In patients with chronic heart failure, spironolactone added to conventional treatment may lead to serious and, occasionally, fatal hyperkalaemia. In some cases this seems to happen because spironolactone causes diarrhoea. Four cases involving men with New York Heart Association functional class III heart failure are presented. As these cases revealed, close monitoring of blood chemistry is mandatory after starting spironolactone, and patients should be advised to stop spironolactone immediately if diarrhoea develops.
- heart failure
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