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What is Inspra®?

By Jacquelyn Gilchrist
Updated May 17, 2024
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Inspra® is a brand name of the generic drug eplerenone. This medication is most often used to help lower high blood pressure. Sometimes, a doctor may also prescribe it for a patient who has suffered a heart attack and experiences congestive heart failure or a condition called left ventricular systolic dysfunction, meaning the heart does not function properly.

This medication is classified as a mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist. That means that it works by interfering with the function of a substance in the body called aldosterone. Aldosterone raises one's blood pressure. Inspra® lowers fluid retention and allows blood vessels to widen, which also helps bring blood pressure back down to safe levels.

Taken by mouth in the form of a tablet, Inspra® may be used either once or twice daily. The prescribing doctor will provide specific instructions regarding dosages. A patient may take it with or without food. Patients will likely need to be on this medication for four weeks before gaining the full benefits from it. This drug must be taken on a long-term basis; one should not discontinue it without the approval of one's doctor.

Before using Inspra®, the doctor will likely question the patient about his dietary habits and medication regime. Consuming grapefruit juice may interfere with the drug. Additional tests or monitoring may be needed to ensure safety if the patient uses St. John's wort supplements as well. People taking Inspra® also should never use a potassium supplement or salt substitute without a doctor's approval.

Inspra® may also interact with other drugs and supplements. This includes certain antibiotics; lithium; and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as naproxen or ibuprofen. Fluvoxamine, cimetidine, and erythromycin can also interact with Inspra®.

Patients should inform their doctors about persistent side effects that this medication may cause, such as stomach pain, diarrhea, and dizziness. Some people also have reported fatigue, flu symptoms, and headaches. Abnormal vaginal bleeding and tenderness or enlargement of the breast may also occur.

Serious side effects warrant a doctor's immediate care. These can include an irregular heartbeat, chest pain, or confusion. Other serious side effects are a weakness, tingling, or heaviness in the legs as well as fatigue and loss of muscle tone. Some patients have also experienced having cold, grayish skin.

While Inspra® can help a person lower his blood pressure, the drug cannot cure this condition. Patients must also follow a low sodium diet recommended by their doctors or nutritionists. Regular cardiovascular exercise can also help control blood pressure on a long-term basis.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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