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:

Medicines list



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.

heartfailurematters.org is a European Society of Cardiology website

The heartfailurematters.org 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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