NYMC Faculty Publications


Benefit-Risk Review of Different Drug Classes Used in Chronic Heart Failure

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January 2019




INTRODUCTION: Heart failure (HF) is an important public health problem with an increasing prevalence across the globe. The mortality rates from this complex clinical problem have stabilized in the recent years with the use of pharmacotherapeutics which demonstrated survival benefits in patients with HF with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). Areas covered: We reviewed the seven classes of medications which constitute the guideline-directed medical therapy (GDMT) in chronic HF patients. We discussed clinical trials which support or contradict their use, potential adverse events, and available real-world data on utilization and safety. Expert opinion: Loop diuretics form a major component of baseline therapy in HF patients to maintain euvolemia. As diastolic HF is more volume sensitive then systolic HF, diuretic use should be judiciously monitored to prevent states of volume depletion and associated complications. Neurohormonal modulation with pharmacotherapies are efficacious in reducing morbidity and mortality in the chronic HFrEF population. However, registry data showed that treatment intolerance and adverse events result in lower prescription rates of GDMT. Sacubitril/valsartan represents a major therapeutic advance in the treatment of HFrEF patients and can be safely used in addition to other GDMTs. Therapies to improve outcomes in diastolic HF patients are needed.