Patients with Gitelman syndrome (GS), an inherited salt-losing tubulopathy, are usually treated with potassium-sparing diuretics or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and oral potassium and magnesium supplementations. However, evidence supporting these treatment options is limited to case series studies. We designed an open-label, randomized, crossover study with blind end point evaluation to compare the efficacy and safety of 6-week treatments with one time daily 75 mg slow-release indomethacin, 150 mg eplerenone, or 20 mg amiloride added to constant potassium and magnesium supplementation in 30 patients with GS (individual participation: 48 weeks). Baseline plasma potassium concentration was 2.8±0.4 mmol/L and increased by 0.38 mmol/L (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.23 to 0.53; P< 0.001) with indomethacin, 0.15 mmol/L (95% CI, 0.02 to 0.29; P=0.03) with eplerenone, and 0.19 mmol/L (95% CI, 0.05 to 0.33; P< 0.01) with amiloride. Fifteen patients became normokalemic: six with indomethacin, three with eplerenone, and six with amiloride. Indomethacin significantly reduced eGFR and plasma renin concentration. Eplerenone and amiloride each increased plasma aldosterone by 3-fold and renin concentration slightly but did not significantly change eGFR. BP did not significantly change. Eight patients discontinued treatment early because of gastrointestinal intolerance to indomethacin (six patients) and hypotension with eplerenone (two patients). In conclusion, each drug increases plasma potassium concentration in patients with GS. Indomethacin was the most effective but can cause gastrointestinal intolerance and decreased eGFR. Amiloride and eplerenone have similar but lower efficacies and increase sodium depletion. The benefit/risk ratio of each drug should be carefully evaluated for each patient.

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