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How to Treat Heart Failure

  • Medications
    • Diuretics (make you urinate off fluid): Lasix, Bumex, Demadex, HTCZ, Chlorthalidone, Aldactone, Zaroxyln
      • Many of these are pills, but some can also be given intravenously in a clinic setting
    • Beta blockers (relax the heart): Coreg, Toprol, Atenolol, Metoprolol
    • ACE inhibitors and ARBs (decrease the resistance that the heart pumps against, making it easier for the heart to pump blood forward): Lisinopril, Captopril, Ramapril, Losartan, Diovan
    • Entresto (combination pill with an ARB and a neprilysin inhibitor, which has been found to be more effective than just the ARB alone)
    • Hydralazine and Imdur (blood pressure pills that have a similar but less beneficial effect on the heart as ACE/ARBs): Usually for people who cannot tolerate ACE/ARBs
    • Digoxin: Improves heart contractility and lowers heart rate
    • Corlanor: Lowers heart rate if you have a fast heart rate
    • Ionotropes (intravenous medications that can force the heart to act stronger): Milrinone and Dobutamine
  • Blood Pressure Control
  • Daily Weight
    • A change of 3-4 pounds in a few days can be an early warning sign.
  • Diet
    • Avoid salt (less than 2 grams a day)
    • Watch fluid intake (less than 1.5 liters a day)
  • Exercise

Work on the Cause of the Heart Failure

  • If due to coronary disease, stents or bypass surgery may help
  • If due to high blood pressure, blood pressure control may help
  • If due to a fast heart rate, heart rate control may help
  • If due to a virus, medications and time may help
  • If due to chemotherapy, medications and time may help
  • If due to a valve problem, fixing the valve may help

Procedures to Treat Heart Failure

  • CardioMEMS
    • Device implanted in the arteries of the lung that can monitor fluid levels and notify your doctor if there is a problem
  • Pacemakers
    • Special pacemakers may make the heart stronger in individuals who have an abnormal heart electrical system
  • LVAD (Left Ventricular Assist Device)
    • Special pumps inserted surgically that can pump blood around the body
  • Heart transplant