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Heart failure is not always fatal and the prognosis depends on the severity of heart failure, the underlying cause, age, general health, and coexisting disease, such as diabetes. The most effective heart failure treatment plans employ a multifaceted approach.
This includes preventive care aimed at minimizing the risk factors for having a heart attack and other forms of heart disease. Preventive measures include regular medical care to monitor and treat such risk factors as high cholesterol, hypertension, obesity, smoking, diabetes, and excessive alcohol consumption. Treatment can include lifestyle and dietary changes, exercise, and medications. It is generally recommended that people with heart failure follow a low sodium diet because excessive salt leads to fluid retention and increases blood pressure.
Treatment of heart failure also includes prescribed periods of rest and medications. Medications include diuretic drugs that pull excessive fluid out of the lungs and tissues of the body by increasing urine production. Drugs called ACE inhibitors help to minimize how hard the heart has to work. Digitalis drugs, such as digoxin, slow and strengthen the beating of the heart to make the heart muscle more effective in pumping blood. Beta blockers are also often prescribed to lower blood pressure and heart rate.
Severe heart failure with acute pulmonary edema is often diagnosed and treated in the emergency room setting. Treatment includes the administration of supplemental oxygen aimed at increasing the amount of oxygen that is delivered to the heart tissue. Treatment also includes intravenous medications, such as diuretics, that can rapidly draw fluid out of the lungs. Breathing may need to be supported by mechanical ventilation. Heart rhythm and cardiac enzymes are also monitored. Abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias) may need treatment with medications and possibly electrical cardioversion or defibrillation.
In severe cases when medications and lifestyle and dietary changes do not improve heart function, a heart transplant may be needed. A device called a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), which is attached to the heart, can help to improve heart function. A LVAD may be used as a bridge treatment while waiting for a heart transplant or as a treatment in itself.
Some of the possible treatments for Heart failure from various sources may include:
The following treatments are listed for Heart failure in our knowledge base:
Some of the drugs and medications used in the treatment of Heart failure may include:
The following medications/drugs/procedures are some of the latest treatments for Heart failure:
Review the treatment information pages for various causes of Heart failure:
More causes: not all possible causes for Heart failure are listed above; for a full list refer to causes of Heart failure.
Only your doctor can advise whether any of these treatments are appropriate for your specific medical situation. Always discuss all treatment options with your doctor before making a decision, including whether to start or discontinue any treatment plan.
The following list of conditions have 'Heart failure' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.
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The following list of medical conditions have 'Heart failure'
or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.
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