Back in 2015, we told you about the new heart failure drug Entresto — the drug maker Novartis’ latest “once in a decade” medical breakthrough.
Well, it turns out that this drug is far from the spectacular wonder drug it is made out to be.
It’s a real heart ache
Heart failure is a condition caused by the heart failing to pump enough blood around the body at the right pressure, because the heart muscle has become too weak or stiff to work properly. If you have heart failure, it does not mean your heart has stopped working, but that it will need some extra support to do its job.
And that’s where Entresto steps into the picture with its promise to be more powerful and effective than any other heart failure drug on the market.
But not so fast… because while Entresto might do its job when it comes to supporting heart failure patients, it could potentially make you forget that you ever had heart problems. Literally!
Shortly after its approval in 2015, French researchers found evidence that this “breakthrough” heart failure drug may actually give you Alzheimer’s disease.
The study, published in the European Heart Journal, raised troubling concerns about how Entresto works. One of the key ingredients in Entresto – known as sacubitril – prevents the enzyme that breaks down amyloid beta plaques from doing its job. If these amyloid beta plaques are not broken down properly they can accumulate in our brains and can cause dementia and Alzheimer’s.
So while Entresto promises to be a silver bullet for your heart, it could also be a bullet through your brain!
As expected, Novartis claims that their trials didn’t produce any evidence that Entresto can cause Alzheimer’s… but that’s probably because the drug was never studied against Alzheimer’s as a possible side-effect.
Medical authorities have given Novartis two years to investigate a possible link, while it continues to sell the drug! So, that means that anyone taking the drug has unwillingly been enrolled into a drug trial… Then again, with annual sales for Entresto projected to exceed $5 billion, it’s no wonder that this gravy train is allowed to steam ahead, despite its potential Alzheimer’s risk.
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Novartis earns FDA approval for new $5B ‘blockbuster’ drug for heart failure, ibtimes.com