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New Treatment Option for Heart Failure Reduces Risk of Hospitalization

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If you have heart failure, there is a new option for lowering your risk of a hospital stay.

A drug called ivabradine (Corlanor) can help prevent hospitalizations in certain people with heart failure—namely, those whose heart rate remains high despite standard treatment with beta-blockers. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had given the drug an “expedited” review, which speeds the approval process for drugs that may offer a significant advantage over existing therapies.

The approval was based on a clinical trial of 6,500 patients who had been hospitalized in the past year for heart failure and experienced a stubbornly high resting heart rate (at least 70 beats per minute). Over two years, patients given ivabradine along with standard therapy were 26 percent less likely to be hospitalized for worsening heart failure, versus patients given a placebo.

Ivabradine works by slowing the heart rate, which helps lessen strain on the heart. That’s also the source of its most common side effect: bradycardia, an abnormally slow heart rate. About 10 percent of patients in the clinical trial developed bradycardia, while anywhere from 2 to 9 percent developed high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation or temporary vision disturbances.

If you have a persistently high heart rate, your doctor might try adding ivabradine to your regimen. Just be aware of possible signs that the drug is causing problems, including dizziness, fatigue, a racing or pounding heartbeat, or chest pressure. 

 

Posted in Heart Health on March 25, 2016


Medical Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute for the advice of a physician. Click here for additional information: Health After 50 Disclaimer


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