Vidyya Medical News Service
Volume 6 Issue 113 Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 22-Apr-2004 Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 23-Apr-2004
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Medication relieves chest pain, Lets cardiac patients exercise longer

New research published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology offers more evidence that an investigational drug may offer relief to the millions of Americans who suffer from angina, a chronic condition that causes chest pain and limits patients’ physical activity.

The new study shows that a drug called Ranexa, which currently is under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, significantly increases angina patients’ ability to exercise. Bernard R. Chaitman, M.D., director of cardiovascular research at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, was the primary author of the study. CV Therapeutics, Inc., is the drug manufacturer.

The results about the drug are the second he has published this year.

An earlier study by Dr. Chaitman and colleagues, published in January in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), showed that when Ranexa was added to current anti-anginal therapies such as beta-blockers or calcium-blockers it increased patients’ ability to exercise. The research published today evaluated whether the drug was effective on its own and established the effective dosage amount.

The new research is important because current drug regimens can have side effects such as fatigue, impotence, ankle swelling and insomnia; a new drug that does not affect heart rate and blood pressure would give doctors another way to treat the disease. The study also established that the survival rates of patients on Ranexa were acceptable and that the drug was effective in diabetic patients without an adverse effect on glucose control.

“I am encouraged that the clinical trials of Ranexa, whether used alone or in combination with other therapies, continue to demonstrate anti-anginal activity without compromises in heart rate or blood pressure,” Dr. Chaitman said. “The long-term survival data with Ranexa indicates an area worthy of further investigation.”

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