Why is this medication prescribed to me?
When should I take this medication?
Side effects and what to do:
ACE inhibitors are not prescribed for pregnant patients because they may cause birth defects. Individuals who have narrowing of both kidney arteries or have had a severe reaction to ARBs or other ACEIs should avoid them.
ARBs work similarly to ACEIs. They dilate (widen) blood vessels and improve blood pressure. This increases blood flow and lessens the work the heart needs to do. These medications also block some of the harmful substances the body produces when the heart is weak.
Compared to ACE inhibitors, cough occurs significantly less often with ARBs. ARBs usually are not prescribed for pregnant patients because they may cause birth defects. Individuals who have narrowing of both kidney arteries or have had a severe reaction to ARBs should avoid them.
Beta-blockers improve the heart’s ability to relax and decrease the production of harmful substances. Over time, beta-blockers may improve the heart’s pumping ability.
Diuretics help the body get rid of excess fluids and sodium through urination. This helps to relieve the heart’s workload and decreases the buildup of fluid in the lungs and other parts of the body, such as the ankles and legs.
Aldosterone Antagonists are also called potassium-sparing diuretics or aldosterone antagonists and can be used to get rid of excess swelling and water build-up. However, small doses of these medications prevent heart failure symptoms from getting worse and may help you live longer. The medications protect the heart from certain hormones the body produces.
Vasodilators relax blood vessels and increase the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart while reducing its workload.
Contact your physician right away if you have any of the above symptoms. The dosage of your medication may need to be adjusted.
Ivabradine is used to slow down your heart rate so that your heart does not have to work as hard to pump blood. This medication must always be taken with food.
Sacubitril/Valsartan is a combination medication that may be used in place of ACEI or ARB. This medication also increases blood flow so that your heart does not have to work as hard to pump blood. It also blocks some of the harmful substances the body produces when you have a weak heart. This medication is proven to help you live a longer and better life.
If you are already on an ACEI it is important to allow for a 36 hour washout period from the time you stop the ACEI to the time you start this medication.
Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAIDs):
NSAIDs such as ibuprofen (Advil, Profinal) which are sometimes used for pain or headaches and are not recommended for heart failure. These medications block some of the compensatory vasodilation that your kidneys may perform in response to your condition resulting in worsening of your kidney function, heart failure and further water retention. These medications should not be used unless prescribed by your physician. If you are to self-treat your headache or pain, paracetamol or acetaminophen (Panadol, Tylenol) is preferred.
In heart failure, you may need to have devices and advanced therapies:
Each patient will have a unique plan regarding these types of therapies based on their potential benefits and risks.
Worsening heart failure can present as increased shortness of breath, fatigue, leg swelling and rapid weight gain. Please weigh yourself daily and record your weight every day. Please bring your weight record to every clinic visit.
Please call if you have symptoms of worsening heart failure:
Seek care immediately or call 999 if you have any of the following signs of a heart attack:
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This information is provided by Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, part of Mubadala Healthcare, and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.
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