Medications

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It is not uncommon to take two or more medications to treat heart failure because each one treats a different symptom or contributing factor.

 

When taking medication, it is important that you:

  • Take your medications correctly
  • Understand the desired effects and possible side effects of all drugs you are taking

Following are medications commonly prescribed for heart failure.

Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors

These drugs widen blood vessels to lower blood pressure, improve circulation and ease the work of the heart.

Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (ARBs)

ARBs offer many of the same benefits as ACE inhibitors and may be a good choice for people who cannot take ACE inhibitors.

Beta Blockers

These drugs slow the heart rate, lower blood pressure and may reduce the signs and symptoms of heart failure.

Digitalis

Digitalis strengthens the contraction of the heart muscle and slows the heart rate.

Diuretics

These medications make you urinate more often to keep fluid from collecting in your body.

Vasodilators

Vasodilators open up—or dilate—your blood vessels. By relaxing the muscles in the walls of your arteries, blood flows more easily through the arteries so your heart doesn't have to pump as hard.

Aldosterone Antagonists

These drugs are diuretics, but have additional properties to make your heart work better, such as reversing scarring of the heart.