Navigation Links
New UAlberta research shows commonly prescribed medications could have adverse effects
Date:1/17/2013

A research team with the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta reported findings that significantly improve understanding of how widely used drugs in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) affect the heart health of treated patients.

The research shows that medications often prescribed for PAH could block the function of an important hormone in the heart, decreasing the strength of contraction of the right heart chambers, a potentially important and yet unrecognized adverse effect.

PAH is a disease that affects the blood vessels of the lungs, causing a progressive narrowing and restriction of the blood flow through the lungs. This narrowing puts a significant strain in the right chamber (right ventricle) of the heart that pushes the blood through the lungs. Eventually the right ventricle fails, causing heart failure and death.

One of the causes of the narrowing of the lung blood vessels is the increased levels of endothelin in the lungs, a hormone that constricts blood vessels throughout the body. Commonly used and very expensive drugs that block the actions of endothelin, which are called endothelin receptor antagonists, or ERAs, are now used throughout the world to treat PAH patients. However, the effects of these drugs in the right ventricle had not previously been studied, until now.

Led by cardiologist Evangelos Michelakis and cardiac surgeon Jayan Nagendran's in a laboratory setting, a multidisciplinary team of cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, pathologists and scientists at the U of A studied human hearts from 50 PAH patients and laboratory models. The team showed that, while in the normal hearts, ERAs do not have significant effects because the endothelin levels are quite low, this is not the case in the diseased hearts of PAH patients. In the thickened right ventricles from PAH patients, the levels of endothelin are significantly increased.

This new finding suggests that this increase may be beneficial for hearts impacted by PAH, since endothelin is known to increase the strength of contraction of the heart muscle. In other words, as the right ventricle has to work harder pushing blood through the narrowed blood vessels, endothelin may help it function better, but this may be blocked by ERAs. The research team also showed that, as expected, ERAs decrease the strength of contraction of the diseased right ventricles.

"These new findingsthat ERAs have direct effects on the right chambers of the hearthave important implications for treated patients" said Nagendran. "For example, PAH patients treated with ERAs can develop fluid retention (swelling), which is currently treated with diuretics. As fluid retention can be a result of decreased right ventricle function, the new findings suggest that this could be a previously unrecognized important adverse effect of these drugs."

In other words, while ERAs may have a beneficial effect on the lung blood vessels, they may also have unwanted effects on the heart.

"While this does not mean that PAH patients should stop using these drugs, this new research sheds more light on the overall mechanism of action of these drugs in PAH patients," said Michelakis. "It may also help physicians to better approach the treatment of PAH patients and design clinical studies to validate these new findings in large populations."

PAH tends to mostly affect younger women, although both sexes of all ages can be affected. The survival of PAH patients is similar to that of patients with metastatic breast cancer, but the yearly cost of treatment can be more than double compared to that of metastatic breast cancer, and can exceed $200,000 per patient.


'/>"/>
Contact: Quinn Phillips
quinn.phillips@ualberta.ca
780-399-7505
University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Alternative medicine use high among children with chronic conditions: UAlberta medical research
2. Alternative medicine use high amoung children with chronic conditions: UAlberta medical research
3. UAlberta medical researchers discover new potential chemotherapy
4. UAlberta medical researchers make key discovery in fight against Alzheimers disease
5. UAlberta prostate cancer researcher and team developing homing beacon drugs to target cancer cells
6. UNC researchers use luminescent mice to track cancer and aging in real-time
7. Gothenburg researchers make world top 10
8. New research finds slower growth of preterm infants linked to altered brain development
9. Immunology research sheds new light on cell function, response
10. Autism Researchers Surprised by Impaired Brain Connections
11. Oncologist expands HPV research to anal cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The law firm of Morrow, Morrow, Ryan & Bassett is ... these scholarships is to encourage applicants to pursue a degree in their field of ... parishes. , “We have available jobs in St. Landry and Evangeline Parishes that ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... — 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EST, http://www.fdanews.com/fixeddosecombination ... cycle of pharmaceutical products, garnering increased attention from all stakeholders in the development ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... , ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... announced that nominations have closed for the ISE Southeast Awards 2016. Finalists and ... announced at the ISE® Southeast Executive Forum and Awards Gala on March 15, ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Fisher House Foundation Chairman and CEO Kenneth Fisher ... Military Support Alliance president Scott Bensing, and Peggy Kearns Director, VA Southern Nevada Healthcare ... System. This will be the first Fisher House in Nevada, and will provide ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Erlanger Agency has announced a new partnership in ... latest campaign focuses on the fight against breast cancer, fundraising for a local woman ... here . , Carmen is a loving single mother of two boys who also ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... Stem cells are primitive cells found in all multi-cellular ... to differentiate into mature cell types Stem cells are ... embryonic stem cells were derived from embryos in 1981, ... culturing of embryonic stem cells from non-human primates occurred ... As a result of these discoveries, stem cells can ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... 2016  Kindred Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: KIN ), ... lives of pets, today announced the submission to FDA ... Drug Application (NADA) for Zimeta™ (dipyrone injection, KIND-012).  Positive ... Zimeta for the control of pyrexia (fever) in horses ... --> --> The Chemistry, Manufacturing, and ...
(Date:2/11/2016)...   Health 2.0 , the premiere showcase and ... today " 10 Year Global Retrospective ", a platform ... past ten years.   --> ... has served as the preeminent thought-leader in the health ... technologies, companies, innovators, and patient-activists through an array of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: