Share The Wealth by Chris Gupta
August 06, 2004

Heart Failure Drug That Saves Lives Can Be Fatal

Typically, there is all sorts of fan fare when it comes to saving lives from toxic drugs, but little effort is made to compare actual risk to the patients. When problems do surface, god know after how many injuries and deaths, all we get is a note like the following.

"Closer laboratory monitoring and more judicious use of spironolactone may reduce the occurrence of this complication," conclude the authors." is about as far as will get and it's business as usual.

Health Canada and their ilk just standby and do nothing until they are threatened into action. Yet they are all over the place for trivial, or in some case no, adverse effects when it comes to nutritional supplements. Sadly, by design, there is no accountability for many governmental bodies hence there is a lot of hot air but nothing changes.

See also: Roots of Medical & Other Monopolies

Chris Gupta

Heart Failure Drug That Saves Lives Can Be Fatal

August 04, 2004

A commonly prescribed drug for congestive heart failure can cause serious life-threatening complications when used in combination with other heart drugs, according to Canadian researchers.

Researchers report an increase in hyperkalemia, a life-threatening condition caused by high potassium levels after heart patients in Ontario were prescribed spironolactone in combination with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors.

In 1999 a Randomized Aldactone Evaluation Study (RALES) reported that spironolactone significantly improved outcomes in patients with severe heart failure.

These findings appear to be responsible for a dramatic increase in the use of spironolactone to treat heart failure patients.

The Canadian researchers say their study should serve as a warning to doctors prescribing medication based on carefully controlled clinical trials.

For their study, researchers analyzed the rate of spironolactone prescriptions and the rate of hospitalization for hyperkalemia in ambulatory patients before and after the publication of the Randomized Aldactone Evaluation Study (RALES).

Between 1994 and 2001 spironolactone use among patients using ACE inhibitor drugs increased from 34 patients out of every 1000 to 149 per-thousand.

The Canadian study is published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

"The publication of RALES was associated with abrupt increases in the rate of prescriptions for spironolactone and in hyperkalemia-associated morbidity and mortality. Closer laboratory monitoring and more judicious use of spironolactone may reduce the occurrence of this complication," conclude the authors.


posted by Chris Gupta on Friday August 6 2004
updated on Saturday September 24 2005

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