The race is on to develop new ways to treat heart failure, but a top cardiologist says that there is a widely available, old-line drug that is effective but has been overlooked by many doctors.
Chauncey Crandall, M.D., says aldactone, a drug that dates back to the 1950s, can give heart failure patients a new lease on life. “Congestive heart failure is one of the biggest health problems we have today. It is a major cause of death, and also the number one cause of repeat hospitalizations in America,” says Dr. Crandall, author of the Amazon #1 best-seller, The Simple Heart Cure.
“Aldactone is a very old diuretic that I have seen work wonders. It doesn’t necessarily work very well immediately, but I have seen it work wonders in patients with heart failure over time,” said Dr. Crandall, Director of Preventive Medicine at the Palm Beach Cardiovascular Clinic.
Developed in 1957, aldactone is a drug that reduces aldosterone, a hormone produced by the adrenal gland that helps balance blood pressure. In people with heart failure, too much of this chemical is produced, damaging the heart.
Dr. Crandall pointed to a 1999 study in the New England Journal of Medicine showing that the drug achieved a 30-percent reduction in death from chronic heart failure and sudden cardiac death. The drug proved so effective that the trial was stopped so patients outside the study could get it. It can cause side effects, though, so patients need to be carefully selected, he said.
“I continue to use aldactone and I consider it a miracle drug, but few physicians today know about it,” Dr. Crandall said. “It absolutely should be used more”