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Home / Drugs / Starting with N / Nesiritide

Nesiritide is a medication used to treat acutely decompensated congestive heart failure with dyspnea at rest or with minimal exertion (such as talk, eating or bathing). Nesiritide is the recombinant form of the 32 amino acid human B-type natriuretic peptide, which is normally produced by the ventricular myocardium.
CategoriesCardiac drugs
ManufacturersScios inc
PackagersJanssen-Ortho Inc.
Scios Inc.
Brain natriuretic peptide 32
Natriuretic peptides B


For the intravenous treatment of patients with acutely decompensated congestive heart failure who have dyspnea at rest or with minimal activity.


Nesiritide works to facilitate cardiovascular fluid homeostasis through counterregulation of the renin-angiotensin-aldoesterone system, stimulating cyclic guanosine monophosphate, leading to smooth muscle cell relaxation. In simpler terms, it promotes vasodilation, natriuresis, and diuresis.

mechanism of action

Human BNP binds to the particulate guanylate cyclase receptor of vascular smooth muscle and endothelial cells, leading to increased intracellular concentrations of guanosine 3'5'-cyclic monophosphate (cGMP) and smooth muscle cell relaxation. Cyclic GMP serves as a second messenger to dilate veins and arteries. Nesiritide has been shown to relax isolated human arterial and venous tissue preparations that were precontracted with either endothelin-1 or the alpha-adrenergic agonist, phenylephrine. In human studies, nesiritide produced dose-dependent reductions in pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP) and systemic arterial pressure in patients with heart failure. In animals, nesiritide had no effects on cardiac contractility or on measures of cardiac electrophysiology such as atrial and ventricular effective refractory times or atrioventricular node conduction. Naturally occurring atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), a related peptide, increases vascular permeability in animals and humans and may reduce intravascular volume. The effect of nesiritide on vascular permeability has not been studied.


No data are available with respect to overdosage in humans. The expected reaction would be excessive hypotension, which should be treated with drug discontinuation or reduction and appropriate measures.


Nesiritide undergoes proteolytic cleavage of the peptide by endopeptidases, such as neutral endopeptidase, which are present on the vascular lumenal surface.


Administration of nesiritide exhibits biphasic disposition from the plasma.

half life

Approximately 18 minutes

route of elimination

Human BNP is cleared from the circulation via the following three independent mechanisms, in order of decreasing importance: 1) binding to cell surface clearance receptors with subsequent cellular internalization and lysosomal proteolysis; 2) proteolytic cleavage of the peptide by endopeptidases, such as neutral endopeptidase, which are present on the vascular lumenal surface; and 3) renal filtration.