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Congestive Heart Failure: Treatment

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This information was reviewed and approved by Andrew M. Freeman, MD, FACC, FACP (12/1/2012).

A variety of medicines are available to help treat congestive heart failure. Some of the most frequently prescribed medications include:

  • Diuretics: (water or fluid pills) Reduce fluid buildup in the lungs and body swelling.
  • ACE inhibitors: Decrease blood pressure and lessen any strain on the heart. They may also help lessen the chance of a heart attack.
  • Aldosterone Antagonists: Cause the body to dispose of excess salt and water in urine, helping lower the volume of blood that the heart must pump and lessening its workload.
  • Angiotensin Receptor Blockers: Help decrease blood pressure and relax blood vessels
  • Beta Blockers: Decrease heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Isosorbide Dinitrate/Hydralazine Hydrochloride: Relax blood vessels.
  • Digoxin: Makes the heart beat stronger.

If you have trouble breathing, you may be given an oxygen tank to make breathing easier and more productive.

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