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New blood pressure drug

Monday September 14th, 2009

A new drug could add to the armoury of treatments available for high blood pressure, doctors report today.

The drug, darusentan, represents a new class of drugs, known as endothelin-receptor antagonists, for treating the problem, researchers said.

Findings of an international trial of the new treatment are reported today in The Lancet.

Doctors say the new drug could be help patients for whom treatment with three or more existing drugs is not being successful.

Some 379 patients in the Americas, Europe, New Zealand and Australia took part in the research with about a third receiving placebo drugs.

One of the patients in the placebo group died from a heart attack during the study while five patients taking the new drug survived heart attacks.

The researchers said the evidence showed the new drug contributing to "meaningful" reductions in blood pressure.

Led by Professor Michael Weber, of the State University of New York, Brooklyn, USA, the researchers write: "The use of this drug accompanied by effective diuretic therapy seems to represent a new and effective strategy for dealing with treatment-resistant hypertension."

Lancet online September 14, 2009 DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(09)61500-2

Tags: North America | Australia | Europe | Heart Health | Pharmaceuticals | World Health

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