Heart Attack: Patients given useless drug
Patients who are rushed into intensive care after a sudden heart attack are being given a useless drug.
Cardiologists have been increasingly relying on the ‘wonder’ heart drug tezosentan, marketed as Veletri, which was seen as a powerful lifeline for the heart attack patient. It is designed to improve breathing and heart function immediately following an attack.
But a study of 1,435 heart attack patients who were given the drug has found that it doesn’t offer any of these benefits. It doesn’t even help the patient live longer.
It was tested against a placebo, or sugar pill, and it was no better at preventing death after seven days, and there was no improvement in the death rate at 30 days compared with placebo. It also failed to improve the patient’s breathing.
Worse, twice as many patients who were given the drug experienced a reaction to the drug that was so serious that treatment had to be stopped.
(Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, 2007; 298: 2009-19).
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