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What is heart failure?

Heart failure is health condition affecting nearly 6.5 million Americans over the age of twenty, according to the Heart Failure Society of America. Those with heart failure experience symptoms such as shortness of breath with or without activity and swelling of the ankles, legs, or other extremities. This is because heart failure allows the body to hold on to more fluid than it should. The fluid in the body then backs up into the heart, lungs, and extremities, which causes heart failure symptoms like swelling and shortness of breath. If you’re diagnosed with heart failure, it does not mean that your heart is not working. It means that your heart is not pumping as well as it should be. Managing Fluid Build Up In Heart Failure

Your physician may suggest some ways you can help manage your heart failure in addition to medications. Some changes to lifestyle that can help your heart include improving diet, reducing sodium (salt) intake, weight loss, and increasing exercise. Improving control of other health conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and coronary artery disease can also help.

However, heart failure usually requires medication treatment. Medications for heart failure can help improve the lives of those living with heart failure, making their daily symptoms less bothersome. The medications have also been shown in trials to decrease hospitalizations and prolong the lives of patients with heart failure.

What is Inpefa (sotagliflozin) and how does it help heart failure?

Newly approved for use in 2023, Inpefa (sotagliflozin), is a type of medication that works as an SGLT-2 (sodium-glucose cotransporter-2) inhibitor. Other medications in this drug class include Jardiance (empagliflozin), Farxiga (dapagliflozin), Invokana (canagliflozin), Brenzavvy (bexagliflozin), and Steglatro (ertugliflozin). This class of medication started as a medicine to treat diabetes. It works on the kidneys to help get rid of sugar in the blood through the urine. However, it also works for heart failure by helping the heart better fill with blood and pump it through the body. Once drug studies started to show the benefits of these medicines in heart failure, the food and drug administration (FDA) granted approval for their use in heart failure and not just diabetes. Inpefa (sotagliflozin) was approved for use in patients with heart failure or for patients with type 2 diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and other cardiovascular risk factors. It is used to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular death, hospitalization for heart failure, and urgent heart failure visits in people who suffer from those conditions.

Inpefa is taken as one pill, once a day in the morning. The dosage starts at 200mg daily and may be further increased to 400mg daily if tolerated. The most common adverse reactions to Inpefa were urinary tract infections, volume depletion or dehydration, diarrhea, and low blood sugar. Though uncommon, there have been some cases of very serious infections with these types of medications.

It is great for us to have more medications for treating heart failure in our wheelhouse. Especially those medicines which have been studied to reduce the risk of cardiovascular death, heart failure hospitalizations, and urgent visits for heart failure. Though this drug class is not considered very ‘new’ anymore, Inpefa is a new drug approved for use in the SGLT-2 class of medications. If you think it could be right for you, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

Read more here – What is Heart Failure?

Disclaimer: This blog is written for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read or seen online.


  1. Heart failure society of America (HFSA):

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Dr. Andrea M. Jones

Dr. Andrea M. Jones is a clinical pharmacist specializing in transitions of care to facilitate a smooth transition for patients between the hospital and outpatient settings. Dr. Jones graduated from the University of Colorado School of Pharmacy and completed post-graduate year 1 residency at the Southern Arizona VA Healthcare System in Tucson, Arizona. Dr. Jones also worked in retail/community pharmacies for over 5 years during undergraduate studies at the University of Kentucky and pharmacy school at the University of Colorado.




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