Verquvo is a brand-name medication that contains the active drug vericiguat. It’s prescribed to reduce certain risks of chronic heart failure with reduced ejection fraction.
Specifically, doctors prescribe Verquvo to reduce the risk of death and hospitalization. It’s used in adults with chronic (long lasting) heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) who:
- have heart failure that causes symptoms, and
- have an ejection fraction of less than 45%, and
- have been recently hospitalized due to their HFrEF, or
- need treatment with IV diuretics as an outpatient (meaning that a person needs the treatment when they are at home or not in the hospital).
You’ll find key information about Verquvo below.
- Drug form: oral tablet
- Generic available? No
- Prescription required? Yes
- Controlled substance? No
- Year of FDA approval: 2021
The Verquvo dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include the severity of the condition you’re using Verquvo to treat and any side effects you may have.
The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
Drug forms and strengths
Verquvo comes as a tablet you swallow. It’s available in three strengths: 2.5 milligrams (mg), 5 mg, and 10 mg.
Dosage for heart failure
To reduce certain risks of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction in adults, the recommended starting dosage of Verquvo is 2.5 mg. You’ll likely take this dose once per day for the first 2 weeks.
Depending on how your body responds to the drug, your doctor may double your dose every 2 weeks. They will do this until you reach the target maintenance (long-term) dosage of 10 mg once per day.
If you develop bothersome side effects after a dose increase, your doctor may prescribe a lower maintenance dosage to manage your symptoms.
About taking Verquvo
Below you’ll find information about key dosage issues.
- When to take: It doesn’t matter what time of day you take Verquvo.However, taking the medication around the same time of day each day helps keep a steady level of the drug in your body. This helps Verquvo work effectively.
- If you miss a dose: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible that day. You should not take two doses of Verquvo on the same day. Doing so may increase your risk of side effects.
- Taking Verquvo with food: You should take your dose of Verquvo with food.
- Crushing, splitting, or chewing Verquvo: You may swallow Verquvo tablets whole. If you have trouble swallowing pills, you can crush the tablet and mix it in water immediately before taking it. You should not split or cut Verquvo tablets.
- Length of use: Verquvo is meant to be a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Verquvo is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.
Do not use more Verquvo than your doctor recommends. Doing so may lead to harmful effects.
What to do in case you take too much Verquvo
If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor. You can also call America’s Poison Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. However, if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room right away.
Verquvo can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking Verquvo. These lists do not include all possible side effects.
For more information about the possible side effects of Verquvo, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to manage any side effects that may concern or bother you.
Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Verquvo, you can do so through MedWatch.
Mild side effects
Below is a partial list of mild side effects of Verquvo. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist or view Verquvo’s prescribing information.
Mild side effects of Verquvo can include:
- hypotension (low blood pressure), which may cause dizziness or fainting
- mild anemia (low red blood cell count)
- mild allergic reaction*
Most of these side effects may go away within a few days to a couple of weeks. However, if they become more severe or do not go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
* For more information about allergic reaction and Verquvo, see “Allergic reaction” below.
Serious side effects
Serious side effects may occur while taking Verquvo. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.
Serious side effects and their symptoms can include:
- Severe anemia (very low red blood cell count). Symptoms can include:
- increased or irregular heartbeat
- chest pain
- pallor (skin that looks more pale than usual)
- Risk of fetal harm.*
- Severe allergic reaction.†
* Verquvo has a
† For details about allergic reaction and Verquvo, see “Allergic reaction” below.
Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:
A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:
- swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
- swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
- trouble breathing
Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Verquvo, as the reaction could become severe. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.
Other drugs are available that can treat your condition. Some may be a better fit for you than others. If you’re interested in finding an alternative to Verquvo, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that may work well for you.
The following drugs are similar to Verquvo:
- sacubitril/valsartan (Entresto)
- angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, such as benazepril (Lotensin) and lisinopril (Qbrelis, Zestril)
- angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), such as candesartan (Atacand) and losartan (Cozaar)
- beta-blockers, such as carvedilol (Coreg, Coreg CR) and metoprolol succinate (Kapspargo Sprinkle, Toprol XL)
- potassium-sparing diuretics, such as eplerenone (Inspra) and spironolactone (Aldactone)
- sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors, such as canagliflozin (Invokana), dapagliflozin (Farxiga), and empagliflozin (Jardiance)
As with all medications, the cost of Verquvo can vary. The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.
Drug coupons: You can visit Optum Perks* for price estimates of Verquvo. These estimates are based on the use of Optum Perks coupons. Note: You cannot use Optum Perks coupons with any insurance copays or benefits.
Financial and insurance assistance: If you need financial support to pay for Verquvo or need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available.
To learn more about saving money on prescriptions, check out this article.
Generic version: Verquvo is not available in a generic form. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. Generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.
* Optum Perks is a sister site of Medical News Today.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Verquvo to treat certain conditions.
Verquvo for heart failure
Verquvo is FDA-approved to reduce certain risks of chronic (long lasting) heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) that causes symptoms in adults.
With heart failure, your heart doesn’t work as well as it should to pump blood. As a result, you may have reduced blood flow to the rest of your body. Ejection fraction (EF) is a measurement of how much blood your heart can pump. A typical EF is between 50–70%.
Specifically, Verquvo is used to reduce the risk of death and hospitalization in adults with an EF of less than 45% who:
- have been recently hospitalized due to their HFrEF, or
- need treatment with IV diuretics as an outpatient (meaning that they need treatment when they are at home or not in a hospital)
For more information about managing heart failure, visit our hub for cardiovascular health.
Verquvo and children
Verquvo is approved for use in adults. This drug has not been studied in people under the age of 18.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Verquvo.
Does Verquvo 2.5 mg cause fewer side effects than the drug’s other strengths?
It’s possible. In general, taking a lower strength of a drug typically causes fewer or milder side effects compared to a higher strength.
Verquvo is available in three strengths: 2.5 milligrams (mg), 5 mg, and 10 mg. The typical starting dose of Verquvo is 2.5 mg once per day. Your doctor will likely increase your dose every 2 weeks until you reach the maintenance (long-term) dosage of 10 mg once per day. If you develop bothersome side effects with a higher dosage, your doctor may prescribe a lower maintenance dosage of Verquvo to manage your symptoms.
To learn more about your risk of having side effects from Verquvo, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Can I take Verquvo and Entresto together?
Doctors commonly prescribe Verquvo in combination with other drugs for heart failure, such as Entresto. In fact, most of the participants in Verquvo’s clinical trials also took two or more heart failure medications.
If your doctor prescribes Verquvo and you are already taking Entresto, it should be safe to take them together. However, your doctor may have you monitor your blood pressure to ensure that it does not become too low. Low blood pressure is a common side effect of both Verquvo and Entresto. Symptoms of low blood pressure may include dizziness and fainting.
If you have questions about taking Verquvo with other medications, such as Entresto, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Is Verquvo a blood thinner or a beta-blocker?
Verquvo is not a blood thinner or a beta-blocker. It belongs to a group of drugs called soluble guanylate cyclase stimulators. Doctors prescribe Verquvo to reduce certain risks of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction in adults.
Blood thinners (also called anticoagulants) aren’t specifically used for treating heart failure. Doctors prescribe them to treat or help prevent blood clots. Examples of blood thinners include warfarin (Jantoven) and rivaroxaban (Xarelto).
Similar to Verquvo, beta-blockers may be used to treat heart failure. Beta-blockers have other uses as well, such as managing high blood pressure. Examples of beta blockers include metoprolol (Kapspargo Sprinkle, Toprol XL) and bisoprolol.
If you have additional questions about Verquvo, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Verquvo can interact with several other medications.
Before taking Verquvo, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.
Below is a list of medications that can interact with Verquvo. This list does not contain all drugs that may interact with Verquvo. If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Medications that can interact with Verquvo include:
- other soluble guanylate cyclase stimulators, such as riociguat (Adempas)
- phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors, such as sildenafil (Viagra, Revatio) or tadalafil (Adcirca, Cialis, others)
Alcohol is not known to interact with Verquvo. It is likely safe to consume alcohol while taking Verquvo. If you have questions about how much alcohol is safe to drink while taking Verquvo, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
If you can become pregnant, consider the following information about pregnancy, birth control, and breastfeeding.
Verquvo and pregnancy
You should not take Verquvo during pregnancy. If you’re planning a pregnancy or can become pregnant, talk with your doctor before taking this medication. Your doctor may suggest birth control options to use during treatment with Verquvo.
Verquvo and birth control
Verquvo is not safe to take during pregnancy. If you’re sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while you’re using Verquvo.
Note: Sex and gender exist on spectrums. Use of the term “female” and “male” in this article refers to sex assigned at birth.
For females using Verquvo
If you’re female and can become pregnant, your doctor will likely prescribe birth control while you’re taking Verquvo. If you stop taking Verquvo, you should continue using birth control for at least 1 month after your last dose of the drug.
For males using Verquvo
The manufacturer of Verquvo does not provide birth control recommendations that are specific to males. Talk with your doctor if you have questions about using birth control.
Verquvo and breastfeeding
It’s unknown whether it is safe to take Verquvo while breastfeeding. However, your doctor will likely recommend that you do not take Verquvo while breastfeeding. If you are breastfeeding or planning to do so, talk with your doctor before taking this medication.
This drug comes with several precautions.
FDA warning: Risk of fetal harm
This drug has a
Risk of fetal harm. Due to the risk of fetal harm, doctors do not typically prescribe Verquvo to pregnant people. Taking Verquvo during pregnancy may cause harm to a developing fetus.
If you can become pregnant, your doctor will give you a pregnancy test before prescribing Verquvo. This is to confirm that you’re not pregnant before you start taking the drug. They’ll also prescribe birth control to help prevent pregnancy during Verquvo treatment. You should continue to use birth control for at least 1 month after your last dose of Verquvo.
If you become pregnant while taking Verquvo, talk with your doctor right away. They may have you stop taking the drug. They may also report the pregnancy to the Verquvo Pregnancy Surveillance Program. This program monitors pregnancy outcomes in individuals who have had exposure to this drug during pregnancy.
Before taking Verquvo, discuss your health history with your doctor. Verquvo may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. Be sure to talk with your doctor if any of the following apply to you:
- you are currently taking another drug in the same class (soluble guanylate cyclase stimulators)
- you have had a previous allergic reaction to this or a similar drug
- you are pregnant
- you are breastfeeding
Note: For more information about the potential adverse effects of Verquvo, see the “Verquvo side effects” section above.
Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.