Study Shows Natrecor Heart Drug Not Effective

Study Shows Natrecor Heart Drug Not EffectiveA new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that the heart failure medication Natrecor (nesiritide) is not effective and is actually associated with an increased rate of dangerously low blood pressure.

According to HealthDay, the drug, which is administered intravenously, was approved for use in 2001 to assist heart failure patients who were having difficulty breathing. The researchers, however, asserted that the medication had no real effect on breathing issues or any other problems related to heart failure.

"[Nesiritide] was not associated with a worsening of renal function, but it was associated with an increase in rates of hypotension (low blood pressure)," the researchers said. "On the basis of these results, nesiritide cannot be recommended for routine use in the broad population of patients with acute heart failure."

In the study, the researchers assigned more than 7,000 heart failure patients to either Natrecor or a placebo and found that reports of breathing improvements were not statistically significant for the group taking the drug.

The latest study follows a November 2010 report that found the drug to be safe but relatively ineffective, according to the Los Angeles Times.