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A New Drug to Pump up the Weak Heart

Written by
Dr. Malay Shukla
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Published on Sep 11, 2017 and last reviewed on Aug 10, 2021   -  6 min read

Abstract

Sacubitril and Valsartan (Entresto) is a new combination drug introduced under the brand name Entresto to treat patients with heart failure. It has been found to be successful in decreasing the rate of mortality and hospitalization in a large trial with more than 8000 patients. It is approved in North America and Europe. Its real performance is to be seen in the coming years.

Contents
A New Drug to Pump up the Weak Heart

What Is Heart And Its Function?

The heart will act as a muscular pump that supplies oxygenated (oxygen-rich blood) blood to all parts of the body. The deoxygenated blood (blood with less oxygen) will enter the right side of the heart, which is sent to the lungs for oxygenation. The oxygen-rich blood from the lungs will enter the left side of the heart and get distributed all over the body through an artery called the aorta.

A complex electrical condition system present in the heart wall will initiate and distribute the electrical impulses evenly to allow the heart to beat. The valves present in the heart will prevent the backflow of blood. Each part of the heart will work together to maintain average blood circulation in the body. When one or more of these parts are dysfunctional, the heart becomes weak.

What Is A Weak Heart?

All heart diseases together are referred to as a weak heart. But, this will not precisely describe the type of heart disease, severity, and symptoms associated with it. Some heart diseases are more dangerous than others, but eventually, all heart diseases are life-threatening.

A weak heart means that the heart cannot function properly and adequately. Since the heart's function is to supply blood to all parts of the body, the body parts may not receive adequate blood rich in oxygen and nutrients when it becomes weak. The heart can become weak by the following factors:

The Common Medication Used For Heart Failure Are:

What Is The New Drug Used To Pump Up The Weak Heart?

There is a lot of buzzing in the heart physicians community and heart patients about the new drug for heart failure. This new drug Sacubitril is the first of the neprilysin inhibitors class of drugs. In a large trial involving 8500 heart patients, it was found to be better in saving lives and decreasing the incidence of hospital admissions due to disease exacerbation (heart failure hospitalization) than the class of drugs which are currently the cornerstone of heart failure therapy, the ACE-inhibitors (angiotensin-converting enzyme). The new drug is expected to replace the latter for good. The drug is launched as a combination drug consisting of Valsartan and Sacubitril and is available in the name Entresto. It is currently available in North America and Europe. The combination drug has already gained a high recommendation in most of the major heart failure guidelines in the world.

What Are The Indications For Entresto?

Indicated in a patient with heart failure with the following symptoms:

What Should You Avoid Before Taking Entresto?

What Should You Tell Your Physician Before Taking Entresto?

What Are The Dosing Regimen For Entresto?

Initial dose: Sacubitril 49 mg-Valsartan 51 mg to be taken twice a day orally.

Maintenance dose: Sacubitril 97 mg-Valsartan 103 mg to be taken twice a day orally.

Entresto Dosage

How To Take The Drug Entresto?

What Are the Side Effects Of Entresto?

Although it is a good breakthrough, it comes with its own set of adverse effects. But, almost all of them are less in frequency than ACE-inhibitors. The most common side effects with Entresto (which may affect more than 1 in 10 people) are high blood potassium levels, low blood pressure, and reduced kidney function. A potentially severe side effect, angioedema (a rapid swelling of deeper skin tissues and the tissues around the throat, causing breathing difficulty), can occur uncommonly (affecting fewer than 1 in 100 people). There is also an unanswered question of a theoretical possibility that the drug increases the chances of dementia. However, not even one case was reported in the large trial of this drug. This will probably get answered in the subsequent trials.

Rare side effects of Entresto:

What Are The Warnings And Precautions Of Entresto?

Call your physicians if you have any symptoms like:

What Are The Contraindications For Entresto?

Missed Dose:

Try to take the missed dose as soon as you remember, or skip the missed dose if it is already time for the next scheduled dose. Do not double the medicine to compensate for the missed dose.

Overdose:

In the case of overdose, seek emergency medical attention.

Storage:

Oral suspension:

Tablets:

Conclusion:

Whether introducing this drug is a major breakthrough or a minor advancement will be decided by its performance in the years to come. We will just have to wait and see.

Last reviewed at:
10 Aug 2021  -  6 min read

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