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All about: Natrecor

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Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S.—

  • Natrecor

Category

  • Cardiotonic

Description

Nesiritide (ni-SIR-i-tide) is used for patients who have severe congestive heart failure that has recently become worse. Nesiritide is for patients who are short of breath while at rest or with minimal activity.

This medicine is available only in the following dosage form:

  • Parenteral
  • Injection (U.S.)

Before Using This Medicine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For nesiritide, the following should be considered:

Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to nesiritide. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy—Studies on effects in pregnancy have not been done in either humans or animals. However, before taking this medicine, make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or if you may become pregnant.

Breast-feeding—It is not known whether nesiritide passes into the breast milk. Although most medicines pass into breast milk in small amounts, many of them may be used safely while breast-feeding. Mothers who are taking this medicine and who wish to breast-feed should discuss this with their doctor.

Children—Studies on this medicine have been done only in adult patients, and there is no specific information comparing use of nesiritide in children with use in other age groups.

Older adults—This medicine has been tested and has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.

Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking nesiritide, it is especially important that your health care professional know if you are taking the following:

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (oral) (Benazepril [e.g., Lotensin], captopril [e.g., Capoten], enalapril [e.g., Vasotec], fosinopril [e.g., Monopril], lisinopril [e.g., Prinivil], moexipril [e.g., Univasc], perindopril [e.g., Aceon], quinapril [e.g., Accupril], ramipril [e.g., Altace], trandolapril [e.g., Mavik])—These medicines may increase the chance of hypotension (low blood pressure).

Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of nesiritide. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Heart disease (other than congestive heart failure)—Nesiritide may make heart problems worse.
  • Low blood pressure—Nesiritide may make this condition worse.

Proper Use of This Medicine

Dosing—The dose of nesiritide will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders. The following information includes only the average doses of nesiritide.

  • For injection dosage form:
    • For congestive heart failure:
      • Adults—Dose is based on your weight and must be determined by your doctor.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Side Effects of This Medicine

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

Low blood pressure

Less common

Bluish lips or skin; chest pain, tightness, or discomfort; cool, clammy skin; difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath; dizziness; fainting; lightheadedness; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; unusual tiredness or weakness

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome.

More common

Headache

Less common

Abdominal or stomach pain; anxiety; back pain; burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings on the skin; change in vision; confusion; coughing or spitting up blood; fever; increased cough; itching skin; leg cramps; nausea; pain or irritation at the injection site; pale skin, unusual bleeding or bruising; rash; sleepiness or unusual drowsiness; sleeplessness; sweating; trembling or shakiness; vomiting

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

Developed: 10/09/2001
Revised: 08/24/2004

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