New Drugs for Heart Failure Tested
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For those who could be up against the prospect of a congestive heart failure, a new class of drugs hold much hope. These drugs have the potential to boost the heart’s function. Congestive heart failure is a potentially life–threatening condition in which the heart gradually loses it ability to pump enough blood to the rest of the body.
The drugs are called endothelin receptor antagonists, and researchers are confident they could help patients of heart failure by improving the flow of blood to their heart.
Worsening heart failure brings with it progressively higher levels of endothelin–1, which causes blood vessels to constrict, thereby reducing the blood supply to an already oxygen–starved heart. So blocking receptors for endothelin–1 are expected to improve heart function.
Congestive heart failure could result from a heart attack, high blood pressure or some other damage caused to the heart that could weaken the organ’s pumping ability.
Injection of tezosentan, for instance, was found to improve cardiac index, a measure of the heart’s pumping ability, as early as 30 minutes after the treatment began.
In another study it was found that the drug improved the response of blood flow in patient’s vessels. And it seemed to work equally well in various forms of heart failure.