New blood pressure medication gets FDA ok

blood pressure

A combination of two blood pressure medications in one pill has received Food and Drug Administration approval. Drugmaker Allergan says it’s new Byvalson is the first fixed-dose combination of a beta blocker (nebivolol) and an angiotension II receptor blocker (valsartan) available in the United States.

Beta blockers block the effects of adrenaline so the heart beats slower.  They also help the blood to flow by helping to widen blood vessels.  Angiotensin II rceptor blockers  block the effects of a chemical called angiotensi, which narrows arteries.  So, the arteries remain open and, because of that, the pressure that’s needed to push the blood through the arteries is reduced.

Blood pressure is determined by the amount of resistance to your blood as the heart pumps it through your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure.

You have hypertension, or high blood pressure, if your systolic blood pressure (the high reading) is measured at 140 or higher or your diastolic blood pressure (the low reading) is 90 or higher.  The Centers for Disease Control reports that about one-in-three Americans age 20 or older have hypertension.  Hypertension is associated with heart attacks and strokes.  You can have hypertension for years, without any outward symptoms.

Of the 70 million Americans who have hypertension, according to the CDC, almost half don’t have the condition under control. More than a third of those people don’t know their blood pressure is too high and aren’t receiving treatment to control it.

“The majority of patients with hypertension require two or more medications to achieve their blood pressure goals,” says William B. White, MD, the immediate past president of the American Society of Hypertension. “Nebivolol and valsartan are used widely in the management of hypertension and are effective drugs. The new fixed-dose combination Byvalson, that includes these 2 therapies, offers reduction of blood pressure through multiple mechanisms of action.”


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Ed Tobias
Ed Tobias brings more than four decades of reporting and news management experience to his work at Rx411. Tobias managed news coverage for Associated Press Radio for over twenty years. This included coverage of the 9/11 attacks, the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, the death of Princess Diana, the Challenger and Columbia shuttle disasters and national election primaries, conventions and campaigns. He was part of the team that built AP’s on-line video operation. Prior to joining AP, Tobias was News Director at all-news WTOP in Washington, D.C.