Blood pressure drug olmesartan cleared of causing heart issues

Posted Jun 25, 2014 by Tim Sandle
The U.S. FDA has completed a safety review and has found no clear evidence of increased cardiovascular risks associated the blood pressure medication olmesartan in diabetic patients.
The review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was prompted by the results of the a trial. The trial, termed ROADMAP (Randomized Olmesartan and Diabetes Microalbuminuria Prevention), examined the effects of olmesartan in patients with type 2 diabetes, to see whether olmesartan could delay kidney damage.
Olmesartan is used alone or in combination with other medications to treat high blood pressure in adults and children six years of age and older. The drug works by blocking the action of certain natural substances that tighten the blood vessels, allowing the blood to flow more smoothly and the heart to pump more efficiently.
The results of the clinical trial showed the unexpected finding of increased risk of cardiovascular death in the olmesartan group compared to the group taking a placebo (a sugar pill). However, the risk of non-fatal heart attack was lower in the olmesartan-treated patients.
To evaluate these findings, FDA reviewed additional studies, including a large study in Medicare patients. This study has revealed no clear link between the diabetes drug and heart health.
Based on the study outcome, the FDA is recommending that patients should not stop taking olmesartan or any blood pressure medication without first discussing it with their health care professional. Furthermore, medical recommendations for use of olmesartan remain the same.