Low side effects help patients stay on medicine

A new blood pressure drug which its manufacturer says is highly effective and virtually free of side effects has been launched in Canada. Since Avapro’s side effects are similar to those of a placebo, patients should find it easier to continue taking their medication.

Avapro is one of a new class of drugs called angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs). Avapro is considered by leading Canadian hypertension experts to be the most powerful blood pressure drug in the new state-of-the-art class of ARBs, without causing the side effects that occur with other classes of blood pressure drugs.

Studies suggest that side effects can occur in as many as 70% of patients taking blood pressure medication, causing many of them to stop taking their medication. Dr.Denis-Carl Phaneuf, a Cardiologist and Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Montreal who works extensively in clinical research, notes that a common problem with many blood pressure medications is that when they are not effective, their dose must be increased.

“But when we increase their dose,” says Dr. Phaneuf, ” we often also increase their side effects. This is not the case with Avapro, and that’s a major impvement.”

In Canada, an estimated 4.1 million adults suffer from high blood pressure, which can cause heart attack and stroke. A major problem with high blood pressure is that people don’t follow their therapy because the disease is asymptomatic, and at times taking a prescribed medication can cause unpleasant side effects. Some side effects commonly experienced by patients on other classes of blood pressure drugs are headache, flushing, constipation, cough, frequent urination, and impotence.