Why am I prescribed Sacubitril / Valsartan (Entresto®)?
A large clinical study has shown that Sacubitril / Valsartan is better than another standard medication (ACE inhibitor) used as a treatment for heart failure in selected patients. In the study, patients felt better, lived longer and had less frequent heart failure related hospitalisations when they were treated with Sacubitril / Valsartan, compared with an ACE inhibitor. The UK National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has approved Sacubitril / Valsartan’s use in selected patients with heart failure.
How do I take Sacubitril / Valsartan?
Sacubitril / Valsartan is a tablet taken twice a day and it may be taken with or without food. The tablet is swallowed whole with water. It is usually started at a low dose, and the dose increased over several weeks with frequent monitoring.
Do I need any special tests whilst on Sacubitril / Valsartan?
We will check your blood pressure and perform a blood test to check your kidney function and potassium levels before each dose increase.
Are there any side-effects?
The most common side effects of Sacubitril / Valsartan are a dry cough and low blood pressure which can cause dizziness. It can also affect your blood potassium levels and kidney function. The heart failure team will monitor your blood pressure and kidney function as they establish you on a stable dose of the medication and whilst you remain on the drug.
Special warnings / precautions
Very rarely, the use of Sacubitril / Valsartan can cause a condition called angioedema. This is swelling of the face, lips and tongue and may cause difficulty in breathing or swallowing, this can be very dangerous. If this type of swelling occurs while you are taking the drug, stop and seek medical attention immediately. If you have ever had angioedema before, you should not take this drug.
Are there any problems taking Sacubitril / Valsartan with other medication?
If you are taking Sacubitril / Valsartan, it is important that you don’t take medications called ACE inhibitors or Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (ARBs).
Here is a list of some commonly prescribed ACE inhibitors and ARBs that you should not take whilst taking Sacubitril / Valsartan:
This leaflet is only a guide. Further information may be obtained from the manufacturer’s patient information leaflet that you will receive with the drug and also from your hospital doctor, GP or specialist nurse.
If you have side-effects or problems with your medication, you can contact:
Heart failure specialist nurses
Telephone number: 01223 586657
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Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.
Help accessing this information in other formats is available. To find out more about the services we provide, please visit our patient information help page (see link below) or telephone 01223 256998. www.cuh.nhs.uk/contact-us/accessible-information/
Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge
Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151