Sydney: A new drug that can lower the chance of a heart failure by 25 percent could bring substantial changes to standard treatment, according to a new research.
The drug, ivabradine, lowered heart rate to an average 65 beats a minute from a starting point of 80, compared with a reduction to 75 beats in those taking a placebo pill, according to the results of the Swedish-led research on more than 6500 mainly middle-aged heart failure patients.
The therapy, mainly beta-blocker drugs, was given in addition to standard blood-pressure lowering treatment. However, there are side effects of beta-blockers – which include extreme fatigue.
Ivabradine modifies the electrical signals that determine heart rate, and seems to have no other effects on heart function.
`Our findings support the idea that heart rate plays an important part in the [development] of heart failure and that heart rate modulation can interfere with the progression of the disease,` the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Professor Karl Swedberg as saying.
For now, Associate Professor Teerlink said ivabradine should only be recommended for patients who were already at the highest possible beta-blocker dose or who genuinely could not tolerate the older drugs.
As well, he said, it was unclear how ivabradine would work in older (60-plus) people, who represent the majority of heart failure patients.
The study is published in Lancet.