Corlanor (ivabradine) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat chronic heart failure, the agency said in a news release.
The drug is sanctioned to prevent hospitalization for cases in which the lower-left part of the heart isn't contracting properly, preventing the heart from sufficiently pumping blood to the rest of the body.
The most common causes are conditions that damage the heart, such as heart disease and high blood pressure, the FDA said.
Some 5.1 million people in the United States have heart failure, making it a leading cause of disability and death.
It's recommended that people who take Corlanor have a stable resting heartbeat of at least 70 beats per minute and take beta-blocker medication at the highest tolerable dose, the FDA said.
The drug was clinically evaluated by more than 6,500 people. The most common side effects included slowing heart rate, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation) and temporary vision disturbance.
Users should contact a doctor without delay if they have symptoms including irregular heartbeat, a feeling that the heart is racing or pounding, have chest pressure or worsening shortness of breath. Women who are pregnant or expect to become pregnant should avoid the drug, the FDA said.
Corlanor is manufactured by Amgen, based in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
-- Scott Roberts