Spironolactone is poorly absorbed after oral administration and has a delayed onset of action; it may take several days until a peak effect is produced. It has a somewhat slower onset of action than triamterene and amiloride (discussed later), but its natriuretic effect is modestly more pronounced, especially during long-term therapy. Spironolactone is rapidly and extensively metabolized, largely to the active metabolite canrenone. Canrenone and potassium canrenoate, its K+ salt, are available for clinical use in some countries outside the United States. Canrenone has a half-life of approximately 10 to 35 hours. The metabolites of spironolactone are excreted in both the urine and feces. New selective aldosterone receptor antagonists (SARA), such as eplerenone, have been developed but have not yet been introduced into clinical practice. Eplerenone and canrenone exhibit fewer steroidlike side effects (gynecomastia, hirsutism).
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