Commonly used blood pressure medications had no effect on Covid patients: Study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on January 08, 2021

These medications didn’t help lessen Covid complications or lead to severity, suggests research

An international team led by Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania researchers found that commonly used blood pressure medications did not impact outcomes among hospitalised Covid-19 patients.

The study, published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, revealed that there is no risk for patients continuing these medications while hospitalised for Covid-19.

For the study, the researchers analysed whether ACE inhibitors (ACEIs) or Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (ARBs) — two classes of medications to treat high blood pressure — could help lessen Covid-19 complications or lead to severity.

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The researchers enrolled 152 participants across several countries between March 31 and August 20, 2020, who were hospitalised with Covid-19 and already using one of the medications

Some studies had earlier suggested that such medications could aggravate cellular receptors for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, potentially aiding viral replication.

However, it was also considered that some effects of these medications could be protective against SARS-CoV-2.

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Global rank score

Senior author Julio A. Chirinos, MD, Ph D, an associate professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine, said: “Our trial results importantly show that these medications can be safely continued for patients hospitalised with Covid-19.”

To study the impact, the authors then developed an innovative global rank score to classify patient outcomes based on four factors: time to death, length of time supported by mechanical ventilation, length of time on renal replacement therapy, and a modified sequential organ failure assessment score.

The findings of the team suggested that discontinuation of ACEIs and ARBs compared with continuation of these medications had no effect on the global rank score.

First author Jordana B. Cohen, MD, MSCE, an assistant professor in the division of Renal-Electrolyte and Hypertension, said: "Now we have high-quality evidence to support our recommendation that patients continue to take these medications as prescribed."

Published on January 08, 2021

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