Side effects may include living longer.
Rilmenidine — a drug commonly used to treat hypertension, or high blood pressure — has been found to slow the aging process and boost longevity, according to collaborative research from Harvard Medicine, the University of Liverpool and ETH Zürich.
“With a global aging population, the benefits of delaying aging, even if slightly, are immense. Repurposing drugs capable of extending lifespan and healthspan has huge untapped potential in translational geroscience,” lead researcher João Pedro Magalhães said.
Previously, a low calorie diet had been found to act as the best anti-aging method across several species, according to the report. In humans, however, results have been mixed, with a potential for side effects. Scientists involved in the study were enthusiastic about rilmenidine’s potential role in streamlining the process.
“For the first time, we have been able to show in animals that rilmenidine can increase lifespan,” Magalhães said. “We are now keen to explore if rilmenidine may have other clinical applications.”
The research, published in the journal “Aging Cell,” was funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, LongeCity and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.