it is concluded that spironolactone administered in daily practice reduced BP without inducing adverse metabolic adverse effects and that in patients with essential hypertension, doses should be kept below 100 mg.

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