Congestive Heart Failure: Prescriptions for Health


Rohinton J. Morris, MD
Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Abington Health

Donald C. Haas, MD
Medical Director of the Ventricular Assist Device Program at Abington Health

According to the Heart Failure Society of America, U.S. deaths from heart failure have more than doubled in the last 35 years. Fortunately, pharmaceutical advances have led to medications that can delay surgical intervention by years. You can learn more during Abington Health’s live web chat, “The Newest Treatment Options for Congestive Heart Failure,” on February 20 at noon.

Besides treating the symptoms of congestive heart failure, prescription drugs can also greatly improve a patient’s quality of life, allowing them to resume everyday activities and feel more like they did before they got sick. Some common classes of drugs heart failure patients may be prescribed include:

  • Blood pressure medications: So-called vasodilators help relax blood vessels and allow blood to flow more easily, lowering blood pressure.
  • Digoxin: Helps the heart pump more forcefully, leading to better circulation.
  • Diuretics: Called water pills, these primarily help rid the body of excess fluids that build up due to heart failure.
  • Statins: Often used to lower “bad” or LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels and raise good or HDL cholesterol.
  • ACE inhibitors and beta blockers: These drugs block specific chemicals in the body that are believed to contribute to heart failure, so taking them may help slow the condition’s progress.

Healthcare providers will often prescribe more than one medication at a time, so it’s important to discuss and follow instructions for use and any possible drug interactions.

Learn more about congestive heart failure and the latest treatments available at the next live Health Chat with Abington Health on Thursday, February 20th at 12 pm: The Newest Treatment Options for Congestive Heart Failure. Sign up now.