From left, study authors Peter C. Ruben and Mena Abdelsayad (missing Manpreet Ruprat) have found that exercise may decrease the effectiveness of a heart medication.

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Exercise may decrease heart drug's effectiveness

March 05, 2018
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By Diane Mar-Nicolle

Health care experts are quick to remind us that a healthy lifestyle includes regular exercise. But what if certain potentially life-saving medications don’t perform as well during exercise?

SFU professor Peter Ruben and his team of researchers have spent years studying why seemingly healthy patients with inherited cardiac arrhythmias can sometimes suddenly die during exercise. (2017, 2016, 2015) His past research has shown that exercising can trigger a perfect storm of events, unmasking an arrhythmia: high heart rate, elevated body temperature, and elevated acid in the blood.

Now the team has dug deeper and discovered that some of these physiological changes accompanying exercise, particularly elevated body temperature and elevated heart rate, might also decrease the ability of a drug called Ranolazine to maintain a healthy heart rhythm during exercise.

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