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Concept: Beta blocker


Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) is a well-tolerated class of antihypertensive agents, exhibiting effective antihypertensive and cardiovascular protective function. The objective of the study was to examine the efficacy and safety of Allisartan Isoproxil, a newly developed, selective, nonpeptide blocker of the angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1R), in essential hypertensive patients at low-medium risk.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Blood pressure, Angiotensin, Renin-angiotensin system, Angiotensin II receptor antagonist, Angiotensin receptor, Angiotensin II receptor type 2, Beta blocker


Calcium channel blockers are commonly prescribed medications; calcium channel blocker overdose is becoming increasingly prevalent. The typical presentation of a calcium channel blocker overdose is hypotension and decreased level of consciousness. We describe a case of a calcium channel blocker overdose that led to bilateral cortical blindness, a presentation that has not previously been reported.

Concepts: Hypertension, Angina pectoris, Calcium channel blocker, Amlodipine, Beta blocker, Calcium channel, Cortical blindness, Calcium channel blockers


To compare the intraocular pressure (IOP)-lowering effect of latanoprostene bunod (LBN) 0.024% with timolol maleate 0.5% in subjects with open-angle glaucoma (OAG) or ocular hypertension (OHT).

Concepts: Comparison, Intraocular pressure, Glaucoma, Ophthalmology, Ocular hypertension, Beta blocker, Dorzolamide, Timolol


BACKGROUND: Clinicians are encouraged to take an individualized approach when treating hypertension in patients of African ancestry, but little is known about why the individual patient may respond well to calcium blockers and diuretics, but generally has an attenuated response to drugs inhibiting the renin-angiotensin system and to beta-adrenergic blockers. Therefore, we systematically reviewed the factors associated with the differential drug response of patients of African ancestry to antihypertensive drug therapy. METHODS: Using the methodology of the systematic reviews narrative synthesis approach, we sought for published or unpublished studies that could explain the differential clinical efficacy of antihypertensive drugs in patients of African ancestry. PUBMED, EMBASE, LILACS, African Index Medicus and the Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency databases were searched without language restriction from their inception through June 2012. RESULTS: We retrieved 3,763 papers, and included 72 reports that mainly considered the 4 major classes of antihypertensive drugs, calcium blockers, diuretics, drugs that interfere with the renin-angiotensin system and beta-adrenergic blockers. Pharmacokinetics, plasma renin and genetic polymorphisms did not well predict the response of patients of African ancestry to antihypertensive drugs. An emerging view that low nitric oxide and high creatine kinase may explain individual responses to antihypertensive drugs unites previous observations, but currently clinical data are very limited. CONCLUSION: Available data are inconclusive regarding why patients of African ancestry display the typical response to antihypertensive drugs. In lieu of biochemical or pharmacogenomic parameters, self-defined African ancestry seems the best available predictor of individual responses to antihypertensive drugs.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Hypertension, Blood pressure, Renin-angiotensin system, Thiazide, Antihypertensive drug, Beta blocker, Antihypertensive agents


The randomized trial is one of the most powerful tools clinical researchers possess, a tool that enables them to evaluate the effectiveness of new (or established) therapies while accounting for the effects of unmeasured confounders and selection bias by indication. Randomized trials, especially huge megatrials, have transformed medical practice. Thanks to randomized trials, we no longer, for example, treat acute myocardial infarction with lidocaine and nitrates. Instead we use rapid revascularization, anticoagulants, and antiplatelet agents, and during long-term follow-up we routinely prescribe statins, beta-blockers, and angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors. But the reputation of randomized trials has suffered of late,(1) owing to reasonable . . .

Concepts: Medicine, Clinical trial, Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Randomized controlled trial, Stroke, Clinical research, Beta blocker


Background Aortic-root dissection is the leading cause of death in Marfan’s syndrome. Studies suggest that with regard to slowing aortic-root enlargement, losartan may be more effective than beta-blockers, the current standard therapy in most centers. Methods We conducted a randomized trial comparing losartan with atenolol in children and young adults with Marfan’s syndrome. The primary outcome was the rate of aortic-root enlargement, expressed as the change in the maximum aortic-root-diameter z score indexed to body-surface area (hereafter, aortic-root z score) over a 3-year period. Secondary outcomes included the rate of change in the absolute diameter of the aortic root; the rate of change in aortic regurgitation; the time to aortic dissection, aortic-root surgery, or death; somatic growth; and the incidence of adverse events. Results From January 2007 through February 2011, a total of 21 clinical centers enrolled 608 participants, 6 months to 25 years of age (mean [±SD] age, 11.5±6.5 years in the atenolol group and 11.0±6.2 years in the losartan group), who had an aortic-root z score greater than 3.0. The baseline-adjusted rate of change (±SE) in the aortic-root z score did not differ significantly between the atenolol group and the losartan group (-0.139±0.013 and -0.107±0.013 standard-deviation units per year, respectively; P=0.08). Both slopes were significantly less than zero, indicating a decrease in the degree of aortic-root dilatation relative to body-surface area with either treatment. The 3-year rates of aortic-root surgery, aortic dissection, death, and a composite of these events did not differ significantly between the two treatment groups. Conclusions Among children and young adults with Marfan’s syndrome who were randomly assigned to losartan or atenolol, we found no significant difference in the rate of aortic-root dilatation between the two treatment groups over a 3-year period. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and others; number, NCT00429364 .).

Concepts: Clinical trial, Cardiology, Aortic dissection, Aorta, Marfan syndrome, Pneumothorax, Beta blocker, Losartan


Converging experimental data indicate a neuroprotective action of L-Lactate. Using Digital Holographic Microscopy, we observe that transient application of glutamate (100 μM; 2 min) elicits a NMDA-dependent death in 65% of mouse cortical neurons in culture. In the presence of L-Lactate (or Pyruvate), the percentage of neuronal death decreases to 32%. UK5099, a blocker of the Mitochondrial Pyruvate Carrier, fully prevents L-Lactate-mediated neuroprotection. In addition, L-Lactate-induced neuroprotection is not only inhibited by probenicid and carbenoxolone, two blockers of ATP channel pannexins, but also abolished by apyrase, an enzyme degrading ATP, suggesting that ATP produced by the Lactate/Pyruvate pathway is released to act on purinergic receptors in an autocrine/paracrine manner. Finally, pharmacological approaches support the involvement of the P2Y receptors associated to the PI3-kinase pathway, leading to activation of KATP channels. This set of results indicates that L-Lactate acts as a signalling molecule for neuroprotection against excitotoxicity through coordinated cellular pathways involving ATP production, release and activation of a P2Y/KATP cascade.

Concepts: Nervous system, Protein, Signal transduction, Adenosine triphosphate, Cerebral cortex, Synapse, Membrane potential, Beta blocker


Self-rated health (SRH) predicts outcome in patients with heart failure. Beta-blockers are known to improve health-related quality of life and reduce mortality in such patients. We aimed to evaluate the relation between SRH and adverse events during titration of beta-blockers in elderly patients with heart failure.

Concepts: Death, Myocardial infarction, Hypertension, Life, Randomized controlled trial, Beta blocker


Heart failure (HF) is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Although initially thought to be harmful in HF, beta-adrenergic blockers (β-blockers) have consistently been shown to reduce mortality and HF hospitalization in chronic HF with reduced ejection fraction. Proposed mechanisms include neurohormonal blockade and heart rate reduction. A new therapeutic agent now exists to target further heart rate lowering in patients who have been stable on a “maximally tolerated β-blocker dose,” but this definition and how to achieve it are incompletely understood. In this review, the authors summarize published reports on the mechanisms by which β-blockers improve clinical outcomes. The authors describe differences in doses achieved in landmark clinical trials and those observed in routine clinical practice. They further discuss reasons for intolerance and the evidence behind using β-blocker dose and heart rate as therapeutic targets. Finally, the authors offer recommendations for clinicians actively initiating and up-titrating β-blockers that may aid in achieving maximally tolerated doses.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Myocardial infarction, Hospital, Cardiology, Heart failure, Ejection fraction, Avicenna, Beta blocker


Recently, high-dose insulin (HDI) and intravenous lipid emulsion (ILE) have emerged as treatment options for severe toxicity from calcium-channel blocker (CCB) and beta blocker (BB).

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Hypertension, Glucagon, Shock, Hypotension, Cardiogenic shock, Beta blocker, Lipid rescue