- 1. Name of the medicinal product
- 2. Qualitative and quantitative composition
- 3. Pharmaceutical form
- 4. Clinical particulars
- 4.1 Therapeutic indications
- 4.2 Posology and method of administration
- 4.3 Contraindications
- 4.4 Special warnings and precautions for use
- 4.5 Interaction with other medicinal products and other forms of interaction
- 4.6 Fertility, pregnancy and lactation
- 4.7 Effects on ability to drive and use machines
- 4.8 Undesirable effects
- 4.9 Overdose
- 5. Pharmacological properties
- 5.1 Pharmacodynamic properties
- 5.2 Pharmacokinetic properties
- 5.3 Preclinical safety data
- 6. Pharmaceutical particulars
- 6.1 List of excipients
- 6.2 Incompatibilities
- 6.3 Shelf life
- 6.4 Special precautions for storage
- 6.5 Nature and contents of container
- 6.6 Special precautions for disposal and other handling
- 7. Marketing authorisation holder
- 8. Marketing authorisation number(s)
- 9. Date of first authorisation/renewal of the authorisation
- 10. Date of revision of the text
PosologyFor the individual adjustment of dose, the strengths of 25 mg and 50 mg are available. The maximum dose regimen is 50 mg daily.
For post-MI heart failure patientsThe recommended maintenance dose of eplerenone is 50 mg once daily (OD). Treatment should be initiated at 25 mg once daily and titrated to the target dose of 50 mg once daily preferably within 4 weeks, taking into account the serum potassium level (see Table 1). Eplerenone therapy should usually be started within 3-14 days after an acute MI.
For patients with NYHA class II (chronic) heart failureFor chronic heart failure NYHA class II patients, treatment should be initiated at a dose of 25 mg once daily and titrated to the target dose of 50 mg once daily preferably within 4 weeks; taking into account the serum potassium level (see Table 1 and section 4.4).Patients with a serum potassium of > 5.0 mmol/L should not be started on eplerenone (see section 4.3).Serum potassium should be measured before initiating eplerenone therapy, within the first week and at one month after the start of treatment or dose adjustment. Serum potassium should be assessed as needed periodically thereafter. After initiation, the dose should be adjusted based on the serum potassium level as shown in Table 1.Table 1: Dose adjustment table after initiation
|Serum potassium (mmol/L)||Action||Dose adjustment|
|< 5.0||Increase||25 mg EOD* to 25 mg OD 25 mg OD to 50 mg OD|
|5.0 5.4||Maintain||No dose adjustment|
|5.5 5.9||Decrease||50 mg OD to 25 mg OD 25 mg OD to 25 mg EOD* 25 mg EOD* to withhold|
Paediatric populationThe safety and efficacy of eplerenone in children and adolescents have not been established. Currently available data are described in section 5.1 and 5.2.
ElderlyNo initial dose adjustment is required in the elderly. Due to an age-related decline in renal function, the risk of hyperkalaemia is increased in elderly patients. This risk may be further increased when co-morbidity associated with increased systemic exposure is also present, in particular mild-to-moderate hepatic impairment. Periodic monitoring of serum potassium is recommended (see section 4.4).
Renal impairmentNo initial dose adjustment is required in patients with mild renal impairment. Periodic monitoring of serum potassium with dose adjustment according to Table 1 is recommended. Patients with moderate renal impairment (CrCl 30-60 mL/min) should be started at 25 mg every other day, and dose should be adjusted based on the potassium level (see Table 1). Periodic monitoring of serum potassium is recommended (see section 4.4).There is no experience in patients with CrCl <50 mL/min with post MI heart failure. The use of eplerenone in these patients should be done cautiously. Doses above 25 mg daily have not been studied in patients with CrCl <50 mL/min.Use in patients with severe renal impairment (CrCl <30 mL/min) is contraindicated (see section 4.3). Eplerenone is not dialysable.
Hepatic impairmentNo initial dose adjustment is necessary for patients with mild-to-moderate hepatic impairment. Due to an increased systemic exposure to eplerenone in patients with mild-to-moderate hepatic impairment, frequent and regular monitoring of serum potassium is recommended in these patients, especially when elderly (see section 4.4).
Concomitant treatmentIn case of concomitant treatment with mild to moderate CYP3A4 inhibitors, e.g. amiodarone, diltiazem and verapamil, a starting dose of 25 mg OD may be initiated. Dosing should not exceed 25 mg OD (see section 4.5).Eplerenone may be administered with or without food (see section 5.2).
HyperkalaemiaConsistent with its mechanism of action, hyperkalaemia may occur with eplerenone. Serum potassium levels should be monitored in all patients at initiation of treatment and with a change in dosage. Thereafter, periodic monitoring is recommended especially in patients at risk for the development of hyperkalaemia, such as elderly patients, patients with renal insufficiency (see section 4.2) and patients with diabetes. The use of potassium supplements after initiation of eplerenone therapy is not recommended, due to an increased risk of hyperkalaemia. Dose reduction of eplerenone has been shown to decrease serum potassium levels. In one study, the addition of hydrochlorothiazide to eplerenone therapy has been shown to offset increases in serum potassium.The risk of hyperkalaemia may increase when eplerenone is used in combination with an ACE inhibitor and/or an ARB. The combination of an ACE inhibitor and an ARB with eplerenone should not be used (see sections 4.3 and 4.5).
Impaired renal functionPotassium levels should be monitored regularly in patients with impaired renal function, including diabetic microalbuminuria. The risk of hyperkalaemia increases with decreasing renal function. While the data from Eplerenone Post-acute Myocardial Infarction Heart failure Efficacy and Survival Study (EPHESUS) in patients with Type 2 diabetes and microalbuminuria is limited, an increased occurrence of hyperkalaemia was observed in this small number of patients. Therefore, these patients should be treated with caution. Eplerenone is not removed by haemodialysis.
Impaired hepatic functionNo elevations of serum potassium above 5.5 mmol/L were observed in patients with mild to moderate hepatic impairment (Child Pugh class A and B). Electrolyte levels should be monitored in patients with mild to moderate hepatic impairment. The use of eplerenone in patients with severe hepatic impairment has not been evaluated and its use is therefore contraindicated (see sections 4.2 and 4.3).
CYP3A4 inducersCo-administration of eplerenone with strong CYP3A4 inducers is not recommended (see section 4.5).Lithium, cyclosporin, tacrolimus should be avoided during treatment with eplerenone (see section 4.5).
LactoseThe tablets contain lactose and should not be administered in patients with rare hereditary problems of galactose intolerance, the Lapp lactase deficiency or glucose-galactose malabsorption.
Potassium-sparing diuretics and potassium supplementsDue to increased risk of hyperkalaemia, eplerenone should not be administered to patients receiving other potassium-sparing diuretics and potassium supplements (see section 4.3). Potassium-sparing diuretics may also potentiate the effect of anti-hypertensive agents and other diuretics.
ACE inhibitors, ARBsThe risk of hyperkalaemia may increase when eplerenone is used in combination with an ACE inhibitor and/or an ARB. A close monitoring of serum potassium and renal function is recommended, especially in patients at risk for impaired renal function, e.g., the elderly. The triple combination of an ACE inhibitor and an ARB with eplerenone should not be used (see sections 4.3 and 4.4).
LithiumDrug interaction studies of eplerenone have not been conducted with lithium. However, lithium toxicity has been reported in patients receiving lithium concomitantly with diuretics and ACE inhibitors (see section 4.4). Co-administration of eplerenone and lithium should be avoided. If this combination appears necessary, lithium plasma concentrations should be monitored (see section 4.4).
Cyclosporin, tacrolimusCyclosporin and tacrolimus may lead to impaired renal function and increase the risk of hyperkalaemia. The concomitant use of eplerenone and cyclosporin or tacrolimus should be avoided. If needed, close monitoring of serum potassium and renal function are recommended when cyclosporine and tacrolimus are to be administered during treatment with eplerenone (see section 4.4).
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)Treatment with NSAIDs may lead to acute renal failure by acting directly on glomerular filtration, especially in at-risk patients (elderly and/or dehydrated patients). Patients receiving eplerenone and NSAIDs should be adequately hydrated and be monitored for renal function prior to initiating treatment.
TrimethoprimThe concomitant administration of trimethoprim with eplerenone increases the risk of hyperkalaemia. Monitoring of serum potassium and renal function should be made, particularly in patients with renal impairment and in the elderly.
Alpha-1-blockers (e.g. prazosin, alfuzosine)When alpha-1-blockers are combined with eplerenone, there is the potential for increased hypotensive effect and/or postural hypotension. Clinical monitoring for postural hypotension is recommended during alpha-1-blocker co-administration.
Tricyclic anti-depressants, neuroleptics, amifostine, baclofenCo-administration of these drugs with eplerenone may potentially increase antihypertensive effects and risk of postural hypotension.
Glucocorticoids, tetracosactideCo-administration of these drugs with eplerenone may potentially decrease antihypertensive effects (sodium and fluid retention).
Pharmacokinetic interactionsIn vitro studies indicate that eplerenone is not an inhibitor of CYP1A2, CYP2C19, CYP2C9, CYP2D6 or CYP3A4 isozymes. Eplerenone is not a substrate or an inhibitor of P-Glycoprotein.
DigoxinSystemic exposure (AUC) to digoxin increases by 16% (90% CI: 4% - 30%) when co-administered with eplerenone. Caution is warranted when digoxin is dosed near the upper limit of therapeutic range.
WarfarinNo clinically significant pharmacokinetic interactions have been observed with warfarin. Caution is warranted when warfarin is dosed near the upper limit of therapeutic range.
CYP3A4 substratesResults of pharmacokinetic studies with CYP3A4 probe-substrates, i.e. midazolam and cisapride, showed no significant pharmacokinetic interactions when these drugs were co-administered with eplerenone.
CYP3A4 inhibitors- Strong CYP3A4 inhibitors: Significant pharmacokinetic interactions may occur when eplerenone is co-administered with drugs that inhibit the CYP3A4 enzyme. A strong inhibitor of CYP3A4 (ketoconazole 200 mg BID) led to a 441% increase in AUC of eplerenone (see section 4.3). The concomitant use of eplerenone with strong CYP3A4 inhibitors such as ketoconazole, itraconazole, ritonavir, nelfinavir, clarithromycin, telithromycin and nefazadone is contra-indicated (see section 4.3).- Mild to moderate CYP3A4 inhibitors: Co-administration with erythromycin, saquinavir, amiodarone, diltiazem, verapamil, or fluconazole has led to significant pharmacokinetic interactions with rank order increases in AUC ranging from 98% to 187%. Eplerenone dosing should therefore not exceed 25 mg when mild to moderate inhibitors of CYP3A4 are co-administered with eplerenone (see section 4.2).
CYP3A4 inducersCo-administration of St John's wort (a strong CYP3A4 inducer) with eplerenone caused a 30 % decrease in eplerenone AUC. A more pronounced decrease in eplerenone AUC may occur with stronger CYP3A4 inducers such as rifampicin. Due to the risk of decreased eplerenone efficacy, the concomitant use of strong CYP3A4 inducers (rifampicin, carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital, St John's wort) with eplerenone is not recommended (see section 4.4).
AntacidsBased on the results of a pharmacokinetic clinical study, no significant interaction is expected when antacids are co-administered with eplerenone.
PregnancyThere are no adequate data on the use of eplerenone in pregnant women. Animal studies did not indicate direct or indirect adverse effects with respect to pregnancy, embryofoetal development, parturition and postnatal development (see section 5.3). Caution should be exercised prescribing eplerenone to pregnant women.
Breast-feedingIt is unknown if eplerenone is excreted in human breast milk after oral administration. However, preclinical data show that eplerenone and/or metabolites are present in rat breast milk and that rat pups exposed by this route developed normally. Because of the unknown potential for adverse effects on the breast fed infant, a decision should be made whether to discontinue breast-feeding or discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.
FertilityThere are no human data available on fertility.
Very common (≥ 1/10)
Common (≥ 1/100 to <1/10)
Uncommon (≥ 1/1,000 to <1/100)
Rare (≥ 1/10,000 to <1/1,000)
Very rare (<1/10,000)
Not known (cannot be estimated from the available data).Table 2: ADR Frequency in Eplerenone Placebo Controlled Studies
|MedDRA system organ class||Adverse reaction|
|Infections and infestationsUncommon||pyelonephritis, infection, pharyngitis|
|Blood and lymphatic system disordersUncommon||eosinophilia|
|Metabolism and nutrition disordersCommonUncommon||hyperkalaemia (see sections 4.3 and 4.4), hypercholesterolaemia hyponatraemia, dehydration, hypertriglyceridaemia|
|Nervous system disordersCommonUncommon||dizziness, syncope, headache hypoaesthesia|
|Cardiac disordersCommonUncommon||left ventricular failure, atrial fibrillation tachycardia|
|Vascular disordersCommonUncommon||hypotension arterial thrombosis limb, orthostatic hypotension|
|Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disordersCommon||cough|
|Gastrointestinal disordersCommonUncommon||diarrhoea, nausea, constipation, vomiting flatulence|
|Skin and subcutaneous tissue disordersCommonUncommon||rash, pruritus hyperhidrosis, angioedema|
|Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disordersCommonUncommon||muscle spasms, back pain musculoskeletal pain|
|Renal and urinary disordersCommon||renal impairment (see sections 4.4 and 4.5)|
|Reproductive system and breast disordersUncommon||gynaecomastia|
|General disorders and administration site conditionsCommonUncommon||asthenia malaise|
|InvestigationsCommonUncommon||blood urea increased, blood creatinine increased epidermal growth factor receptor decreased, blood glucose increased|
Reporting of suspected adverse reactionsReporting suspected adverse reactions after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via the Yellow Card Scheme at www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard.
Mechanism of actionEplerenone has relative selectivity in binding to recombinant human mineralocorticoid receptors compared to its binding to recombinant human glucocorticoid, progesterone and androgen receptors. Eplerenone prevents the binding of aldosterone, a key hormone in the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone-system (RAAS), which is involved in the regulation of blood pressure and the pathophysiology of CV disease.
Pharmacodynamic effectsEplerenone has been shown to produce sustained increases in plasma renin and serum aldosterone, consistent with inhibition of the negative regulatory feedback of aldosterone on renin secretion. The resulting increased plasma renin activity and aldosterone circulating levels do not overcome the effects of eplerenone. In dose-ranging studies of chronic heart failure (NYHA classification II-IV), the addition of eplerenone to standard therapy resulted in expected dose-dependent increases in aldosterone. Similarly, in a cardiorenal substudy of EPHESUS, therapy with eplerenone led to a significant increase in aldosterone. These results confirm the blockade of the mineralocorticoid receptor in these populations.Eplerenone was studied in the EPHESUS. EPHESUS was a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, of 3 year duration, in 6632 subjects with acute MI, left ventricular dysfunction (as measured by left ventricular ejection fraction [LVEF] ≤40%), and clinical signs of heart failure. Within 3 to 14 days (median 7 days) after an acute MI, subjects received eplerenone or placebo in addition to standard therapies at an initial dose of 25 mg once daily and titrated to the target dose of 50 mg once daily after 4 weeks if serum potassium was < 5.0 mmol/L. During the study subjects received standard care including acetylsalicylic acid (92%), ACE inhibitors (90%), ß-blockers (83%), nitrates (72%), loop diuretics (66%), or HMG CoA reductase inhibitors (60%). In EPHESUS, the co-primary endpoints were all-cause mortality and the combined endpoint of CV death or CV hospitalisation; 14.4 % of subjects assigned to eplerenone and 16.7 % of subjects assigned to placebo died (all causes), while 26.7 % of subjects assigned to eplerenone and 30.0 % assigned to placebo met the combined endpoint of CV death or hospitalisation. Thus, in EPHESUS, eplerenone reduced the risk of death from any cause by 15% (RR 0.85; 95% CI, 0.75-0.96; p= 0.008) compared to placebo, primarily by reducing CV mortality. The risk of CV death or CV hospitalisation was reduced by 13% with eplerenone (RR 0.87; 95% CI, 0.79-0.95; p=0.002). The absolute risk reductions for the endpoints all cause mortality and CV mortality/hospitalisation were 2.3% and 3.3%, respectively. Clinical efficacy was primarily demonstrated when eplerenone therapy was initiated in subjects aged < 75 years old. The benefits of therapy in those subjects over the age of 75 are unclear. NYHA functional classification improved or remained stable for a statistically significant greater proportion of subjects receiving eplerenone compared to placebo. The incidence of hyperkalaemia was 3.4 % in the eplerenone group vs. 2.0 % in the placebo group (p < 0.001). The incidence of hypokalaemia was 0.5 % in the eplerenone group vs 1.5 % in the placebo group (p < 0.001).No consistent effects of eplerenone on heart rate, QRS duration, or PR or QT interval were observed in 147 normal subjects evaluated for electrocardiographic changes during pharmacokinetic studies.In the EMPHASIS-HF trial the effect of eplerenone when added to standard therapy was investigated on clinical outcomes in subjects with systolic heart failure and mild symptoms (NYHA functional class II). Subjects were included if they were at least 55 years old, had a LVEF ≤ 30% or LVEF ≤ 35% in addition to QRS duration of > 130 msec, and were either hospitalized for CV reasons 6 months prior to inclusion or had a plasma level of B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) of at least 250 pg/mL or a plasma level of N-terminal pro-BNP of at least 500 pg/mL in men (750 pg/mL in women). Eplerenone was started at a dose of 25 mg once daily and was increased after 4 weeks to 50 mg once daily if the serum potassium level was < 5.0 mmol/L. Alternatively, if the estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR) was 30-49 mL/min/1.73 m2, eplerenone was started at 25 mg on alternate days, and increased to 25 mg once daily. In total, 2737 subjects were randomized (double-blind) to treatment with eplerenone or placebo including baseline therapy of diuretics (85%), ACE inhibitors (78%), angiotensin II receptor blockers (19%), beta blockers (87%), anti thrombotic drugs (88%), lipid lowering agents (63%), and digitalis glycosides (27%). The mean LVEF was ~26% and the mean QRS duration was ~122 msec. Most of the subjects (83.4%) were previously hospitalized for CV reasons within 6 months of randomization, with around 50% of them due to heart failure. Around 20% of the subjects had implantable defibrillators or cardiac resynchronization therapy.The primary endpoint, death from CV causes or hospitalization for heart failure occurred in 249 (18.3%) subjects in the eplerenone group and 356 (25.9%) subjects in the placebo group (RR 0.63, 95% CI, 0.54-0.74; p<0.001). The effect of eplerenone on the primary endpoint outcomes was consistent across all pre-specified subgroups.The secondary endpoint of all cause mortality was met by 171 (12.5%) subjects in the eplerenone group and 213 (15.5%) subjects in the placebo group (RR 0.76; 95% CI, 0.62-0.93; p = 0.008). Death from CV causes was reported in 147 (10.8%) subjects in the eplerenone group and 185 (13.5%) subjects in the placebo group (RR 0.76; 95% CI, 0.61-0.94; p = 0.01).During the study, hyperkalaemia (serum potassium level > 5.5 mmol/L) was reported in 158 (11.8%) subjects in the eplerenone group and 96 (7.2%) subjects in the placebo group (p < 0.001). Hypokalaemia, defined as serum potassium levels < 4.0 mmol/L, was statistically lower with eplerenone when compared to placebo (38.9% for eplerenone compared to 48.4% for placebo, p<0.0001).
Paediatric population:Eplerenone has not been studied in pediatric subjects with heart failure.In a 10-week study of paediatric subjects with hypertension (age range 4 to 17 years, n=304), eplerenone, at doses (from 25 mg up to 100 mg per day) that produced exposure similar to that in adults, did not lower blood pressure effectively. In this study and in a 1-year paediatric safety study in 149 subjects, the safety profile was similar to that of adults. Eplerenone has not been studied in hypertensive subjects less than 4 years old because the study in older paediatric subjects showed a lack of efficacy (See section 4.2).Any (long term) effect on hormonal status in paediatric subjects has not been studied.
AbsorptionThe absolute bioavailability of eplerenone is 69% following administration of a 100 mg oral tablet.Maximum plasma concentrations are reached after about 2 hours. Both peak plasma levels (Cmax) and area under the curve (AUC) are dose proportional for doses of 10 mg to 100 mg and less than proportional at doses above 100 mg. Steady state is reached within 2 days. Absorption is not affected by food.
DistributionThe plasma protein binding of eplerenone is about 50% and is primarily bound to alpha 1-acid glycoproteins. The apparent volume of distribution at steady state is estimated at 50 (±7) L. Eplerenone does not preferentially bind to red blood cells.
BiotransformationEplerenone metabolism is primarily mediated via CYP3A4. No active metabolites of eplerenone have been identified in human plasma.
EliminationLess than 5% of an eplerenone dose is recovered as unchanged drug in the urine and faeces. Following a single oral dose of radiolabeled drug, approximately 32% of the dose was excreted in the faeces and approximately 67% was excreted in the urine. The elimination half-life of eplerenone is approximately 3 to 5 hours. The apparent plasma clearance is approximately 10 L/hr.
Age, Gender, and RaceThe pharmacokinetics of eplerenone at a dose of 100 mg once daily have been investigated in the elderly (≥ 65 years), in males and females, and in blacks. The pharmacokinetics of eplerenone did not differ significantly between males and females. At steady state, elderly subjects had increases in Cmax (22%) and AUC (45%) compared with younger subjects (18 to 45 years). At steady state, Cmax was 19% lower and AUC was 26% lower in blacks (see section 4.2).
Paediatric populationA population pharmacokinetic model for eplerenone concentrations from two studies in 51 paediatric hypertensive subjects of ages 4to16 years identified that patient body weight had a statistically significant effect on eplerenone volume of distribution but not on its clearance. Eplerenone volume of distribution and peak exposure in a heavier paediatric patient are predicted to be similar to that in an adult of similar body weight; in a lighter 45 kg patient, the volume of distribution is about 40% lower and the peak exposure is predicted to be higher than typical adults. Eplerenone treatment was initiated at 25 mg once daily in paediatric patients and increased to 25 mg twice daily after 2 weeks and eventually to 50 mg twice daily, if clinically indicated. At these doses, the highest observed eplerenone concentrations in paediatric subjects were not substantially higher than those in adults initiated at 50 mg once daily.
Renal InsufficiencyThe pharmacokinetics of eplerenone were evaluated in patients with varying degrees of renal insufficiency and in patients undergoing haemodialysis. Compared with control subjects, steady-state AUC and Cmax were increased by 38% and 24%, respectively, in patients with severe renal impairment and were decreased by 26% and 3%, respectively, in patients undergoing haemodialysis. No correlation was observed between plasma clearance of eplerenone and creatinine clearance. Eplerenone is not removed by haemodialysis (see section 4.4.).
Hepatic InsufficiencyThe pharmacokinetics of eplerenone 400 mg have been investigated in patients with moderate (Child-Pugh Class B) hepatic impairment and compared with normal subjects. Steady-state Cmax and AUC of eplerenone were increased by 3.6% and 42%, respectively (see section 4.2). Since the use of eplerenone has not been investigated in patients with severe hepatic impairment, eplerenone is contraindicated in this patient group (see section 4.3).
Heart FailureThe pharmacokinetics of eplerenone 50 mg were evaluated in patients with heart failure (NYHA classification II-IV). Compared with healthy subjects matched according to age, weight and gender, steady state AUC and Cmax in heart failure patients were 38% and 30% higher, respectively. Consistent with these results, a population pharmacokinetic analysis of eplerenone based on a subset of patients from EPHESUS indicates that clearance of eplerenone in patients with heart failure was similar to that in healthy elderly subjects.
Tablet core:Lactose monohydrateMicrocrystalline cellulose (E460)Croscarmellose sodium (E468)Hypromellose (E464)Sodium laurilsulfateTalc (E553b)Magnesium stearate (E470b)
Opadry yellow:Hypromellose (E464)Titanium dioxide (E171)Macrogol 400Polysorbate 80 (E433)Iron oxide yellow (E172)Iron oxide red (E172)
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