Drug repurposing for cardiovascular diseases: New targets and indications for probenecid

Br J Pharmacol. 2023 Mar;180(6):685-700. doi: 10.1111/bph.16001. Epub 2022 Dec 26.


The available pharmacological options in the management of cardiovascular diseases such as ischaemic heart disease and subsequent heart failure are effective in slowing the progression of this condition. However, the long-term prognosis is still poor, raising the demand for new therapeutic strategies. Drug repurposing is a time- and cost-effective drug development strategy that offers approved and abandoned drugs a new chance for new indications. Recently, drugs used for the management of gout-related inflammation such as canakinumab or colchicine have been considered for drug repurposing in cardiovascular indications. The old uricosuric drug, probenecid, has been identified as a novel therapeutic option in the management of specific cardiac diseases as well. Probenecid can modulate myocardial contractility and vascular tone and exerts anti-inflammatory properties. The mechanisms behind these beneficial effects might be related inhibition of inflammasomes, and to modulation purinergic-pannexin-1 signalling and TRPV2 channels, which are recently identified molecular targets of probenecid. In this review, we provide an overview on repurposing probenecid for ischaemic heart disease and subsequent heart failure by summarizing the related experimental and clinical data and propose its potential repurposing to treat cardiovascular diseases.

Keywords: drug repositioning; heart failure; inflammation; pannexin-1; probenecid.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / drug therapy
  • Coronary Artery Disease*
  • Drug Repositioning
  • Heart Failure* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Myocardial Ischemia* / drug therapy
  • Probenecid / pharmacology
  • Probenecid / therapeutic use


  • Probenecid