Blood pressure news: Common medication for relieving symptoms has THIS other unlikely use

A common blood pressure drug may not only relieve symptoms of the deadly condition, but also help speed up healing of wounds.

Researchers of the study, published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, have discovered that when a gel made from the medication was applied to chronic wounds it helped them heal faster. 

Chronic wounds are defined as skin injuries that fail to heal in a timely manner.

This can increase risk of infection and tissue breakdown, which could lead to a hospital visit.

The findings are particularly important given the lack of recent breakthroughs in treatment for wounds.

“The FDA has not issued any new drug approval for wound healing in the past ten years,” said Peter Abadir, associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University and first author of the paper.

“Using medicines that have been available for more than two decades, we think we have shown that this class of medicines holds great promise in effectively healing chronic wounds that are prevalent in diabetic and aged patients.”

Researchers tested the gel formulations of angiotensin II receptor antagonists, or blockers.

These are a class of drugs prescribed to treat high blood pressure that includes losartan and valsartan. 

For raised blood pressure, they work by blocking the skin’s renin-angiotensin system (RAS) and increasing blood flow.

RAS is involved in inflammatory response, collagen deposition, and signalling necessary for healing of skin wounds.

Research has shown this process is abnormal in diabetics and older adults.

It was thought that applying them to a wound could also have a beneficial effect.

Testing on pigs, they found that valsartan in a gel closed wounds by day 50, unlike those treated with a placebo.

The scientists will next begin testing on humans, and hope the gel medication could be available to the public within a few years.

They also believe the solution could one day treat scars, wrinkles, and other skin problems.