Heart rate is an important contributor in the pathophysiology of both coronary artery disease (CAD) and heart failure (HF). Ivabradine is an anti-anginal and anti-ischaemic agent, which selectively and specifically inhibits the If current in the sino-atrial node and provides pure heart rate reduction without altering other cardiac parameters, including conduction, and without directly affecting other haemodynamic parameters. It is approved for the treatment of CAD and HF. This article summarises the pharmacological properties, pharmacokinetics, clinical efficacy and tolerability of ivabradine in the treatment of CAD and HF, and presents evidence demonstrating that the pharmacological and clinical properties and clinical efficacy of ivabradine make it an important therapeutic choice for patients with stable CAD or HF. The positive effect of ivabradine on angina pectoris symptoms and its ability to reduce myocardial ischemia make it an important agent in the management of patients with stable CAD or chronic HF. Further studies are underway to add to the already robust evidence of ivabradine for the prevention of cardiovascular events in patients with CAD but without clinical HF. The SIGNIFY (Study assessInG the morbidity–mortality beNefits of the If inhibitor ivabradine in patients with coronarY artery disease) trial includes patients with stable CAD and an LVEF above 40 %, with no clinical sign of HF, and is investigating the long-term effects (over a period of 48 months) of ivabradine in a large study population. So far, this study has included more than 19,000 patients from 51 countries.