HRS2017: Easy-to-use nasal spray first to treat tachycardia condition

Though physicians typically use adenosine, calcium channel blockers or beta-blockers in patients suffering from paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT), new research has given evidence that a simple, self-use nasal spray could be effective, too.

The study, presented May 11 at the Heart Rhythm Society’s annual conference in Chicago, provided encouraging results for Etripamil, the short-acting calcium channel blocker nasal spray. It’s manufactured by Milestone Pharmaceuticals in Quebec, Canada, according to a press release.

The findings are encouraging to providers that want to give patients more independence when it comes to managing PSVT. Unlike current treatments that have to be administered through an IV in a hospital or monitored setting, the nasal spray can be used at home by the patient.

The multicenter, randomized trial included more than 100 patients from more than 35 centers across the U.S. and Canada. After investigators induced a PSVT episode, patients received either a dose of Etripamil or a placebo in an electrophysiology lab setting.

Doses of Etripamil at 70, 105 and 140 mgs yielded conversion rates of 87 percent, 75 percent and 95 percent, all of which were better than the 35 percent conversion rate in the placebo group.

The only side effect the investigators recorded was nasal congestion or irritation after using Etripamil experienced by some patients.

“This study introduces a completely novel therapy that has never been used before, and has the potential to alter how we treat patients with PSVT,” said Bruce Stambler, MD, the lead author on the study and a cardiac electrophysiologist at Piedmont Heart Institute in Atlanta, in a statement. “Many patients who suffer from PSVT can experience sudden episodes anytime and anywhere. This fast-acting nasal spray therapy could give patients the convenience to self-administer treatment no matter the location and without having to go to the hospital.”

Looking ahead, the authors hope to further assess the efficacy of Etripamil, but in a real-world setting in which patients self-administer the spray outside of a hospital environment.