Primary aldosteronism - treatment options.Growth Horm IGF Res. 2003 Aug; 13 Suppl A:S102-8.GH
Diagnosis of primary aldosteronism results in either the surgical cure of hypertension or targeted pharmacotherapy. The two major subtypes of primary aldosteronism are unilateral aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA) and bilateral idiopathic hyperaldosteronism (IHA). Patients with APA usually are treated with unilateral adrenalectomy and patients with IHA are treated medically. The majority of patients with primary aldosteronism have the IHA subtype and require pharmacotherapy. Spironolactone has been the drug of choice to treat primary aldosteronism. However, it is not selective for the aldosterone receptor, and side effects include gynecomastia, erectile dysfunction and menstrual irregularity. Eplerenone is a new competitive and selective aldosterone receptor antagonist recently approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of hypertension. It lacks the side effects associated with spironolactone and will be the superior drug if it is shown to be as effective as spironolactone for the treatment of mineralocorticoid-dependent hypertension.