The Efficacy of Vasopressin Antagonism in Heart Failure: Outcome Study With Tolvaptan (EVEREST) trial, which included 4133 hospitalized heart failure patients, found that the drug tolvaptan might improve some of the signs and symptoms associated with heart failure during hospitalization, although researchers caution that using the drug does not reduce risk of rehospitalization or death. Study patients received either 30 mg/day of tolvaptan or placebo for at least 60 days. After 9.9 months, 25.9% of tolvap-tan patients died, compared with 26.3% of placebo patients. When combining the rates of death and rehospitalization, results were 42% for the tolvaptan group and 40.2% for the placebo group. In a second study, however, researchers found that relief of heart failure symptoms (eg, congestion and breathing difficulty) lasted for up to 7 days with no major side effects.
Ms. Farley is a freelance medical writer based in Wakefield, RI.