My medicines

Information on the treatments available for heart failure is provided in the Heart failure medicines section. Below is a list of questions you may want to ask your doctor or nurse to help you manage your medicines as efficiently as possible.

Can my medicine(s) cause any side effects?
Discussing the side effects of your medicine(s) with your doctor or nurse will ensure you know what to expect from taking the medicine, and allow you to prepare yourself for any unwanted side effects. For example, if dizziness is a side effect of your medicine, they may advise you to stand or get out of bed slowly.

How many pills should I take and when?
This will help you to create your own personal medicine chart to keep a track of when and how often to take your medicines.

What if I miss a pill?
Your doctor will advise you what to do if you miss one or more doses of your medicine. For most heart failure medicines to work optimally you need to take the correct dose at the correct time. By taking a pill late, or two at the same time you may be increasing the amount of medicine in your body to a level which might lead to side effects. However if you forget a diuretic, you can usually take it later in the day without problems.

How often do I need to get a new prescription?
Your medicine(s) will be prescribed for a period of time and you will be informed how to request a new prescription – you may need to make another appointment or you may be able to collect it from your clinic or pharmacy. With most heart failure medicines it is important that you take them every day, therefore it is important to plan ahead to make sure you don’t run out – remember holidays or planned travel.

ESC Guidelines for Heart Failure

What patients need to know

This guide for patients from the European Society of Cardiology aims to provide an overview of the latest evidence-based recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure.

In particular, it should help patients to understand the:

  • main types of heart failure
  • medicines used to treat heart failure
  • devices that may be appropriate
  • importance of rehabilitation
  • management by a multidisciplinary team
  • importance of self-care in managing your own condition

Learn more


A series of 9 simple, captivating animations explaining heart failure and its treatment.

These narrated animations explain how a healthy heart works, what happens to it in heart failure and how various treatments work to improve your health.


In this section you can watch, listen or read interviews with other people with heart failure and their caregivers.


and share your own views and experiences with other patients, families and caregivers. is a European Society of Cardiology website

The website was developed under the direction of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). The ESC is a world leader in the discovery and dissemination of best practices in cardiovascular medicine. Our members and decision-makers are healthcare professionals who volunteer their time and expertise to represent professionals in the field of cardiology in Europe and beyond.

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