Old Drugs Can Learn New Tricks

Published April 14th, 2016 by USA Rx
Fact Checked by
Chris Riley

It can often be hard to predict exactly what a drug can do. What was considered a side effect one day could become the medication’s main draw the next – Viagra was originally meant to treat high blood pressure, for instance. Aspirin has been used for more than a century as a mild painkiller and fever reducer, but it turns out that if you take it consistently you can lower your risk of heart attacks and strokes.

This essential lesson has recently come up with a new example thanks to a recent study performed by the University of Utah’s School of Medicine. The drug spironolactone, which has been used for over half a century to prevent heart failure, has now shown an ability to prevent the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) from reproducing.

EBV is a member of the herpesvirus family, a group of viruses responsible for illnesses like genital herpes, cold sores, mononucleosis, and shingles, and others. Herpesviruses are particularly tenacious, and they’re well known for lying dormant in their hosts for years or even a decade or more before flaring up again. EBV in particular has been linked to the spread of certain kinds of cancer.

Before now, we only had one kind of drug that worked against herpesviruses, and considering that the viruses have started to grow resistant to it, this discovery about spironolactone is good timing. A drug that prevents heart failure does present some issues when it comes to using it on a healthy person, but fortunately spironolactone’s anti-herpes mechanism seems to be unrelated to its heart-restarting mechanism, so researchers are hopeful that they can develop a molecule based on the existing drug which will stop herpes and nothing else.

And once this new drug makes it past the clinical trials and into your local pharmacy, you can bet that you’ll get a discount for it if you have a USARx pharmacy discount card. If you travel from one end of the nation to the other, you’ll find pharmacies ready to accept our card (not to mention the pharmacies at all the stops in between), and you’ll be sure to find discounts of up to 75 percent on both brand-name and generic drugs, and depending on your insurance you may pay less than you would with your copay. To find out more information, you can call our number at 888-277-3911 or email us at [email protected]

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