Medications are an important part of treating heart failure. Your doctor may recommend one or a combination of the following:
- Diuretics (water or fluid pills) help keep fluid from building up in your body or lungs—they will also make you urinate more frequently
- ACE inhibitors/ARBs relax your blood vessels to lower blood pressure and reduce strain on your heart and improve blood flow
- Aldosterone antagonists help the body to get rid of salt and water through urine. This lowers the volume of blood that the heart must pump.
- Beta blockers can slow a rapid heart rate and lower your blood pressure
- Digoxin can make you feel better and may make the heart pump better
- Nitrates and hydralazine, a combination that
- has shown to improve outcomes in African Americans, and
- is often used if someone is allergic to or can't take ACE inhibitors or ARBs
- Angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibitor (ARNI): This drug is a combination of an ARB and a medicine that inhibits the production of neprilysin, an enzyme that breaks down natural substances in the body that widen blood vessels
and reduce sodium retention. The effect is to lower blood pressure and decrease strain on the heart.
- Sinoatrial node modulator: This drug is used with beta blockers when they cannot lower your heart rate sufficiently. It helps reduce the amount of oxygen your heart needs and the amount of work your heart has to do to pump blood
through the body.