Researchers have claimed that a drug used by gout sufferers could also prove to be an inexpensive way to treat the heart condition angina.
A Dundee University study has found that allopurinol, which is cheaper than some existing angina treatments, tackled the condition by cutting down the heart’s energy needs, the Lancet has reported.
Scientists studied 65 angina sufferers and discovered those being treated with allopurinol could take part in exercise for longer without experiencing chest pain. They suspect the drug blocks the xanthine oxidase enzyme, which in turn cuts the energy the heart uses in each beat.
Research leader Professor Allan Struthers said: “On the basis of our results, allopurinol is a useful anti-ischaemic treatment option in patients with angina that has the advantage of being inexpensive, well-tolerated and safe in the long term. The precise place of allopurinol in the management of angina pectoris now needs to be explored further.”
Angina, the most common heart condition in the UK, affects about two million people. Effective treatments can be too expensive for some patients and may not work for others.
Click here to see The Lancet angina report