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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Chronic pericarditis is inflammation of the pericardium for longer than 3 months. The pericardium is the thin sac that surrounds your heart. A small amount of clear fluid between the heart and the sac allows the heart to beat easily. With pericarditis, the amount of fluid increases and may contain pus. This can cause problems with the way that your heart beats.
- NSAIDs help decrease swelling and pain or fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
- Antibiotics: This medicine will help fight or prevent an infection. Take your antibiotics until they are gone, even if you feel better.
- Steroids: This medicine may be given to decrease redness, pain, and swelling.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him of her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
- Eat a variety of healthy foods. This may help you have more energy and heal faster. Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meat, and fish. Ask if you need to be on a special diet.
- Drink liquids as directed. Adults should drink between 9 and 13 eight-ounce cups of liquid every day. Ask what amount is best for you. For most people, good liquids to drink are water, juice, and milk.
- Get plenty of exercise. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best exercise plan for you. Exercise can decrease your blood pressure and improve your health.
- Do not smoke. Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and cigars can cause lung damage. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help to quit. E-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine. Talk to your healthcare provider before you use these products.
- Manage stress. Stress may slow healing and cause illness. Learn new ways to relax, such as deep breathing.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have shortness of breath, which is worse when you lie down.
- Your chest pain gets worse or does not get better.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.