Benefits, risks of heart failure drug questioned

The jury is still out on who needs nesiritide, a heart failure drug, as well as what its risks are.

A drug designed to ease heart failure flare-ups has come under fire because it may harm the kidneys and cause premature death. The drug, nesiritide (Natrecor), was approved by the FDA in 2001 for treating people in the midst of a heart failure crisis who were hospitalized because they had trouble breathing. An infusion of the drug quickly and effectively makes it easier to breathe.

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