A PARADIGM in treating failing hearts

Heart failure is a difficult disease to treat- and medications can only preserve a part of the hearts functions. A new study- called the PARADIGM-HF, published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that combining a traditional heart-friendly drug called valsartan with a chemical called neprilysin-inhibitor can dramatically benefit patients with heart failure.

This drug, called sacubitril valsartan, can inhibit an enzyme called neprilysin in addition to its many functions. Neprilysin is an enzyme that breaks down some beneficial chemicals- and when this enzyme is destroyed, the beneficial chemicals rise. These "beneficial chemicals" are called natriuretic peptides as they push sodium and water out through the urine, and they decrease the work load on the heart. The heart now, with these new medicines has a preserved function, allowing it to pump blood more effectively.Thus, this drug, sacubitril valsartan allows patients with heart failure to live longer with lesser hospitalizations as compared with other agents.

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