Verquvo® (vericiguat) Approved to Treat Heart Failure With Reduced Ejection Fraction
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Verquvo® (vericiguat) for heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). Verquvo aims to reduce the risk of cardiovascular death and the need for heart-failure-related hospitalizations in people who:1
- Have had a recent heart-failure-related hospitalization
- Require the use of intravenous (IV) diuretics (medicines that lead to water loss)
- Have symptomatic heart failure with a reduced ejection fraction (less than 45 percent)
Repeat hospitalizations for heart failure can have significant consequences for your health. Verquvo is the first drug approved to prevent the cycle of hospitalizations for those needing IV diuretics or who were recently hospitalized for heart failure.1
How does Verquvo work?
The active ingredient in Verquvo is vericiguat. Vericiguat activates a protein called soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC). The protein sGC is part of a complex signaling pathway that may be related to heart failure progression.1
A major result of heart failure is the disruption of normal cardiac contractility (the ability of the heart to pump strongly and effectively) and cardiac remodeling (changes in the heart’s shape or size). These can both impact how well the heart functions and can lead to worsening heart failure. The pathway that sGC is part of may help prevent some of these changes. By activating this pathway with Verquvo, negative heart failure-related outcomes may be reduced.1
Evidence for Verquvo
Verquvo was studied in a large clinical trial called the Victoria trial. The trial included more than 5,000 adults with HFrEF who had a recent hospitalization or who needed IV diuretics. All participants received standard treatments for HFrEF. However, half received an additional placebo (inactive) treatment, while the other half received Verquvo.1
Overall, there was a 4 percent decrease in risk of cardiovascular death or re-hospitalization for those taking Verquvo compared to the placebo. Participants were followed for an average of 11 months. There were no significant safety concerns discovered for Verquvo in the clinical trial.1
Possible side effects
The most common side effects of Verquvo include low blood pressure and anemia (low red blood cell counts). These are not all the possible side effects of Verquvo. Talk to your doctor about what to expect or if you experience any changes that concern you during treatment with Verquvo.1
Things to know about Verquvo
Verquvo can harm an unborn baby and should not be taken if you are pregnant. Prior to starting treatment, you may be asked to undergo a pregnancy test. Effective birth control methods are necessary while taking Verquvo. Breastfeeding is also not recommended while taking Verquvo.1
Verquvo may interact with other drugs. Before beginning treatment for heart failure, tell your doctor about any other drugs, vitamins, or supplements you are taking. This includes over-the-counter drugs.1
For more information, read the full prescribing information of Verquvo.
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