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Circ J. 2014;78(4):844-52. Epub 2014 Mar 21.

Efficacy and safety of tolvaptan in heart failure patients with volume overload.

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  • 1Department of Therapeutic Strategy for Heart Failure, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8655, Japan.

Erratum in

  • Circ J. 2014;78(7):1773.



 Loop diuretics are commonly used in heart failure (HF) patients, but they are sometimes associated with insufficient response as well as adverse events. In such diuretics-resistant cases, tolvaptan, a vasopressin type 2 receptor antagonist, shows the improvement of volume overload without electrolyte imbalance. Tolvaptan was launched in Japan in 2010, and a post-marketing surveillance has been performed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of tolvaptan in real-world clinical settings.


 HF patients with insufficient response to loop diuretics were enrolled: 1,053 to evaluate for efficacy and 1,057 patients for the safety assessment. Decreases in body weight from baseline were 1.0±1.6kg at day 2 and increases in urine volume were 631±1,179ml at day 1 (both P<0.0001 vs. baseline). Congestive symptoms were significantly improved within 14 days. Adverse drug reactions (ADR) were observed in 18.7%, with thirst being the most frequent ADR (10%). Hypernatremia was a complication in 40 patients (3.8%). Predictive factors for the occurrence of hypernatremia were the starting dosage of tolvaptan (15mg/day), baseline serum sodium level (≥142mEq/L) and serum potassium level (<3.8mEq/L) at baseline.


 In the real-world clinical setting, tolvaptan demonstrated aquaretic efficacy in HF patients with diuretic-resistant volume overload. We recommend a lower dose of tolvaptan in Japanese patients with normonatremia and hypokalemia to prevent hypernatremia. 

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