Aldosterone antagonists represented by nonselective spironolactone and mineralocorticoid-selective eplerenone are approved for treatment of symptomatic heart failure with reduced systolic function. Their cardioprotective, antifibrotic, and antiarrhythmic effects have been proven in animal experiments, and their effects on morbidity and mortality have been demonstrated in randomized clinical trials. Yet, they remain the most underutilized of all classes of medications for heart failure, primarily because of fear of hyperkalemia. Thorough patient screening and selection is the key for minimizing risks and optimizing benefits from these drugs. Ongoing trials will demonstrate whether the indication for aldosterone antagonists can be expanded to less severe heart failure or patients with preserved systolic function.
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