Navigation Links
New Drug Shows Promise Against Heartbeat Abnormality
Date:2/11/2009

Dronedarone reduced strokes, heart attacks in those with atrial fibrillation

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- A new drug for a common heartbeat abnormality produced promising results in its latest trial.

The drug, dronedarone, is being tested for atrial fibrillation, which affects an estimated 2.2 million Americans. The upper chambers of their hearts quiver, rather than beating vigorously, allowing the formation of blood clots that can block a brain artery and cause a stroke.

In an international trial that included 2,301 people with atrial fibrillation, dronedarone (Multaq) reduced the incidence of hospitalization due to stroke, heart attacks and other problems by 24 percent, compared to placebo, according to a report in the Feb. 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

About 30 percent of those who started the trial discontinued use of the drug -- at an average of about 21 months -- roughly the same percentage as those receiving the placebo.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has assigned priority review status to dronedarone, and an FDA advisory committee will meet March 19 to discuss its possible approval.

"I believe this will be approved favorably," said Dr. Richard L. Page, head of the division of cardiology at the University of Washington School of Medicine, who took part in the study. "The overall literature on this drug shows both efficacy and safety."

Atrial fibrillation affects one in 20 Americans by the age of 65, and one in 10 by 85, Page said. Current drug treatments include beta blockers and calcium channel blockers.

Dronedarone is a chemical relative of amiodarone, a drug that has severe side effects but still is widely used in atrial fibrillation. Amiodarone includes iodine, which can cause thyroid problems, and "it takes a while to have an effect," Page said. "You must give relatively high doses early to saturate the body before it has an effect. It is stored in fat tissue and doesn't reach a steady state for a month or longer."

By contrast, "dronedarone has been shown to be quite effective in patients with atrial fibrillation," Page said. "There are two studies published previously that demonstrate a very consistent effect in controlling the time to atrial fibrillation recurrence. It prolonged the time to recurrence better than twofold compared to other treatment, from 53 days to 116 days."

All the trials of dronedarone have been sponsored by the drug's maker, Sanofi-Aventis. One of those studies showed increased mortality in people who had both atrial fibrillation and heart failure.

"We definitely need more treatments for atrial fibrillation," said Dr. Sana Al Khatib, director of electrophysiology at Duke University. "A lot of these medications are not safe, especially for those with structural heart disease. We definitely need more drugs that have a favorable safety profile."

But it's difficult to determine the safety of dronedarone from the newly published study, she said. "The percentage of patents who had to stop the drug was close to 30 percent, which is a high rate," Al Khatib said. "We really don't have a very good idea of the safety profile of the drug. We are not clear about its long-term safety."

The one certainty is that dronedarone should not be prescribed for anyone with heart failure, Al Khatib said. But considering that "we certainly need more medications, it would seem to be a reasonable medication for those who do not have advanced heart failure," she said.

More information

Atrial fibrillation and its treatment are described by the American Heart Association.



SOURCES: Richard L. Page, M.D., head, division of cardiology, University of Washington, Seattle; Sana Al Khatib, M.D., director, electrophysiology, Duke University, Durham, N.C.; Feb. 12, 2009, New England Journal of Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. New study shows promise in reducing surgical risks associated with surgical bleeding
2. New research shows how chronic stress worsens neurodegenerative disease course
3. Embryonic Human Stem Cells May Help Repair Heart Muscle, Lab Study Shows
4. Circulating fats kill transplanted pancreas cells, study shows
5. New Heart Pump Shows Promise in Trial
6. Novel 3-D cell culture model shows selective tumour uptake of nanoparticles
7. New Survey Shows Americans are Still Concerned About Food Safety, Yet Still Not Smart About What They Like to Eat
8. Australian-led international study shows blood pressure drugs cut death rate in type 2 diabetes
9. Amid Improving Life Expectancy Rates, Risk of Premature Death is Still Significant for Americans, New Study Shows
10. Avocados may help prevent oral cancer, OSU study shows
11. New Poll Shows Public Distrusts Flawed Healthcare Approach Favored by Governor and Speaker in AB 8
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
New Drug Shows Promise Against Heartbeat Abnormality
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn ... to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization ... selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users can easily customize ... Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 hand-drawn pictures into ... Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or text in the ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned ... the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at ... fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary ... Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. ... Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent ... most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals are ... many of these less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... Tenn. , June 24, 2016  Arkis ... providing less invasive and more durable cerebrospinal fluid ... in funding.  The Series-A funding is led by ... Lighthouse Fund, and other private investors.  Arkis, new ... neurosurgical instrumentation and the market release of its ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research ... Devices Global Market - Forecast to 2022" report to ... the treatment method for the patients with kidney failure, it ... excess fluid from the patient,s blood and thus the treatment ... potassium and chloride in balance. Increasing number ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Research and ... Excipients Market by Type (Organic Chemical (Sugar, Petrochemical, Glycerin), ... Topical, Coating, Parenteral) - Global Forecast to 2021" ... The global pharmaceutical excipients market is projected ... CAGR of 6.1% in the forecast period 2016 to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: