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(BPT) - While most Americans are excited about a summer full of fun activities like travel, swimming and gatherings with friends and family, for those living with heart failure, their condition doesn’t take a vacation.
Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition where the heart is too weak to pump enough blood around the body. With more than 17,000 heart failure hospitalizations per week occurring on average during the summer months, it’s important for those with the condition to take extra care during this more relaxed time of year.
Data shows that following the Fourth of July, hospitalizations for heart failure increase significantly. This may be attributed to overeating, emotional stressors and lack of physical activity.
Dianne, diagnosed with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, or HFrEF, knows that healthy lifestyle choices and a strong support network help make all the difference when living with the condition. These choices include taking her prescription medication, ENTRESTO® (sacubitril/valsartan), a heart failure medicine that has been proven superior at helping people stay alive and out of the hospital longer compared to a leading Heart Failure medicine (enalapril), as well as managing the condition through a low-salt diet and regular physical activity.
With warmer temperatures and an abundance of hot dogs and hamburgers on the barbeque, it’s important for heart failure patients to remain vigilant in making healthy food choices like eating chicken instead of hot dogs and enjoying seasonal fruit like berries and melons rather than apple pie. It's important to talk to your doctor before you start any diet or exercise plan and if you may need to alter that plan in warmer weather.
“Heart failure is subtle; you have to be aware of your body. I have also made important changes to my daily life. Together, my daughter and I have learned to bake instead of fry chicken, use less salt, and watch our carbs,” says Dianne.
“In addition to watching my diet, I take ENTRESTO.” Dianne concludes, “For me, life is about family and one of my favorite things to do is spend time with my new great-grand baby.”
Focusing on regular physical activity can also help lead a heart healthy life. “For me, this condition is a battle between mind and body. I’m enjoying the ability to now participate in community walks,” adds Patricia, another person diagnosed with HFrEF. “Since starting ENTRESTO, I have not been hospitalized for heart failure.”
Having a strong support system of friends and family is important for helping patients feel in control of their lives. When Patricia needs support, she reaches out to her son, “he knows the importance of destressing to help me manage my heart failure.”
Regardless of the season, heart failure is a progressive disease that doesn’t go away. Hospitalizations are a hallmark of disease progression, with data showing that just one HFrEF hospitalization can increase a patient’s risk of death. Throughout the year, it’s important to manage the condition by eating a low-sodium diet, getting in regular physical activity and taking medication as prescribed.
Both Dianne and Patricia highlight the importance of staying active, leading a healthy lifestyle, having that strong support network and being vocal with your health care provider when it comes to finding the right treatment plan.
Learn more at Entresto.com
Heart Healthy Fruit Salad2 tablespoons honey2 tablespoons lemon juice6 cups hulled fresh strawberries, halved (or quartered if large)2 cups fresh blackberries¼ cup finely chopped fresh mintPreparationActive Time 10m Total Time 40mWhisk honey and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add strawberries and blackberries; gently toss to coat. Let stand for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour. Stir in mint just before serving.Find more heart healthy recipes here.
What is ENTRESTO?
ENTRESTO (sacubitril/valsartan) tablets 24/26 mg, 49/51 mg, 97/103 mg is a prescription medicine used to reduce the risk of death and hospitalization in people with certain types of long-lasting (chronic) heart failure. ENTRESTO is usually used with other heart failure therapies, in place of an ACE inhibitor or other ARB therapy.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
What is the most important information I should know about ENTRESTO?
ENTRESTO can harm or cause death to your unborn baby. Talk to your doctor about other ways to treat heart failure if you plan to become pregnant. If you get pregnant while taking ENTRESTO, tell your doctor right away.
Who should not take ENTRESTO?
Do not take ENTRESTO if you
are allergic to sacubitril or valsartan or any of the ingredients in ENTRESTOhave had an allergic reaction including swelling of your face, lips, tongue, throat (angioedema) or trouble breathing while taking a type of medicine called an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor or angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB)take an ACE inhibitor medicine. Do not take ENTRESTO for at least 36 hours before or after you take an ACE inhibitor medicine. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist before taking ENTRESTO if you are not sure if you take an ACE inhibitor medicinehave diabetes and take a medicine that contains aliskiren
What should I tell my doctor before taking ENTRESTO?
Before you take ENTRESTO, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions, including if you have kidney or liver problems or a history of hereditary angioedema; are pregnant or plan to become pregnant; are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. You should either take ENTRESTO or breastfeed. You should not do both.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take potassium supplements or a salt substitute; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs); lithium; or other medicines for high blood pressure or heart problems such as an ACE inhibitor, ARB, or aliskiren.
What are the possible side effects of ENTRESTO?
ENTRESTO may cause serious side effects including:
angioedema that may cause trouble breathing and death. Get emergency medical help right away if you have symptoms of angioedema or trouble breathing. Do not take ENTRESTO again if you have had angioedema while taking ENTRESTO. People who are Black or who have had angioedema and take ENTRESTO may have a higher risk of having angioedemalow blood pressure (hypotension). Call your doctor if you become dizzy or lightheaded, or you develop extreme fatiguekidney problemsincreased amount of potassium in your blood
The most common side effects were low blood pressure, high potassium, cough, dizziness, and kidney problems.
Please see full Prescribing Information, including Boxed WARNING, available at: https://www.pharma.us.novartis.com/sites/www.pharma.us.novartis.com/files/entresto.pdf.
Patients are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.