Two inexpensive and widely used drugs for years have proven useful in cardiovascular diseases to the point of being considered life-saving.
The first is an arthritis drug that may be the key to saving the lives of heart attack victims. Australian scientists have found that the drug colchicine, a plant-based alkaloid-based anti-inflammatory used to treat arthritis caused by gout, can significantly improve heart health by lowering levels of dangerous inflammatory proteins found in heart ailments.
The second is a one and a half pound drug that has been around for 50 years
it could help in cases of persistent high blood pressure. This is the spironolactone used for the first time in 1959 for fluid retention.
For the first drug, the research, led by cardiovascular scientist Sanjay Patel of the University of Sydney Cardiac Research Institute and published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, promises to revolutionize the treatment of heart disease with high risk of heart attack. Trials showed that colchicine reduced the amount of three major inflammatory markers, between 40 and 88%.
Patel and his collaborators studied 40 patients with acute coronary syndrome, a life-threatening condition in which coronary vessels become blocked, causing heart attacks and severe chest pain. The condition is caused by plaque in the arteries that cause blockages, and the blood often contains high levels of certain inflammatory markers.
“If we can confirm the success of the trials in larger studies, we will have a brand new therapy that will greatly improve the outlook for those who suffer from heart attacks,” Patel writes. The treatment is particularly promising as the trial patients were already receiving the other treatments offered to people at risk for heart attacks.
The discovery is important because the therapy is aimed at inflammation. “Most current treatments are aimed at lowering blood pressure, or lowering cholesterol, or thinning the blood so this is different because it targets inflammation, a whole new target,” he adds.
A common steroid drug has shown good efficacy in severe coronavirus patients. It is already used in Italy for the seriously ill: introduced in the Lombardy Region guidelines since Marchby Silvia Turin
A steroid drug that has been widely available for some time, the anti-inflammatory dexamethasone, could be an effective weapon to save the lives of severe Covid-19 patients. It emerges from a study by the University of Oxford.The study and effectiveness
The drug would be able to reduce mortality by 35 percent in those patients who needed ventilation. The BBC in reporting it speaks of the “largest study in the world that is testing existing treatments”. The molecule was administered to 2,000 hospitalized subjects, compared to over 4,000 who did not receive the drug.
The risk of death was reduced from 40% to 28%, while in patients treated with oxygen it was able to save a life for every 20 to 25 people. According to Peter Horby, head of the team, “this is so far the only drug that has been shown to reduce mortality and bring it down significantly. It’s a big step forward ».
The treatment “lasts up to 10 days, the drug costs about 6 euros, in total less than 40 euros are spent on average to save a life,” said Martin Landray, a researcher at the University of Oxford. However, dexamethasone doesn’t seem to help people with Covid-19 with milder symptoms and who don’t need help with breathing.
Britain will immediately begin administering dexamethasone to coronavirus patients. “Since we have identified the first signs of dexamethasone’s potential, we have been building it since March,” said Health Minister Mart Hancock.Where is he from
Dexamethasone has been used since the early 1960s to treat a wide range of diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and asthma. So far, the only other drug that has been shown to benefit Covid patients is remdesivir, an antiviral treatment that has been used for Ebola.
Dexamethasone has been used to reduce inflammation and appears to help stop some of the damage that can occur when the body’s immune system becomes overloaded as it tries to fight the coronavirus. The overreaction of the body is called a cytokine storm and can be deadly.