Pepcid May Help Treat Chronic Heart Failure

Famotidine improves both cardiac symptoms and ventricular remodeling

TUESDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Famotidine (Pepcid), the over-the-counter medication for the treatment of heartburn and acid reflux, reduces both cardiac symptoms and ventricular remodeling associated with chronic heart failure, according to a study published online Sept. 25 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

To test the hypothesis that a blockade of histamine H2 receptors could be of benefit in treating chronic heart failure patients, Masafumi Kitakaze, M.D., Ph.D., of the National Cardiovascular Center in Suita, Japan, and colleagues conducted a prospective study of 50 chronic heart failure patients randomized to receive 30 mg/day of famotidine or teprenone for six months.

Those in the famotidine group had decreased New York Heart Association functional class and plasma B-type natriuretic peptide levels. This reflected decreased left ventricular end-diastolic and end-systolic lengths (LVDd and LVDs, respectively) with unaltered fractional shortening.

The authors are cautiously optimistic about their findings. "Now we need to conduct a large-scale trial to confirm the present findings," said Kitakaze in a statement. "The large-scale trial based on the results [of] our present research may not help current heart failure patients because it takes time, but we hope it helps our children and grandchildren and others in the future."

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