New BP drug reduces death from heart ailments: Study

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Hyderabad, Apr 2 (UNI) ONTARGET, one of the world's largest institution engaged in heart disease studies, has found that 'Telmisartan,' a new blood pressure drug was effective in reducing cardiovascular death, with fewer side effects than the current treatments offered.

Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) Cardiologist Dr TNC Padmanabhan, while giving a presentation of the findings, published in 'The New England Journal of Medicine,' here last night, said the new drug Micardis or Telmisartan, was as effective as the popular ACE inhibitor Ramipril in reducing cardiovascular death in high risk patients and it has less side effects.

Dr Padmanabhan said the new drug would be an alternative for those patients, who could not tolerate ACE inhibitors.

'Both Telmisartan and Ramipril act on a compound called angiotensin, but they do it in different ways. Telmisartan is an Angiotensin Receptor Blocker (ARB), while Ramipril is an Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE), inhibitor,' the Cardiologist explained.

According to Dr Padmanabhan, researchers found that both Telmisartan and Ramipril worked equally well to reduce cardiovascular death, stroke, heart attack or hospitalisation for heart failure, but Telmisartan was easier to tolerate than Ramipril and fewer patients experienced coughing or other side effects.

Dr Padmanabhan said the research team conducted a study comparing the drugs in more than 25,620 patients, at 733 centres in 40 countries, who collaborated in the ONTARGET study.

The patients were randomly chosen to receive 10-mg Ramipril a day, or 18-mg of Telmisartan a day or the combination of the two, he said adding the follow-up period was more than four-and-a-half years.

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