Prescription Options for Heart Failure
high drug prices
Some prescriptions are simply meant to keep people out of the hospital.
With heart failure, the heart is already overtaxed and under stress, which will tax other organs in the body. If the heart can't pump enough blood, the deprived organs can't function properly, which exacerbates the problem and often leads to hospitalization.
For example, lung function is closely linked to heart function in this regard. Poor heart function can lead to shortness of breath and fatigue. If fluid gets into the lungs, the situation can escalate quickly. Coughing and difficulty breathing often follows quickly. All of these symptoms will quickly land someone in the hospital, where the risk of infection is higher. And as if all of this isn't stressful enough, hospital stays are costly, especially for people who may not be eligible for Medicare yet.
Here are common types of medications that relieve stress on a failing heart, and popular medications in each category.
HCN channel blockers
HCN (hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated) channel blockers are designed to maximize the amount of blood pumped through the body per beat of the heart. They are frequently used in chronic heart failure patients. Here are two popular HCN channel blockers.
Corlanor (ivabradine) is a drug designed to slow the heart down so it isn't overworked. When parts of your body are lacking the blood supply it needs (such as the lungs), they send signals to the heart to pump faster. Of course, if the heart is already overworked and struggling to keep up with its regular daily functions, beating faster doesn't help matters.
Originally approved in 2015 for the treatment of chronic heart failure, Corlanor works to regulate your heart rate, preventing it from beating too fast and wearing itself out faster. Because of the way it works with the If-channels in a pacemaker, it's often prescribed in conjunction with the device.
If-channels are in charge of sending messages to your heart to contract regularly — literally telling it to pump blood throughout your body. That's how it regulates the heart rate. Corlanor binds to the If-channels and tells them to keep the heart pumping at a slower, steady rate instead of ramping up in a panic.
Corlanor is still pretty expensive in the U.S. For a 30-day supply (60 pills) of the 5 mg dose, you can expect to pay about $550.00. At NorthWestPharmacy.com, we sell a 56-pill pack for about $100.00 (112 pills costs about $180.00). We also have access to a generic version, which is even cheaper — about $70.00 for 112 pills.
Lanoxin (digoxin) is another medication that slows the heart rate to make sure it doesn't work harder than it needs to. Digoxin is a form of digitalis, which is created from the foxglove plant, and it works directly on the heart muscle itself. Not only does it slow the heart down, but it increases the force by which the heart pounds with each beat, which maximizes the blood flow per contraction.
Lanoxin is available in generic form at a relatively affordable rate, but the brand name is still quite expensive. In the United States, a 30-day supply of the 0.25 mg dose runs about $435.00. By contrast, NorthWestPharmacy.com offers a 100-day supply of the same dose for about $40.00.
While the generic in the U.S. is much more affordable — about $18.00 for a 30-day supply at the same dose ($0.60 per pill), NorthWestPharmacy.com can still beat it. We sell an 84-day supply for about $30.00 ($0.36 per pill).
Beta blockers (beta-adrenergic blocking agents) are designed to block the effects of a hormone called epinephrine, which is also known as adrenaline. When our bodies produce adrenaline under stress, our hearts speed up. Of course, that is dangerous for people with heart failure. Beta blockers will work to keep the heart rate at normal levels when experiencing low levels of stress or exertion. This medication class is also used to treat high blood pressure. Here are two popular beta blockers.
Zebeta (Bisoprolol) is a beta blocker often prescribed for patients suffering from hypertension (high blood pressure) and angina (chest pain caused by low oxygen flow to the heart). This drug helps relax the muscles surrounding blood vessels to encourage improved blood flow. By allowing more oxygen-rich blood to reach your heart, Zebeta can help lower your blood pressure and slow your heart rate.
Zebeta is older — it was approved in the early 1990s, so there are generic options readily available. This makes the drug far more affordable for U.S. citizens, but still not cheaper than through online international pharmacies.
In the United States, pharmacists will default to the generic. You can expect to pay about $100.00 for a 90-day supply at the 5 mg dose. At NorthWestPharmacy.com, you can get a 90-day supply of brand name Zebeta (5 mg dose) for about $60.00. The generic version is even cheaper — about $40.00 for an 84-day supply of the 5 mg dose.
Sectral (acebutolol) is beta blocker that is often used to treat heart arrhythmias, which is also referred to as an irregular heartbeat. Again, because beta blockers are designed to block stress hormones from binding to receptors that tell the heart to beat faster, Sectral can help lower your blood pressure by delivering oxygen-rich blood to your heart and throughout your body.
Sectral has been on the market for many years and generic versions are readily available. In the U.S., generic acebutolol is about $33.00 for a 30-day supply of the 200 mg dose. A 90-day supply runs about $81.00.
At NorthWestPharmacy.com, we sell generic acebutolol for about $35.00 for a 100-day supply at the 200 mg dose. Call us crazy, but we'd rather pay the same price for a three month supply than a one month supply.
The term ACE inhibitor refers to angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors relax the tissue that makes up veins and arteries. Additionally, they stop your body from producing an enzyme called angiotensin II, which narrows your blood vessels. These issues can cause high blood pressure and lead to major complications for patients already struggling with heart failure.
One common complaint about ACE inhibitors is that they create a dry, persistent cough. However, many people say it improves over time if they stay on the medication. Here are two popular ACE inhibitors.
Capoten (captopril) is an ACE inhibitor that dilates blood vessels to facilitate better blood flow to and from the heart. Keeping these pathways clear and open places less strain on the muscle because it doesn't have to pump as hard to move blood to other vital organs. This drug specifically also increases urine output in order to expel excess water weight and sodium buildup.
Because this drug has been on the market for many years now, generic options are easy to find. Even so, it's cheaper from NorthWestPharmacy.com than it is when purchased in the U.S. A 30-day supply at the 12.5 mg dose in the United States costs about $27.00 — not extraordinarily expensive. However, we sell a 112-day supply for just $23.00. There's really no comparison.
Vasotec (enalapril) works similarly to Capoten, helping to keep blood vessels open to facilitate blood flow. It's been on the market since the mid-80s and has a popular generic. It's used for heart failure and high blood pressure.
Generic enalapril is very affordable in the United States, running about $13.00 per 30-day supply at the 2.5 mg dose. Of course, NorthWestPharmacy.com sells it for a far cheaper price. For about twice that price, you can get more than triple the supply. 100 2.5 mg doses of enalapril costs about $24.00. If you want to get 200 doses, it will cost about $48.00.
Angiotensin Receptor Blockers
Angiotensin receptor blockers work similarly to ACE inhibitors to lower blood pressure and keep blood vessels open. However, instead of blocking angiotensin II production, angiotensin receptor blockers prevent the action angiotensin II takes (i.e. narrowing blood vessels). Here are two popular angiotensin receptor blockers.
Edarbi (azilsartan medoxomil) is often prescribed to treat hypertension. Not only does it keep blood vessels open, but it helps the kidneys process excess sodium and fluid out of the body.
Edarbi is newer in comparison to many of the other drugs on this list — only having been approved in 2011, there is no generic available yet. In the United States, a 30-day supply of the 40 mg dose of Edarbi costs about $260.00.
However, we have it for much cheaper at NorthWestPharmacy.com. You can get a 28-day supply for the same 40 mg dose for about $78.00.
Micardis (telmisartan) is frequently used to treat hypertension, but also general reduction of cardiovascular risk (i.e. people at greater risk for heart attack). Given that it was approved in the year 2000, the generic version is easily found.
Even so, the generic (telmisartan) is still more expensive than one might think in the United States. You can expect to pay about $1.00 per pill, so a one-month supply of the lowest dose (20 mg) would be about $30.00.
At NorthWestPharmacy.com, we sell 20 mg telmisartan for about $0.70 per pill. You can get an 84-day supply for just $68.00.
Other Common Medication Classifications
Diuretics (such as Lasix) are sometimes prescribed either in conjunction with or in addition to other medications designed to alleviate stress on the heart. These medications (also known as water pills) help the body get rid of excess fluid, which can cause swelling, which can lead to decreased blood flow.
Nitrates (such as Imdur) are medications that relax blood vessels to keep them from spasming, which is sometimes classified as heart disease, provided that the spasms are severe enough. Nitrates will help blood flow more freely through your body.
There are also combination medications (such as Entresto), which contain more than one active ingredient to maximize the effect of one prescription, as opposed to asking people to take multiple pills. The more pills a person takes, the more likely they are to experience side effects and contraindications.
Finding Heart Failure Medications at a More Affordable Price via International Online Pharmacies
Each person with heart failure will be facing their own unique challenges — medications don't work the same ways on every person and each patient will have different health issues that could potentially complicate matters. If you need to try more than one medication before you find the one that works for you, you shouldn't have to waste money doing so.
At NorthWestPharmacy.com, we have a lowest price guarantee — if you find it cheaper elsewhere, all you have to do is tell us and we'll match it. Not only will we guarantee a low price on your medication, we'll deliver it straight to your door. The only reason you'll need to leave your home is to walk to the mailbox to get your package. For the vast majority of medications, you can even get larger supplies so you don't have to worry about re-ordering each month.
We understand that healthcare and medications are stressful, so we put special emphasis on our customer service. In the age of automated phone systems and chatbots, we still have a dedicated call center with live representatives. We are availabile seven days a week, and we take great pride in this aspect of our business.
If you have questions about placing an order, what you'll need in order to get your medication (such as a valid prescription from a doctor), and possible methods of payment, we'd be happy to walk you through the process. You can also check out our frequently asked questions, which may provide the answers you're looking for.
If you have questions — even if you've read through the FAQs, or simply need to be reassured that you're placing your order correctly — don't hesitate to call us. For your convenience, we have a toll-free phone number: 1-866-539-5330. We're looking forward to hearing from you.