Saturday, September 19, 2009
New blood pressure drug shows promise
As many as 30% of patients with hypertension fail to achieve their target blood pressures levels with treatment, but an experimental drug may help them hit their blood pressure goals. In a newly reported study, patients whose blood pressure remained high despite very aggressive treatment had significant reductions in both the top (systolic) and bottom (diastolic) blood pressure numbers by adding the drug darusentan to the mix. The drug works in a novel way by blocking the production of the amino acid endothelin within the walls of the artery. Endothelin is believed to raise blood pressure by causing the blood vessels to constrict. 'When you block endothelin the arteries relax and blood pressure should drop,' researcher Michael A. Weber, MD, of the State University of New York, tells WebMD.