Heart failure medicines
Here, we provide a guide to the types of heart failure medicines that are available. It’s important that you speak to your doctor about any concerns or questions you have about your heart failure medicines. You are likely to require medication for your heart failure for the rest of your life.
There are lots of medicines that you may be given. They can help to keep your symptoms under control and improve your quality of life. Some of them have side effects – but the benefits usually greatly outweigh the problems. If you do find it hard to cope with one of your medicines because of the side effects, it’s important to talk to your doctor who can help you. Don’t stop taking your medicines or adjust any doses. Your doctor may be able to work with you to find a dose or version that suits you better.
However, it’s important to note that the initial side effects of heart failure drugs are very common but disappear after time. Therefore it’s essential to persevere with the help of your doctor or nurse. Not all medicines are needed by every person with heart failure. Which medicines are right for you will depend on your symptoms, general health and lifestyle. Your doctor will consider any other medical problems you have that may affect your treatment.
It’s very important to take your medicines exactly as your doctor tells you as this will ensure that the medicine works for you. In order to get the best effects for you, some medicines must be given at the optimal dose, which usually means that the dosage of tablets must be increased overtime. This is called uptitration, which means gradually increasing the dosage of medicine. Blood pressure, heart rate, and blood test results may need more careful monitoring during periods when medication is changed: your doctor or nurse will be able to advise you. You are likely to need more than one medicine at a time. Making a note or chart may help you to keep track.
Click on any of the links below to learn more about the different groups of heart failure medicines available:
- ACE (Angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors
- ARBs (Angiotensin II receptor blockers)
- ARNIs (Angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibitors)
- Beta blockers
- Aldosterone receptor antagonists
- SGLT2 (Sodium Glucose Cotransporter 2) inhibitors
- Sinus node inhibitors
- Intravenous Iron
- sGC stimulators
- Nitrates / Vasodilators
- Anticoagulants including new oral anticoagulants (NOACs)
- Platelet inhibitors
- Medicines for acute heart failure