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Int J Appl Basic Med Res. 2012 Jul;2(2):77-83. doi: 10.4103/2229-516X.106347.

Vaptans: A new option in the management of hyponatremia.

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Department of Pharmacology, Dr. Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences, Chandigarh, India.


Arginine vasopressin (AVP) plays an important role in water and sodium homeostasis. It acts via three receptor subtypes-V1a, V1b, and V2-distributed widely throughout the body. Vaptans are nonpeptide vasopressin receptor antagonists (VRA). By property of aquaresis, VRAs offer a novel therapy of water retention. Conivaptan is a V1a/V2 nonselective VRA approved for euvolemic and hypervolemic hyponatremia. Tolvaptan is the first oral VRA. Other potential uses of this new class of drugs include congestive heart failure (CHF), cirrhosis of liver, syndrome of inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone, polycystic kidney disease, and so on. These novel drugs score over diuretics as they are not associated with electrolyte abnormalities. Though much remains to be elucidated before the VRAs are applied clinically, the future holds much promise.


Aquaresis; hyponatremia; syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion; vaptan; vasopressin receptor antagonists

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