Not All Drugs are Created Equal

Two heart failure drugs go head to head in comparison study but only one can be the winner

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Comparing two drugs used to treat heart failure -- candesartan and losartan -- researchers found that candesartan was linked to a lower risk of death at 1-year and 5-year follow-ups.

Previous research had indicated losartan was associated with higher mortality rates in elderly patients when compared to other drugs classified as angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), used to treat heart failure with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF; a measure of how well the left ventricle of the heart pumps with each contraction).

Researchers at he Department of Cardiology, South Hospital, Stockholm, looked at whether candesartan is associated with less all-cause mortality than losartan in patients with HF. They found that one-year survival was 90 percent for patients receiving candesartan and 83 percent for patients receiving losartan. At 5 years, the survival rate was 61 percent for patients receiving candesartan and 44 percent for patients receiving losartan. They study analyzed data from 30,254 patients in the Swedish Heart Failure Registry from 62 hospitals and 60 outpatient clinics between 2000 and 2009.

The researchers suggest further studies testing ARBs against each other in randomized controlled trials, adding it would also be advisable to confirm their findings in other large HF registries.

More than 4.5 million Americans have congestive heart failure.

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Review Date: 
January 12, 2011
Last Updated:
January 12, 2011