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FDA Medwatch Alert: Olmesartan: Drug Safety Communication - FDA Review Finds Cardiovascular Risks for Diabetics Not Conclusive

Posted 24 Jun 2014 by Drugs.com

Includes: Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor, Tribenzor, and Generics [Posted 06/24/2014] ISSUE: FDA has completed its safety review and has found no clear evidence of increased cardiovascular risks associated with use of the blood pressure medication olmesartan in diabetic patients (see previous alerts linked below). FDA believes the benefits of olmesartan in patients with high blood pressure continue to outweigh the potential risks. BACKGROUND: FDA safety review was prompted by the results of the ROADMAP trial. The ROADMAP (Randomized Olmesartan and Diabetes Microalbuminuria Prevention) clinical trial examined the effects of olmesartan in patients with type 2 diabetes, to see whether olmesartan could delay kidney damage. There was an unexpected finding of increased risk of cardiovascular death in the olmesartan group compared to the group taking a placebo, or sugar pill. However, the risk ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Benicar, Azor, Benicar HCT, Olmesartan, Tribenzor, Amlodipine/hydrochlorothiazide/olmesartan, Amlodipine/Olmesartan, Hydrochlorothiazide/Olmesartan

Blood Pressure Drugs Help Keep Heart Trouble at Bay: FDA

Posted 6 May 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 6, 2014 – High blood pressure affects about one-third of American adults and raises their risk for heart attack, stroke, heart failure, kidney failure and death, but there are many medications available to lower blood pressure. Exercise, weight loss and reduced salt intake can help some people lower their blood pressure, but most have to take medications to bring their blood pressure under control, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In many cases, patients with high blood pressure require more than one medication to achieve their target blood pressure. Your doctor can determine if you need to be on medication and, if so, which drug(s) may be best for you. There are a number of FDA-approved drugs to treat high blood pressure: Diuretics, or "water pills," help the kidneys remove extra water and salt from your body and decrease blood volume. ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Lisinopril, Hypertension, Amlodipine, Benicar, Diovan, Losartan, Norvasc, Diltiazem, Verapamil, Cozaar, Micardis, Ramipril, Nifedipine, Cardizem, Enalapril, Benazepril, Avapro, Atacand, Valsartan

Common Blood Pressure Meds May Cut Risk of Early Death in Kidney Patients: Study

Posted 16 Dec 2013 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 16, 2013 – Drugs that help lower blood pressure may reduce the risk of early death for people with advanced kidney disease, a new study finds. The drugs could also lower patients' odds of requiring dialysis, the researchers said. The new study out of Taiwan focused on two types of high blood pressure drugs, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors) and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs). ACE inhibitors have long been a standby of blood pressure care, and include drugs such as Altace (ramipril), Vasotec (enalapril) and Lotensin (benazepril, among others). ARB medications are also used to lower blood pressure, and include medications such as Atacand (candesartan), Cozaar (losartan), and valsartan (Diovan, among others). Both classes of drugs have been known to delay the progression of chronic kidney disease in patients with and without diabetes, the ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Lisinopril, Hypertension, Benicar, Diovan, Losartan, Cozaar, Micardis, Ramipril, Enalapril, Benazepril, Avapro, Atacand, Valsartan, Chronic Kidney Disease, Irbesartan, Telmisartan, Perindopril, Olmesartan, Zestril

FDA Medwatch Alert: Olmesartan Medoxomil: Drug Safety Communication - Label Changes To Include Intestinal Problems (Sprue-Like Enteropathy)

Posted 3 Jul 2013 by Drugs.com

ISSUE: FDA is warning that the blood pressure drug Olmesartan Medoxomil (marketed as Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor, Tribenzor, and generics) can cause intestinal problems known as sprue-like enteropathy. Symptoms of sprue-like enteropathy include severe, chronic diarrhea with substantial weight loss. FDA has approved changes to the labels of these drugs to include this concern. Sprue-like enteropathy has not been detected with ARB drugs other than olmesartan.  FDA will continue to evaluate the safety of olmesartan-containing products and will communicate again if additional information becomes available. BACKGROUND: Olmesartan medoxomil is an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) approved for the treatment of high blood pressure, alone or with other antihypertensive agents, and is one of eight marketed ARB drugs.  RECOMMENDATION: Health care professionals should tell patients to contact t ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Benicar, Azor, Benicar HCT, Olmesartan, Tribenzor, Amlodipine/hydrochlorothiazide/olmesartan, Amlodipine/Olmesartan, Hydrochlorothiazide/Olmesartan

Fainting Spells Often Tied to Too Many Meds at Once: Study

Posted 4 Nov 2012 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, Nov. 4 – Taking too many medications at the same time could lead to repeated fainting episodes, a new study reveals. "Simply stated, the more antihypertensive pills a patient takes, the greater the likelihood of a possible fainting spell under certain circumstances," explained one cardiologist, Dr. David Friedman, chief of Heart Failure Services at North Shore-LIJ's Plainview Hospital in Plainview, N.Y. He was not involved in the new research. In the study, Danish researchers led by Dr. Martin Ruwald of Copenhagen University Hospital Gentofte looked at more than 127,000 patients, median age 64, who were hospitalized for fainting between 1997 and 2009. Of those patients, more than one-fifth had experienced at least two fainting episodes. The researchers found that the risk of repeat fainting rose with the number of medications that patients were taking at the same time. For ... Read more

Related support groups: Lisinopril, Metoprolol, Atenolol, Amlodipine, Benicar, Diovan, Losartan, Hydrochlorothiazide, Bystolic, Lasix, Norvasc, Diltiazem, Spironolactone, Verapamil, Furosemide, Cozaar, Micardis, Ramipril, Nifedipine, Cardizem

Some Blood Pressure Drugs Might Help Slow Alzheimer's: Study

Posted 11 Sep 2012 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 11 – Angiotensin receptor blockers, drugs commonly taken to control high blood pressure, appear to reduce the amount of plaque in the brains of Alzheimer's patients and others, a new study shows. These results were found when patients with high blood pressure on drugs such as losartan (Cozaar) died and underwent an autopsy. These brain plaques are a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. Whether, however, these drug also improve mental function isn't known, the researchers added. "[It] would have to be proven in a clinical trial whether these effects seen in an autopsy study manifest themselves in a clinical setting," said lead researcher Dr. Ihab Hajjar, an assistant professor at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. "But since we don't have any treatment for Alzheimer's, it's worth pursuing." Candesartan (Atacand), irbesartan (Avapro), olmesartan ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Benicar, Diovan, Losartan, Alzheimer's Disease, Cozaar, Micardis, Avapro, Atacand, Valsartan, Irbesartan, Telmisartan, Olmesartan, Edarbi, Candesartan, Teveten, Azilsartan medoxomil, Eprosartan

Effects of High Blood Pressure Drug May Mimic Celiac Disease

Posted 22 Jun 2012 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 22 – A new report suggests that the common blood pressure drug olmesartan (Benicar) can cause symptoms that mimic celiac disease, leading to misdiagnosis and unnecessary treatment. It's not clear how often people who take the blood pressure-lowering drug will develop the gastrointestinal problems that are similar to those caused by celiac disease. For the moment, though, the side effects appear to be unusual, said Dr. Peter Green, director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University Medical School, who was not involved with the study. Still, Green noted, his center has seen patients who developed celiac disease-like symptoms while taking olmesartan and some have been quite ill. "One went into kidney failure and needed dialysis," he said. According to the new study from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., 22 patients – aged 47 to 81, average age 70 – had symptoms ... Read more

Related support groups: Benicar, Azor, Benicar HCT, Olmesartan, Tribenzor, Amlodipine/hydrochlorothiazide/olmesartan, Hydrochlorothiazide/Olmesartan, Amlodipine/Olmesartan

U.S. Task Force Issues Blood Pressure Guidelines

Posted 15 May 2012 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 15 – "Team-based care" should be used to improve patients' blood pressure control, the U.S. Task Force on Community Preventive Services recommended on Tuesday. The recommendation is based on a review of 77 studies that showed improvements in patients' control of blood pressure when they received care from a team of health professionals – a primary care doctor supported by a pharmacist, nurse, dietitian, social worker, or community health worker – rather than a primary care doctor alone. The task force found that team-based care increased the percentage of patients with controlled blood pressure, led to a decrease in both systolic (top number) and diastolic (bottom number) blood pressure, and improved results in patients with diabetes and elevated levels of blood fats. Team members assist primary care doctors by providing support and sharing responsibility for high blood ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Lisinopril, Hypertension, Metoprolol, Atenolol, Amlodipine, Benicar, Diovan, Losartan, Propranolol, Bystolic, Norvasc, Diltiazem, Verapamil, Carvedilol, Cozaar, Micardis, Coreg, Ramipril, Nifedipine

New Guidelines Issued for Severe Lupus

Posted 3 May 2012 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 3 – When diagnosed with lupus, one in three people already has kidney inflammation, and during the first 10 years with the disease as many as 60 percent of patients will have some kidney problems. Because kidney inflammation (also called lupus nephritis) is so common in people with lupus, the American College of Rheumatology has issued new guidelines for the screening and management of this potentially devastating complication of lupus. "Without treatment, lupus nephritis can lead to end-stage-renal disease, which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant. But, not all types are this serious. It depends on the pattern of damage to the kidneys," said the lead author of the new guidelines, Dr. Bevra Hahn, a professor of medicine and chief of rheumatology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. Hahn said the course of lupus ... Read more

Related support groups: Prednisone, Lisinopril, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Benicar, Diovan, Losartan, Methylprednisolone, Prednisolone, Plaquenil, Cortisone, Hydrocortisone, Medrol, Dexamethasone, Triamcinolone, Cozaar, Micardis, Ramipril, CellCept, Enalapril, Betamethasone

Treating Prehypertension Lowers Stroke Risk: Study

Posted 8 Dec 2011 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 8 – A new study found that the risk of stroke dropped about 22 percent in people with prehypertension who took drugs that lower blood pressure. These people didn't yet have high blood pressure, but they still benefited from taking the medications, although there was no significant reduction in the rate of heart attacks for people taking antihypertensives. "We know that blood pressure and stroke are closely related, and high blood pressure is an extremely high risk factor for stroke. If we could reduce blood pressure, we thought we could reduce the risk of stroke," said lead researcher Dr. Ilke Sipahi, an assistant professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University's Harrington-McLaughlin Heart and Vascular Institute and University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland. "We found a highly statistically significant 22 percent risk reduction in stroke with any ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Lisinopril, Hypertension, Metoprolol, Atenolol, Benicar, Diovan, Losartan, Propranolol, Bystolic, Carvedilol, Cozaar, Micardis, Coreg, Ramipril, Bisoprolol, Enalapril, Inderal, Benazepril, Sotalol

Taking Blood Pressure Meds at Bedtime May Be Better

Posted 24 Oct 2011 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 24 – For the millions of Americans on blood pressure-lowering drugs, a new study suggests that taking the pills at bedtime may be best. It was known that taking blood pressure medications at different times of the day can affect patients' blood pressure patterns, but the impact on health wasn't known. The new Spanish study included 661 patients with chronic kidney disease and hypertension. Half of them took their prescribed blood pressure-lowering drugs at bedtime and half took their medications first thing in the morning. After an average follow-up of 5.4 years, the researchers found that patients who took at least one blood pressure-lowering drug at bedtime had better control of their blood pressure and were about one-third as likely to suffer a heart-related event such as heart attack, heart failure or stroke. The team at the University of Vigo also found that ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Lisinopril, Hypertension, Benicar, Diovan, Losartan, Cozaar, Micardis, Ramipril, Enalapril, Benazepril, Avapro, Atacand, Valsartan, Irbesartan, Tekturna, Telmisartan, Perindopril, Zestril, Olmesartan

Heart Failure Care Influenced by Insurance Coverage

Posted 19 Sep 2011 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 19 – The quality of care people with heart failure receive, along with outcomes, are significantly influenced by what type of insurance patients have, a new study finds. Medicare and Medicaid patients and those without health insurance are less likely to be given some essential treatments and tend to be hospitalized longer, researchers report. Medicaid patients were 22 percent more likely to die in the hospital than patients with private insurance, the researchers said. "I wish the results revealed a different story," said lead researcher Dr. John R. Kapoor, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. The findings reveal that disparities in heart failure care do exist and are associated with worse outcomes, he added, and these unequal practices should be corrected. "It remains medicine's major unhealed wound that care ... Read more

Related support groups: Lisinopril, Benicar, Diovan, Losartan, Cozaar, Micardis, Ramipril, Enalapril, Benazepril, Avapro, Atacand, Valsartan, Irbesartan, Telmisartan, Perindopril, Zestril, Olmesartan, Edarbi, Candesartan, Quinapril

Accidental Medication Poisonings in Kids on the Rise

Posted 16 Sep 2011 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 16 – Despite ongoing prevention efforts, a growing number of young children are being accidentally poisoned with medications, according to new research. The study, which was based on data reported to the American Association of Poison Control Centers between 2001 and 2008, found that medication poisoning among children aged 5 and under increased by 22 percent, although the number of children in the United States in this age group rose by only 8 percent during the study period. "The problem of pediatric poisoning in the U.S. is getting worse, not better," Dr. Randall Bond, of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, said in a hospital news release. In conducting the study, which is scheduled for publication in the Journal of Pediatrics, the researchers reviewed information on over 544,000 children who landed in the emergency department due to medication poisoning ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Xanax, Oxycodone, Methadone, Percocet, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Klonopin, Morphine, Lisinopril, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Ambien, Clonazepam, Valium, Ativan, Codeine, Opana

FDA Medwatch Alert: Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (ARBs): Drug Safety Communication - Drug Safety Review Completed

Posted 4 Jun 2011 by Drugs.com

[UPDATED 06/02/2011] FDA’s meta-analysis of 31 randomized controlled trials comparing ARBs to other treatment found no evidence of an increased risk of incident (new) cancer, cancer-related death, breast cancer, lung cancer, or prostate cancer in patients receiving ARBs.   [Posted 07/15/2010] ISSUE: A recently published study - a meta-analysis combining cancer-related findings from several clinical trials - suggested use of ARBs may be associated with a small increased risk of cancer. BACKGROUND: ARBs are used in patients with high blood pressure and other conditions. Brand names include Atacand, Avapro, Benicar, Cozaar, Diovan, Micardis, and Teveten. The meta-analysis included data from over 60,000 patients in several long-term, randomized, controlled clinical trials evaluating ARBs for which adverse events related to cancer were captured during the study. The mean duration of fo ... Read more

Related support groups: Benicar, Diovan, Losartan, Cozaar, Micardis, Exforge, Azor, Benicar HCT, Avapro, Diovan HCT, Atacand, Hyzaar, Valsartan, Irbesartan, Avalide, Telmisartan, Olmesartan, Tribenzor, Candesartan, Micardis HCT

Popular Blood Pressure Meds Not Linked to Cancer, FDA Says

Posted 2 Jun 2011 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 2 – A class of drugs widely used to treat high blood pressure doesn't boost the risk of cancer, as a recent analysis suggested, U.S. health authorities announced Thursday. The drugs are known as angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs) and include medicines such as telmisartan (Micardis), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan) and candesartan (Atacand). The determination comes from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which just concluded a safety review of the drugs. "It is comforting to have this data to support what we clinically felt was true," said Dr. Joseph Diamond, director of nuclear cardiology at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, NY. FDA undertook the review after a meta-analysis appearing in July 2010 in The Lancet found a "modestly increased risk" – about 10 percent – of cancer diagnoses among people taking ARBs, and a smaller increased ... Read more

Related support groups: Hypertension, Benicar, Diovan, Losartan, Cozaar, Micardis, Avapro, Atacand, Valsartan, Irbesartan, Telmisartan, Olmesartan, Edarbi, Candesartan, Teveten, Azilsartan medoxomil, Eprosartan

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