Evaluation of Sacubitril/Valsartan Initiation in Outpatient Heart Failure Patients
Despite sacubitril/valsartan being on the market since 2015, clinicians are still determining the best way to initiate therapy to optimize outcomes and minimize potential for side effects. The purpose of this study is to investigate real-world outpatient experience of prescribing sacubitril/valsartan therapy based on appropriate patient selection, dosing conversion, and tolerability. This retrospective cohort study evaluated patients' prescribed sacubitril/valsartan therapy in cardiology clinics associated with an academic institution between February 1, 2016, and August 30, 2018. Patients were excluded if they were less than 18 years of age, enrolled in a clinical trial involving sacubitril/valsartan, or had insufficient data. The primary outcome was to determine how many heart failure patients initiated on sacubitril/valsartan were performed so appropriately based on guideline and package insert recommendations. Select secondary outcomes included rates of adverse events and need for adjustment of concomitant heart failure medications. A total of 250 patients were included in this study. For the primary outcome, 125 patients (50%) were appropriately initiated on sacubitril/valsartan. Those who were inappropriately initiated on the medication experienced more symptoms of hypotension (16% in the appropriate start group vs. 28% in the inappropriate start group; P = 0.022) and required more dose decreases of sacubitril/valsartan (6% in the appropriate start group vs. 13% in the inappropriate start group; P = 0.049). In outpatient clinical practice, almost half of patients initiated on sacubitril/valsartan were performed so outside of guideline recommendations, which was associated with an increased risk of hypotension and dose reductions.