December 3, 2007 / 9:56 PM / 12 years ago

U.S. clears Novartis' youth high blood pressure drug

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Novartis said on Monday that U.S. regulators approved its drug Diovan to treat high blood pressure in children and adolescents aged 6 to 16.

The drug, also known by its generic name valsartan, is an angiotensin receptor blocker.

The company said research suggests that nearly 5 percent of children and adolescents in the United States may have high blood pressure.

The condition, which had once been mainly found in adults, is striking earlier amid a surge in pediatric obesity rates.

Novartis said no relevant differences were identified between the adverse experience profile for pediatric patients aged six to 16 and that previously reported for adult patients.

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