WEDNESDAY, Oct. 08, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Pfizer's Inspra tablets to improve the chances for survival in heart attack patients at risk of developing congestive heart failure.
Among patients who had suffered an acute heart attack, Inspra reduced the risk of death by 15 percent in human trials, the FDA says. First approved in 2002 for people with high blood pressure, Inspra is the first in a class of drugs called aldosterone receptor blockers to be agency-sanctioned for congestive heart failure.
Heart failure occurs when the organ becomes too weak to effectively pump oxygenated blood through the body. More than one-third of the 515,000 people who survive a heart attack each year go on to develop heart failure, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. And half of the people who develop heart failure die within five years.