K channel therapeutics at the bedside

    Arshad Jahangir, Andre Terzic
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    TLDR Potassium channel openers are effective in treating heart conditions, high blood pressure, pulmonary diseases, bladder issues, and hair loss, but more selective drugs are needed.
    The document from 2005 explored the therapeutic applications of potassium channel openers (KCOs), particularly focusing on their role in cardiovascular diseases, pulmonary conditions, urology, and hair growth. Nicorandil, a KCO, was highlighted for its effectiveness in treating myocardial ischemia, angina, and other heart-related conditions, with a success rate of 70-80% in controlling stable chronic angina and minimal side effects. KCOs were also effective in managing systemic and pulmonary hypertension, with a 70-85% success rate in controlling blood pressure. In pulmonary diseases, they reduced bronchial hyperresponsiveness and could potentially reduce the need for glucocorticosteroids. In urology, KCOs suppressed bladder hyperreactivity. Minoxidil, another KCO, was noted for its ability to stimulate hair growth and prevent hair loss in androgenic alopecia. However, the lack of selectivity and potential side effects of KCOs were concerns, indicating a need for more selective agents. Additionally, a clinical trial showed promising results for KCOs in treating erectile dysfunction without significant side effects. The document emphasized the need for further clinical investigation to confirm the efficacy of KCOs in various conditions and the development of new drugs with enhanced specificity for potassium channelopathies.
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