Encouraging Results For Two New Drugs That Fight A Common And Dangerous Side Effect

November 21, 2014 5:53 PM

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Two new agents under development may help curb and prevent elevated potassium levels, the common and serious side effect of drugs that inhibit the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS). These drugs, which include the popular ACE inhibitors and ARBs, are the cornerstones of the treatment of chronic kidney disease and heart failure. Current treatments for high potassium levels, also called hyperkalemia, are often poorly tolerated and ineffective, meaning that a substantial number of seriously ill patients with heart failure and chronic kidney disease can’t receive the full benefits of the RAAS drugs.

In a phase 3 study, published online in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers first randomized 753 patients with hyperkalemia to treatment for 48 hours with either placebo or 1 of 4 different doses of sodium zirconium cyclosilicate (ZS-9), a novel agent from ZS Pharma that captures potass...

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