January 8, 2010 --
An older antidepressant drug that's no longer prescribed may be a good alternative treatment for heart failure. The drug is known as clorgyline. It hasn't been tested in humans as a heart failure medication, but research in animals has found it can reduce and even reverse the symptoms of heart failure. That includes enlargement of the heart and a weakened ability to pump blood through the body.
The study in the Journal of Circulation Research says the drug blocks a key enzyme from breaking down. That enzyme controls the pace of the heart's pumping.
Clorgyline has a variety of side effects, so refreshers say newer drugs in the same class will have to be tested first.