Avapro doesn’t offer special benefits to heart failure patients

Recent study proved inability of the blood pressure medicine Avapro, sold by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co and Sanofi-Aventis, to help patients with a common and difficult-to-treat form of heart failure.

Women and the elderly are mainly affected by this kind of heart aliment. The study was started with an aim to show advantage of Avapro over other medicines in reducing the incidence of death and serious heart problems.

Researchers followed 4,128 patients for an average of more than four years. The study subjects were diagnosed with the type of heart failure in which the heart pumps well and is not enlarged, yet still causes classic symptoms such as fluid retention, shortness of breath and swelling.

During the study span, there was not much difference in deaths or hospital admissions -- for heart failure, heart attack, stroke, chest pain and rhythm abnormalities among the study subjects taking the drug and study subjects given a placebo. 

Dr. Barry Massie a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, said up to half of the 5.3 million Americans who suffer from heart failure have this type of the disease called preserved ejection fraction heart failure.

Massie added that this is a large population and unfortunately we have not had any specific therapy to treat the underlying condition. Instead patients are given drugs to treat symptoms such as blood pressure medicines for hypertension and diuretics to lessen fluid retention.