Corona risk from heart and kidney medication?
In the course of the development of the COVID-19 pandemic, inaccurate medical information is constantly being distributed. Such misinformation is, for example, that patients who take renin angiotensin system (RAS) blockers, such as angiotensin II type 1 receptor blockers (ARBs) in particular, are more susceptible to the virus. Affected people should not be confused and should continue to take their medication, experts warn.
The latest study by the University of Miami found that a lot of common misinformation caused sick people to stop taking essential medication. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal "Hypertension".
Don't give up medication
The researchers emphasize that there is currently little credible or consistent evidence that so-called renin-angiotensin system (RAS) blockers make people more susceptible to COVID-19. In addition, not taking these important drugs would dramatically increase the health risks for millions of people with high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and chronic kidney disease.
Misinformation makes people forego their medication
Based on all known data, it was established that there is no credible evidence that ARBs increase susceptibility to COVID-19. There is currently no evidence that RAS blockers should not be taken, the researchers report. Incorrect statements about the influence of these drugs on the COVID-19 risk would have resulted in some people stopping their drugs, either on their own initiative or on medical advice.
Evidence from other studies is contradictory
However, the evidence that ARBs can increase COVID-19 risk is at best contradictory. Although some studies have shown that ARBs increase ACE-2 activity in animal models, it must be emphasized that the results are inconsistent, the researchers report. The results show large deviations, depending on the organ examined, the experimental animal model and the drug investigated, and in summary it can be said that there is a considerable lack of consistency in the study results, according to the research team.
What are the drugs usually prescribed for?
ARBs are prescribed for high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, kidney disease and other diseases. Withdrawal of ARBs and ACE inhibitors could cause destabilization of blood pressure control and decompensation of heart failure patients, which could lead to a sharp increase in heart attacks and strokes and worsening of renal failure, warn the researchers.
Medicines should not be discontinued in the current situation
At the moment, it would be doubly unwise to stop taking such drugs because, on the one hand, the risk of the above-mentioned diseases increases and, on the other hand, resources in hospitals and intensive care units are stretched to the limit, so that the supply reaches its capacity limits, emphasizes the research team. (as)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- AH. Jan Danser, Murray Epstein, Daniel Batlle: Renin-Angiotensin System Blockers and the COVID-19 Pandemic, in Hypertension (Posted Mar 25, 2020), Hypertension