Drug helps reduce chest pain for patients with diabetes

The anti-anginal drug ranolazine is now being touted as an option for diabetics who experience chest pain.

The news comes from research presented today at the American College of Cardiology's 62nd Annual Scientific Session.

Drug associated with reduced frequency of chest pain episodes

A trial that included 927 diabetic patients - who also had coronary artery disease and stable angina - randomized either 1,000 mg of ranolazine twice a day or a placebo to patients for two months. The study found that episodes of chest pain occurred less frequently per week in the ranolazine group (3.8 episodes, on average) than in the placebo group (4.3 episodes, on average).

Researchers say that while ranolazine has been proven to be effective for angina in other studies, this is the first time the drug has been shown to help diabetic patients, who are especially at risk for the condition.

"Angina is associated with worse quality of life, increased risk of hospitalization and higher health care costs and appears to be more prevalent in patients with diabetes," said lead study author Mikhail Kosiborod, MD, associate professor of medicine at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and cardiologist at St. Luke's Mid America Heart Institute.

Ranolazine especially helpful for patients with poor glucose control

The study also found that ranolazine was particularly effective in patients who exhibited poor glucose control, which was measured by hemoglobin a1c levels. Previous research showed that the drug may help diabetics lower fasting glucose levels, which could explain the reduction in Hba1c levels.

"If the glucose-lowering action of ranolazine is confirmed in future studies, patients with diabetes and angina may derive a dual benefit from this drug," Kosiborod said.

Source: Science Daily

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