Valsartan, an angiotensin II antagonist, can have a positive effect on cardiac sympathetic nerve activity and left ventricular performance in patients with congestive heart failure (CHF), according to data published in the British journal Heart.
In the study, 50 patients with CHF were randomly assigned to valsartan (80 mg/day) or enalapril (5 mg/day). All patients were also treated with a loop diuretic. Plasma brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) concentrations were measured before and after six months of treatment, and left ventricular function was measured by echocardiography.
In patients receiving valsartan, the study found, plasma BNP concentration and echocardiographic parameters improved significantly after six months of treatment. These findings indicate that the medication can improve certain CHF symptoms, the study concluded.