March 16, 2010 / 12:03 PM / 10 years ago

Novartis drug fails to help after heart attack-study

ATLANTA, March 16 (Reuters) - The addition of the Novartis NOVN.VX blood pressure medicine Tekturna to current standard drugs in patients who had a heart attack failed to help prevent changes in the heart’s shape and worsening of its blood pumping ability, according to data from a study.

In addition, patients who got Tekturna on top of current therapy, which includes other types of blood pressure drugs, were more likely to have potentially dangerous levels of potassium in the blood, more kidney dysfunction, and hypotension, or blood pressure that is too low.

Tekturna, known chemically as aliskiren, works by directly blocking the hormone renin. Other hypertension drugs also affect the renin-angiotensin system, which regulates blood pressure in the body.

“Our results ... showed no benefit and potentially greater risk of adverse events when combining two inhibitors of the renin-angiotensin system,” said Dr Scott Solomon of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, who presented the data at the American College of Cardiology scientific meeting in Atlanta.

“Given these results, we are not currently recommending the use of this agent in addition to other inhibitors of the renin-angiotensin system in this specific patient population.” (Reporting by Bill Berkrot; Editing by Derek Caney)

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