This drug provides new hope for high blood pressure patients

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High blood pressure, or hypertension, affects millions of people around the world and is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke.

Finding effective treatments is crucial for improving the health and well-being of those affected.

Recently, a study offers hope in the form of a drug called zilebesiran. This research, conducted by Dr. George L. Bakris and his team at the University of Chicago, was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study was quite comprehensive, involving 377 participants who were monitored over six months. During this period, 302 participants were given zilebesiran, while 75 received a placebo, which is a treatment that has no therapeutic effect and is used as a control in testing new drugs.

Zilebesiran was administered in different doses. Participants were divided into groups receiving either 150 mg, 300 mg, or 600 mg. The 300 mg dose was given either once every three months or once every six months, while the other doses were administered once every six months.

The findings from this study were quite encouraging. Zilebesiran showed a significant ability to lower systolic blood pressure—the top number in a blood pressure reading which measures the pressure in arteries when the heart beats.

This is a critical factor because high systolic pressure can lead to severe health issues, such as heart failure or stroke.

The study detailed specific reductions in blood pressure across the different dosages and schedules. For instance, the 150 mg dose taken every six months lowered systolic blood pressure by 7.3 mm Hg.

The 300 mg dose administered every three months reduced it by 10.0 mm Hg, and the same dose given every six months reduced it by 8.9 mm Hg.

Similarly, the 600 mg dose administered every six months saw a reduction of 8.9 mm Hg. In contrast, participants who received the placebo experienced an increase in blood pressure of 6.8 mm Hg.

After three months, the reductions were even more pronounced, with the least-squares mean differences versus the placebo showing substantial drops. These included reductions of 14.1 mm Hg, 16.7 mm Hg, and 15.7 mm Hg for the 150 mg, 300 mg, and 600 mg doses, respectively.

However, while the drug’s effectiveness is clear, safety is also a significant concern in any new medication. The study reported that 60.9% of those taking zilebesiran experienced adverse events, slightly higher than the 50.7% in the placebo group.

Yet, serious adverse events were less common among zilebesiran recipients (3.6%) compared to those receiving the placebo (6.7%).

This phase 2 trial of zilebesiran not only shows promising results but also marks a potential shift in how high blood pressure could be managed in the future. It’s especially important because managing blood pressure effectively with minimal side effects has been a long-standing challenge.

The research was sponsored by Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, the maker of zilebesiran, which is noteworthy as several authors of the study have ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

This connection underscores the necessity for further independent studies to fully understand zilebesiran’s benefits and risks.

The positive results of this study suggest that zilebesiran could be a powerful new tool in the fight against high blood pressure, offering hope to millions who struggle with this silent killer.

As the quest for better and safer treatments continues, zilebesiran presents a promising step forward, deserving further investigation and possibly bringing a new era of hypertension management.

If you care about blood pressure, please read studies about unhealthy habits that could increase high blood pressure risk, and people with severe high blood pressure should reduce coffee intake.

For more information about blood pressure, please see recent studies that early time-restricted eating could help improve blood pressure, and results showing plant-based foods could benefit people with high blood pressure.

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