Lifesaving heart medication won’t work during exercise
Experts tell us that exercise is good for our health and many studies have shown us the many ways exercise can benefit our health and wellbeing. But what if exercise reduces the efficiency of vital lifesaving heart medication?
A group of researchers form the Simon Fraser University have spent many years studying why seemingly healthy adults with inherited cardiac arrhythmias can sometimes suddenly die during exercise.
Past research conducted by the team of researchers has shown that exercise can cause a certain events that unmask arrhythmia such as a high heart rate, elevated body temperature and elevated acid in the blood.
An abnormal heart rhythm is called an arrhythmia.
Arrhythmia refers to a change in electrical impulses from a normal sequence. The electrical impulses can happen too fast, too slow or erratically causing the heart to beat too fast, too slow or erratically.
When the heart does not beat properly, it cannot pump blood effectively resulting in the brain and other organs not working properly and they may get damaged or shut down.
Doctors may prescribe medications to treat some arrhythmias to maintain or restore normal heart beat in the short or long term.
One such medication given to people with arrhythmias is Ranolazine.
Ranolazine is a second-line therapeutic agent prescribed for angina pectoris, for which chest pain is the main symptom.
It improves blood flow and helps the heart work more effectively. It is also used in treating those with inherited arrhythmias.
Past research conducted by the team of researchers has shown that exercise can cause certain events that unmask arrhythmia such as a high heart rate, elevated body temperature and elevated acid in the blood.
Digging deeper, they now discovered that some of these physiological changes that take place during exercise can decrease the ability of Ranolazine to maintain a healthy heart rhythm during exercise.
The researchers discovered that elevated body temperature and elevated heart rate reduces the potential effectiveness of Ranolazine to maintain a heart rate in one of the most common forms of inherited arrhythmia.
The researchers advice physicians to warn patients who take Ranolazine for this form of inherited arrhythmia that the medication will work well during rest but could lose its effectiveness during exercise.
This discovery is important as exercise can trigger physiological changes which cause catastrophic arrhythmia in these patients and Ranolazine may not be able to control this during exercise.
Source: Scientific Reports
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