Monday, 7 July 2014

Is it safe to withdraw medication in patients with heart failure?

SPHPM's Dr Ingrid Hopper has recently co authored a paper with the school's Rohit Samuel, Professor Andrew Tonkin and Professor Henry Krum  about safely withdrawing medication in patients with stable chronic heart failure.

According to the study, heart failure therapy involves the use of multiple medications but there is little guidance on the safety and impact on clinical outcomes of stopping heart failure medications. By conducting a systematic review, the study found that current evidence discourages any attempt to discontinue RAAS inhibitors or beta-blockers in patients with stable heart failure, regardless of clinical or echocardiographic status.

The paper noted that the database regarding drug withdrawal is incomplete, though it does demonstrate specific risks with withdrawal of neurohormonal blocking agents. Medication cessation in patients with heart failure poses a risk of late recurrence of heart failure.

Click here to read the full study

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