Sacubitril and Valsartan

This prescription is used for the treatment of certain types of heart failure. This product contains two medications; Sacubitril and Valsartan. The drugs belong to the class of neprilysin inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). Sacubitril and Valsartan may help you live longer and lower your chance of having to go to the hospital for heart failure. They work by relaxing blood vessels so the blood can flow more easily. Wherein, it makes it easier for your heart to pump blood to your body. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this medication. Sacubitril and Valsartan come as a tablet for oral use. Each tablet is available in the dosage strengths of 24/26 mg, 49/51 mg, and 97/103 mg. Sacubitril and Valsartan are usually given together with other blood pressure medications

Types of heart failure may include:

  • Left-sided heart failure 

This is the most common type of heart failure. The left heart ventricle is located on the bottom left side of your heart. To the rest of your body, this part pumps oxygen-rich blood. This type of heart failure happens if the left heart ventricle does not pump proficiently. And that prevents your body from getting enough oxygen-rich blood. The blood backs up into your lungs instead. It causes shortness of breath and a build-up of fluid. 

  • Right-sided heart failure

The right heart ventricle is responsible for pumping blood to your lungs to collect oxygen. Right-sided heart failure happens if the right side of your heart cannot perform its job effectively. The build-up of blood in the lungs that is caused by left-sided heart failure makes the right ventricle work harder. This can stress the right side of the heart and cause it to fail.

  • Diastolic heart failure

This occurs when the muscle of the heart becomes stiffer than normal. The stiffness which is usually due to heart disease means that your heart does not fill with blood easily. It leads to a lack of blood flow to the rest of the organs in your body. 

  • Systolic heart failure

This happens when the heart muscle loses its ability to contract. The contractions of the heart are necessary to pump oxygen-rich blood out to the body. Systolic heart failure usually develops when your heart is weak and enlarged.

Heart failure occurs when the muscle in your heart does not pump blood normally as it should. Certain conditions may gradually leave your heart too weak or stiff to fill and pump efficiently. These conditions may be coronary artery disease or a narrowed artery in your heart and high blood pressure. Treatments can improve the signs and symptoms of heart failure and help you live longer. Lifestyle changes such as reducing sodium in your diet, exercising, managing stress, and losing weight. These may improve your quality of life.

How do Sacubitril and Valsartan work?

The two active substances in this product work in different ways. 

Sacubitril works by blocking the breakdown of natriuretic peptides that are produced in the body. Natriuretic peptides cause the water and sodium to pass into the urine. Thereby, it decreases the strain on the heart. Natriuretic peptides also decrease blood pressure and protect the heart from developing fibrosis which is the scar tissue that happens in heart failure.

Valsartan is a type of drug called angiotensin-II-receptor antagonist which means that it blocks the action of a hormone called angiotensin II. In patients with heart failure, the effects of angiotensin II can be harmful. Valsartan stops the hormone’s harmful effects on the heart if it blocks the receptors in which angiotensin II generally attaches. It also lessens blood pressure by permitting blood vessels to widen.

How to use Sacubitril and Valsartan?

This medication is to be taken by mouth. Each tablet is to be swallowed whole with a glass of water. The dosage is based on your condition, age, weight, and response to the treatment. Your doctor may instruct you to start at a lower dose and gradually increase it. 

This product is taken usually twice a day. You may have each dose with or without a meal. Sacubitril and Valsartan should not be taken with ACE inhibitors since your risk of serious side effects may increase. Do not take Sacubitril and Valsartan for at least 36 hours before or after taking an ACE inhibitor. Use this medication exactly as it is given by your doctor. You must not take more or less than it is prescribed. If you missed a dose, do not take two doses to make up for the missed dose. Instead, call your doctor for further instructions. 

What are the side effects of Sacubitril and Valsartan?

Common side effects:

  • Cough 
  • Dizziness

Call your doctor right away if these side effects occur:

  • Extreme tiredness
  • A light-headed feeling like you might pass out
  • Kidney problems (painful or difficult urination, little or no urinating, swelling in your ankles or feet)
  • High potassium (weak pulse, slow heart rate, tingly feeling, or muscle weakness)

Warnings and Precautions:

  • To make sure that this product is safe for you, let your doctor know if ever had diabetes, liver disease, or hereditary angioedema. Tell as well if you are on a low-salt diet or if you are dehydrated. 
  • If you ever had an allergic reaction to Sacubitril and Valsartan, inform your doctor. This medication may have an inactive content that causes an allergic reaction. 
  • If you are pregnant, do use Sacubitril and Valsartan. If you become pregnant, stop using this medication and tell right away to your doctor. Sacubitril and Valsartan can cause injury or death to the unborn baby. Especially if you take the drug on your second or third trimester. 
  • You should as well not breastfeed while having this product. 
  • Do not use Sacubitril and Valsartan in combination with any medication that has Aliskiren if you have diabetes. 
  • If your condition does not get better or gets worse, call your doctor right away.
  • Keep this away from the heat, moisture, and reach of children or pets.