3-rx.comCustomer Support
HomeAbout UsFAQContactHelp
News Center
Health Centers
Medical Encyclopedia
Drugs & Medications
Diseases & Conditions
Medical Symptoms
Med. Tests & Exams
Surgery & Procedures
Injuries & Wounds
Diet & Nutrition
Special Topics

\"$alt_text\"');"); } else { echo"\"$alt_text\""; } ?>

You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Congestive Heart Failure: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)

Congestive Heart Failure

Alternate Names : Heart Failure, CHF, Left-Sided Heart Failure

Congestive Heart Failure | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the condition?

Many medicines are used to treat CHF, including:

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors. Also known as ACE inhibitors, these medicines improve the pumping action of the heart. Examples include enalapril, fosinopril, or lisinopril.
  • Digitalis. This type of medicine the heart muscles beat more strongly.
  • Diuretics. Also known as water pills, this type of medicine helps relieve the buildup of fluid in the tissues. Examples include furosemide or triamterene-HCTZ.
  • The mixed alpha-beta adrenergic blocker, carvedilol. This newer medicine has been shown to have a positive effect on heart failure.
  • In August 2001, the Food and Drug Administration approved a new treatment for severe CHF. Implantable cardiac resynchronization uses a device that stimulates the ventricles, which are the lower chambers of the heart. The device controls the beating of the ventricles so that they beat at the same time. Blood is pumped more efficiently. That helps reduce the effects of CHF.

    A left ventricular assist device, called an LVAD, may be used in severe cases of CHF. An LVAD is a small pump that helps the left ventricle pump more blood through the body. It is generally used to support a person until a heart transplant can be performed. For some people, a heart transplant is the only treatment that can cure the CHF.

    What are the side effects of the treatments?

    Side effects vary with the medicines used:

  • Diuretics can cause dehydration and salt imbalance.
  • ACE inhibitors can cause a chronic dry cough.
  • Too much digitalis can cause serious side effects. These may include vomiting and visual impairment.
  • What happens after treatment for the condition?

    Most people with CHF will benefit if they exercise regularly. Every effort should also be made to reduce his or her coronary risk factors. These actions may include:

  • starting a quit smoking program
  • keeping other diseases and conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure under good control
  • eating a heart healthy diet
  • The doctor may need to adjust medicines until the person achieves the best response.

    How is the condition monitored?

    Periodic exams, blood tests, and imaging studies such as echocardiography are done to monitor CHF. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the doctor.

    Previous section


    Next section

    Congestive Heart Failure: Prevention & Expectations


    Author: Bill Harrison, MD
    Reviewer: Kathleen A. MacNaughton, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 09/05/02

    \"$alt_text\"');"); } else { echo"\"$alt_text\""; } ?>

    Home | About Us | FAQ | Contact | Advertising Policy | Privacy Policy | Bookmark Site