Woman with chest pain suffering from heart attack during running

Entresto Oral: Uses, Side Effects, and Interactions

Authored by The Rx Advocates, / Medically Reviewed by Dr. Conor Sheehy, PharmD, BCPS
Last Updated: February 7, 2022

Entresto is a medication that is used to reduce the risk of hospitalization or death in people who have been diagnosed with chronic heart failure. Although the term heart failure sounds like the heart is no longer working at all, it usually indicates the heart is not working as well as it should be.

While this is still a very serious condition, there are medications to help people that have been diagnosed with heart failure.

Medications, such as Entresto, can help people lead a full and happy life when it is used in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle.

 

What is Heart Failure?

A normal, healthy heart acts as a strong pump, working to continuously circulate blood in the body. The right atrium in the heart takes oxygen-depleted blood and sends it through the right ventricle, where it becomes oxygenated in the lungs.

This blood travels from the lungs to the left atrium of the heart, where it then gets sent to the rest of the body.

Heart failure is a chronic medical condition where the heart is unable to pump blood at a rate that keeps up with the body’s need for oxygen. When heart failure is present, the heart tries to compensate for the lack by enlarging and developing more muscle mass and often pumping faster to meet the body’s demand for oxygen-rich blood.

While the body provides a temporary solution, the heart is not meant to work this way and eventually becomes overworked.

Usually, people with heart failure experience fatigue and other symptoms that call for an appointment with a doctor.

Some people are not aware that they have heart failure until possibly years after the heart begins its decline. Regular checkups with a doctor and a healthy lifestyle are both good habits to maintain.

 

What are the Causes of Heart Failure?

Some more common causes of heart failure are other diseases of the heart like coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Most people who are diagnosed with chronic heart failure are those who are 65 years or older.

There are higher rates of chronic heart failure diagnosis among African American people, those who are overweight or have had a heart attack previously.

Men are diagnosed more often with heart failure than women are.

There are some risk factors that cannot be changed, such as race, age, and sex. However, there are things that can be done to lower the risk of heart diseases and heart attack, which can lead to chronic heart failure.

High blood pressure is a major risk factor for diseases of the heart. It is important to monitor any blood pressure issues and work on preventing or controlling them.

Being overweight, smoking, and stress can also place undue strain on the heart. It is critical to monitor this.

Cholesterol can block arteries and raise the risk of coronary artery disease.

Arteries in the heart work to pump blood and provide it to the rest of the body. If there is an issue with the arteries, this can cause problems with the blood flow system and lead to issues within the heart.

Lifestyle changes along with diet can help to lower cholesterol levels.

Being overweight can increase your chances of having heart disease as well as other disease risk factors like high blood pressure and diabetes.

Eating foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables and keeping sodium and sugar low is a great way to keep blood sugar and cholesterol in check.

Drinking too much alcohol can cause weight gain as well as raise your blood pressure. It is important to limit alcohol consumption to keep your risk for heart disease low.

Research has also shown that not getting adequate amounts of sleep also raises the risk of high blood pressure, obesity, and other factors that can increase diseases of the heart.

Most adults require 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. A bedtime routine of meditation or reading can help de-stress from the day and aid in restful sleep.

Eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise can reduce the risk of heart diseases, which can lead to heart failure. Practicing these healthy habits, as well as getting enough rest, not smoking, and limiting alcohol consumption, are ways to be in better control of having and maintaining a healthy heart.

If you are diagnosed with heart failure, you can still implement these habits to try and minimize any more damage to the heart.

A healthier lifestyle coupled with medication can allow for many to still be active and live enjoyable lives.

 

How Can Entresto Help Reduce Heart Failure Symptoms?

Entresto is a medication used to help patients with heart failure. It was approved in July 2015 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is indicated for use in patients over the age of 1.

This medication contains two ingredients that work together to alleviate the symptoms of heart failure.

The first ingredient is valsartan. Valsartan helps to relax the blood vessels and lessen the load on the heart when someone has heart failure. It also works to reduce the tightening of blood vessels.

The second ingredient is sacubitril. This ingredient works to relax the blood vessels and release extra sodium in the urine. Entresto is the only medication that contains sacubitril.

Entresto Uses

Entresto is usually taken with other medications to help alleviate the symptoms of chronic heart failure. It is a replacement for an ACE inhibitor or ARB and is taken twice a day.

It is a tablet that comes in 24-26 mg, 49-51 mg, and 97-103 mg. It is listed as having two doses because of the two active medications it contains.

Entresto Side Effects

As with any medication, Entresto does come with some side effects and risks. They include:

  • Angioedema
  • Hypotension
  • Impaired Renal Function
  • Hyperkalemia
  • Cough
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of Breath

If the patient is or becomes pregnant, Entresto usage is to be discontinued as soon as possible due to fetal toxicity.

Entresto Interactions

It is important that the use of ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors be discontinued when starting Entresto. There should be a 36 hour period between stopping the ACE and beginning Entresto.

If the patient has reported hypersensitivity to any ingredient in Entresto, then other medications should be considered for use.

Entresto should not be used in conjunction with an ARB, since it already contains the ARB Valsartan.,Medications containing lithium should be avoided.

For patients who are elderly, on diuretic therapy, or those with compromised renal failure, use of this medication may worsen the renal failure condition.

NSAIDs, which are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Aleve (naproxen), may also lead to renal issues.

Make sure your doctor knows all the medications, both prescribed and over-the-counter (OTC), the patient is taking before beginning Entresto.

 

Paying for Entresto

Medications are a very important tool when living with chronic heart failure.

Incorporating a healthy lifestyle, including diet and exercise, along with medications such as Entresto can help those with chronic heart failure lead full and enjoyable lives. Sometimes these medications and the out-of-pocket costs associated with them can be very expensive.

At The Rx Advocates, we work to help you get name-brand medications such as Entresto, at no cost.

We will work with your doctors to help fill out your application. We then file it with the drug company and then follow up with them to ensure your application is being handled. Once the application is approved, we will manage your refills to ensure you do not miss any refills.

You do not owe the pharmaceutical company any money and your only cost is our service fee which varies depending on how many medications you qualify to receive.

The Rx Advocates has an extensive list of medications that we can help patients receive at no cost. We update this list frequently as new medications are approved and added.

We are not a prescription discount plan or an insurance plan. We contact patient assistance programs on behalf of our customers in order to find them the best discount possible. There are no hidden fees when you work with The Rx Advocates.

We know how important life-saving medications are to have a good quality of life. Our services ensure you have peace of mind when it comes to managing refills and paying for your medications.

Contact us today for more information.

 

Sources:

The American Heart Association. Health Topics. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-failure/what-is-heart-failure

Entresto. https://www.entresto.com/how-entresto-works 

Medline Plus. Heart Failure. ​​https://medlineplus.gov/heartfailure.html#:~:text=Common%20causes%20of%20heart%20failure,of%20heart%20failure%20than%20women

Entrestro. Learn About Entresto. https://www.entresto.com/ 

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