Topical Gel Made from Oral Blood Pressure Pills Can Speed up Healing of Chronic Wounds

Chronic WoundsA Johns Hopkins University-led international team of researchers found that a topical gel made from oral blood pressure pills helps in healing of chronic skin wounds. Peter Abadir, M.D, associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine pointed out that twenty-nine million people in the United States have diabetes and 1.7 million are newly diagnosed with this condition each year. Of this group, about 900,000 are likely to develop diabetic foot ulcers annually. In fact, this class of medicines seems to be very effective in healing chronic wounds that are prevalent in diabetic and aged patients.

The research team experimented with gel formulations of angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs)that include losartan and valsartan, used for controlling high blood pressure. For the experiment, they divided laboratory mice into three groups and tested 5 percent topical losartan on these mice in their three different phases of wound healing. The first group was treated for up to three days post-wound infliction to target the inflammatory phase, the second group’s treatment started on day seven after wound infliction to target the proliferative (later) phase of tissue healing and the third group’s treatment started from day 1 onwards until closure to treat all wound healing phases. The outcome was that the second group experienced the most accelerated wound healing rate than the other two groups.

To determine whether losartan or valsartan is more effective in accelerating wound healing, the researchers compared the effects of different concentrations of these two ARBs on young diabetic and aged mice during the proliferation phase of wound healing. The result was that valsartan appeared to be more effective than losartan, without any significant difference in healing time between valsartan doses.

Jeremy Walston, M.D, professor of medicine at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine said that the medicine has proven efficient and effective in animals, and now they are proceeding to the next stage of FDA-required testing in humans. The research team hopes that the medication will be available for public use in a few years and could also be used in treating scars, wrinkles and other skin problems one day.

Before deciding how to treat a chronic wound and what medication should be provided to accelerate the healing, it is essential that the wound is properly assessed and accurately documented to ensure timely care and appropriate treatment. With the help of Woundcare EHR, nurses can complete the documentation task easily and promptly.