Scientists find promising new treatment for high blood pressure

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A recent study from the University of Chicago, led by Dr. George L. Bakris, has revealed encouraging results about a new drug called zilebesiran, which could be a breakthrough in treating high blood pressure.

The study, detailed in the Journal of the American Medical Association, involved a phase 2 trial that tested the safety and effectiveness of zilebesiran over six months.

In the trial, 377 participants were divided into two groups. The majority, 302 people, received zilebesiran, while the remaining 75 were given a placebo for comparison. Participants received varying doses of zilebesiran: 150 mg, 300 mg, or 600 mg.

These doses were administered at different intervals—either once every six months or, in the case of the 300 mg dose, once every three months.

The findings from the study were quite positive. Zilebesiran showed a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure—the top number in a blood pressure reading, which measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats.

This reduction was evident across all doses and dosing intervals compared to the placebo group.

For example, the 150 mg dose administered every six months reduced systolic blood pressure by 7.3 mm Hg, while the 300 mg doses administered every three and six months decreased it by 10.0 mm Hg and 8.9 mm Hg, respectively. In contrast, the placebo group saw an increase of 6.8 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure.

Furthermore, three months into the trial, those treated with zilebesiran experienced even more significant reductions. The decreases ranged from 14.1 mm Hg to 16.7 mm Hg across the various dosing regimens, showcasing the drug’s potent effect on blood pressure.

The study also looked into the safety of zilebesiran. Over the six-month period, although a higher percentage of participants in the zilebesiran group experienced side effects compared to those in the placebo group (60.9% vs. 50.7%), the occurrences of serious side effects were actually lower among those taking the drug (3.6% vs. 6.7%).

Given these promising results, zilebesiran stands out as a potentially innovative treatment option for high blood pressure, a condition that affects millions globally and is a leading risk factor for more serious health issues such as heart disease and stroke.

The study was sponsored by Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, the developers of zilebesiran, and some researchers have disclosed their ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

This fact underlines the need for ongoing research and independent verification to fully ascertain the benefits and risks associated with zilebesiran.

As researchers continue to explore this promising treatment, it could lead to better management options for those suffering from high blood pressure, offering a new hope for patients seeking to control this prevalent condition with fewer side effects.

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