Heart failure is best treated by using a combination of medicines. Some of the most commonly used medicines include:
Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors work by relaxing the arteries and making it easier for the heart to pump. ACE Inhibitors can extend life in patients with heart failure.
Beta-blockers block substances which damage the heart. Selected Beta-blockers in combination with Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors alone.
Diuretics (water pills) relieve symptoms of excess fluid overload. This includes shortness of breath, swelling of the feet, legs, ankles and/or the abdomen.
Digoxin makes the heart squeeze stronger. This medicine needs lab testing to keep levels in safe range.
Nitrates relieve chest pain by relaxing arteries and veins.
Warfarin (Coumadin) is a blood thinner which lowers the risk of forming clots. Treatment includes frequent blood testing to determine dosage.
Aspirin decreases the risk of future heart attacks by thinning the blood.
Potassium and Magnesium supplements may be needed to replenish the levels after diuretic use.
Important: Take medicines exactly as directed. Call your doctor if you have any side effects.
Heart Failure Society of America