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Diuretic Pill Cuts Deaths in Heart Failure Patients

Inspra, Already Used to Treat Advanced Heart Failure, Found Effective in People With Mild Disease

Potassium Levels Need to Be Monitored

The trial involved 2,737 patients 55 or older with mild heart failure. They were given either Inspra or placebo.

Participants continued to take their standard medications, which typically included an ACE inhibitor, an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB), or both, and a beta-blocker.

The study was stopped early because of Inspra's overwhelming benefits. Side effects were slightly less common in the Inspra group: 13.8% vs. 16.2% for placebo, but the difference could have been due to chance.

Because of the way the drug works in the body, it increased the number of people with dangerously high potassium blood levels, Yancy says.

If you are on Inspra, your blood potassium levels need to be monitored carefully and the dose adjusted as needed, he says.

Armstrong says that although the patients had mild disease, they were at fairly high risk of complications. This may limit generalizing the findings to all patients with mild disease, he says.

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