Entresto vs Valsartan – Comparison of Uses & Side Effects

Entresto

It is the brand name of a combination of sacubitril (a neutral endopeptidase inhibitor that works to control blood volume and lower blood pressure) and valsartan (a specific angiotensin II receptor antagonist).

The medication works by preventing the body from forming certain chemicals which cause sodium and water to be reabsorbed by the kidneys.

Uses

This prescription medication is used to treat heart failure, a condition that occurs when the heart is unable to pump sufficiently to maintain blood flow to meet the body’s requirements.

Dosage

The recommended dose is one tablet twice a day for patients who were being treated with an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor. After 2 to 4 weeks, the dose can be increased.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • a cough;
  • dizziness.

Rare side effects may include:

  • extreme tiredness;
  • a light-headed feeling like you might pass out;
  • little or no urinating;
  • slow heart rate;
  • tingly feeling;
  • feeling tired or short of breath;
  • muscle weakness;
  • swelling in your feet or ankles;
  • weak pulse;
  • painful or difficult urination.

To make sure that this medication is safe for you, tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had:

  • hereditary angioedema;
  • if you are dehydrated;
  • liver disease;
  • if you are on a low-sodium diet;
  • type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

It is not known exactly whether this medication passes into breast milk or could negatively affect the infant. Hence, do not breastfeed while using this medication.

Moreover, don’t use this medication during pregnancy since it can cause serious harm to the unborn baby, especially if it is taken during the third trimester of pregnancy.

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Alcohol

Don’t drink alcoholic beverages while taking this medication without first talking to your healthcare provider since alcohol may increase the risk of side effects.

Drug Interactions

It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • Lithobid (lithium carbonate);
  • another angiotensin receptor blocker medicine;
  • other medications used to treat a heart problem or high blood pressure;
  • diuretics (water pills);
  • tamoxifen;
  • pain medication, like – aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Valsartan

drug
Image credit – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Two_boxes_and_a_blister_pack_of_Co-Diovan_(Valsartan_and_hydrochlorothiazide),_Singapore_-_20150210.jpg

It is the name of a medication that belongs to the class of medications called angiotensin II receptor blockers. It can be found under the brand name of Diovan. It helps to lower blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels.

The medication was originally approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1996. It is produced by Novartis Pharmaceuticals.

Uses

This prescription medication is used:

  • to improve the chance of living after a heart attack;
  • to treat heart failure in adults;
  • to treat high blood pressure in adults and children.

Dosage

The usual recommended dose is 80 mg.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • flu symptoms;
  • tired feeling;
  • diarrhea;
  • joint pain;
  • dizziness;
  • a cough;
  • headaches;
  • back pain;
  • stomach pain.

Rare side effects may include:

  • vomiting;
  • shortness of breath (even with mild exertion);
  • loss of appetite;
  • rapid weight gain;
  • fluttering in your chest;
  • little or no urinating;
  • pounding heartbeats;
  • increased thirst;
  • a light-headed feeling like you might pass out;
  • confusion;
  • slow heart rate;
  • weakness;
  • muscle weakness;
  • weak pulse.

To make sure that this medication is safe for you, tell your healthcare provider:

  • if you are on a low-sodium-diet;
  • if you have a kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);
  • if you are dehydrated;
  • if you have a liver disease;
  • if you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to any medication;
  • if you have a heart condition.
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Alcohol

You should avoid or limit drinking alcoholic beverages while taking this medication since alcohol could work against this medication.

Drug Interactions

It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • lithium;
  • Tekturna (aliskiren);
  • aspirin and aspirin-containing products;
  • any blood pressure drugs belonging to a group called ACE inhibitors, like – Capoten (captopril), Lotensin (benazepril), and Vasotec (enalapril);
  • Amiloride;
  • Dramamine;
  • Betapace and Betapace AF (sotalol);
  • beta blockers, such as – Kerlone (betaxolol), Sectral (acebutolol), or Coreg (carvedilol);
  • Azulfidine (sulfasalazine);
  • NSAIDs, such as – diclofenac, etodolac, ibuprofen, or flurbiprofen;
  • Biaxin (clarithromycin);
  • other angiotensin receptor blockers, such as – Tevetan (eprosartan) or Atacand (candesartan).

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Nursing mothers shouldn’t take this medication. More importantly, it has a black-box warning for pregnancy since it can cause deformities and death to the unborn baby. It falls under the FDA’s Pregnancy Category D.

Bottom Line – Entresto vs Valsartan

Entresto (active ingredients sacubitril and valsartan) is a medication that is used in certain people with chronic heart failure. It keeps blood vessels from narrowing, which lowers blood pressure and improves blood flow.

Valsartan (brand name – Diovan) is an angiotensin II receptor antagonist that is used to treat high blood pressure in adults and children who are at least 6 years old.

References

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1409077
https://www.entrestohcp.com/paradigm-hf-clinical-trial
https://www.novartis.com/news/media-releases/new-novartis-entrestor-real-world-

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1 thought on “Entresto vs Valsartan – Comparison of Uses & Side Effects”

  1. I was taking 49/51 Entresto for approx. 4 months. Developed chronic diarrhea that became very severe. Discontinued Entresto 2 weeks ago.
    Diarrhea has subsided and am hoping it will be alleviated. Due to the damage done by the diarrhea on anus, tissue will take time to heal.

    Thank tou

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