Heart Failure Treatment Options

Early diagnosis and treatment of heart failure is very important. When possible, treatment begins by targeting the underlying cause. At the same time the underlying cause of heart failure is treated, so are the symptoms.

Medications/therapies are used to treat the symptoms as well as the cause of heart failure. For example, if a fast heart rhythm is the condition that caused heart failure, then the fast rhythm would be treated. Similarly, if high blood pressure is the culprit, then it, too, would need to be brought under control (less than 130/85 mmHg).

In many cases, coronary artery blockage (CAD) leads to a weakened heart and needs to be treated with several medications, percutaneous coronary intervention therapy (PTCA) or coronary bypass surgery.

Heart valve disease or damage also can lead to heart failure. In some cases, the heart function can return to normal after surgical repair or replacement of the damaged heart valve.

Heart failure treatments vary according to the disease’s underlying severity and may include:

• Beta blockers
• Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors
• Angiotensin Receptor Blockers
• Aldosterone Blockers
• Vasodilators
• Digoxin (Lanoxin, Digitek)
• Diuretics
• Potassium
• Inotropes

Learn more about medications.

Device Implants and Cardiac Surgeries
In some situations, patients develop advanced heart failure despite optimal medical therapy and may be candidates for other interventions such as:
• Cardiac resynchronization therapy (and other pacemakers)
• Implanted Defibrillators
• Cardiac Surgery (such as valve replacement or repair, coronary artery by graft surgery, and more)
Heart transplantation
Implantation of ventricular assist device (VAD)

Learn more about other interventions.

Heart failure is a chronic (ongoing) condition that may follow a varied and unpredictable course. If you have been diagnosed with heart failure, adhering to the treatment plan designed by your doctors and nurses, and learning about key symptoms that may indicate trouble, can help you navigate this challenge. With you as look out and your doctor and nurses as guides, your heart failure signs and symptoms can be controlled.