Drug repurposing in cardiovascular diseases: Opportunity or hopeless dream?

Paolo Gelosa, Laura Castiglioni, Marina Camera, Luigi Sironi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Cardiovascular disease remains – despite the development of new drugs, devices, and therapeutic strategies – the leading cause of death and disability worldwide. There is therefore a great need to implement the pharmacological armamentarium, considering also the need to balance the therapeutic and the side effects. Furthermore, the best choice among the drug treatment options and reduction of side effects remain urgent problems for studies of cardiovascular disease. In this context, drug repurposing could be an innovative way and opportunity to extend and improve pharmacological tools. Indeed, applying well-established drugs and compounds to new indications, drug repurposing has already been proven efficient and safe in humans. Furthermore, this approach generates lower costs and needs shorter time for approval than the development of a de novo drug. In the current review, we discuss the main evidence for the repurposing in cardiovascular diseases of drugs approved and marketed for other pathologies by reviewing their mechanisms of action and the results reported in observational and then in randomized studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113894
JournalBiochemical Pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Drug repurposing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology


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