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Medications for Heart Failure (Congestive Heart Failure)

Other names: CHF

Heart failure is a common condition that affects the heart's ability to pump blood.

In some cases, the heart can't fill with enough blood (this is called diastolic or right-sided heart failure). In other cases, the heart can't pump enough blood to the rest of the body (this is called systolic or left-sided heart failure). Some people have both.

Having heart failure doesn’t mean that your heart has failed, it just means it is not working as well as it should. Heart failure is often referred to as congestive heart failure. It is a serious condition that requires medical care.

What Causes Heart Failure?

Heart failure develops over time and is usually associated with conditions that damage or place stress on the heart and force it to work harder than it should. Over time the heart weakens. Causes of heart failure include:

  • Coronary artery disease (ischemic heart disease)
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Diabetes
  • Heart valve conditions
  • Heart attacks
  • Toxin exposure, including excessive alcohol
  • Some other heart conditions or disease.

What are the Symptoms of Heart Failure?

Symptoms of heart failure reflect that the weakened heart cannot supply the cells of the body with enough blood and therefore enough oxygen Symptoms may include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fluid retention in the feet, ankles, legs
  • Fluid may also build up in the liver, abdomen, and veins of the neck
  • Fatigue
  • Sometimes coughing
  • Trouble with everyday activities such as climbing stairs, walking or carrying groceries.

How is Heart Failure Treated?

Although heart failure has no cure, various lifestyle measures and treatments can help people who have the condition live longer and lead more active lives.  Lifestyle changes include:

  • Eating a diet based mainly on vegetables and fruit and limiting red meat and foods containing fat, sugar or salt
  • Stopping smoking if you smoke
  • Losing weight if you are overweight
  • Limiting your daily fluid intake
  • Avoiding or limiting alcohol
  • Being physically active
  • Reducing stress
  • Improving sleep quantity and quality.

Pharmacological treatments include:

  • Getting recommended vaccinations (such as those for flu or pneumonia)
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (Ace inhibitors)
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs)
  • Angiotensin-receptor neprilysin inhibitors (ARNIs)
  • Beta-blockers
  • Diuretics
  • Other medications (eg, anticoagulants, statins, vasodilators).

Drugs used to treat Heart Failure

The following list of medications are in some way related to, or used in the treatment of this condition.

Drug name Rating Reviews Activity ? Rx/OTC Pregnancy CSA Alcohol
furosemide 7.3 11 reviews
Rx C N X

Generic name: furosemide systemic

Brand name:  Lasix

Drug class: loop diuretics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

carvedilol 7.5 42 reviews
Rx C N X

Generic name: carvedilol systemic

Brand names:  Coreg, Coreg CR

Drug class: non-cardioselective beta blockers

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Lasix 9.5 2 reviews
Rx C N X

Generic name: furosemide systemic

Drug class: loop diuretics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

spironolactone 6.8 5 reviews
Rx C N X

Generic name: spironolactone systemic

Brand names:  Aldactone, CaroSpir

Drug class: potassium-sparing diuretics, aldosterone receptor antagonists

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Coreg 9.1 18 reviews
Rx C N X

Generic name: carvedilol systemic

Drug class: non-cardioselective beta blockers

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

lisinopril 6.8 6 reviews
Rx D N

Generic name: lisinopril systemic

Brand names:  Prinivil, Zestril, Qbrelis

Drug class: Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph

digoxin 7.3 3 reviews
Rx C N

Generic name: digoxin systemic

Brand names:  Lanoxin, Digox, Digitek

Drug class: inotropic agents, group V antiarrhythmics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

metoprolol 4.2 7 reviews
Rx C N X

Generic name: metoprolol systemic

Brand names:  Toprol-XL, Kapspargo Sprinkle

Drug class: cardioselective beta blockers

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Farxiga 10 2 reviews
Rx C N X

Generic name: dapagliflozin systemic

Drug class: SGLT-2 inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

dapagliflozin 10 2 reviews
Rx C N X

Generic name: dapagliflozin systemic

Brand name:  Farxiga

Drug class: SGLT-2 inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph

isosorbide mononitrate 7.4 8 reviews
Rx C N

Generic name: isosorbide mononitrate systemic

Drug class: antianginal agents

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, Prescribing Information

amlodipine 6.0 3 reviews
Rx C N

Generic name: amlodipine systemic

Brand name:  Norvasc

Drug class: calcium channel blocking agents

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Aldactone 5.5 2 reviews
Rx C N X

Generic name: spironolactone systemic

Drug class: potassium-sparing diuretics, aldosterone receptor antagonists

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Accupril 5.0 1 review
Rx D N

Generic name: quinapril systemic

Drug class: Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

warfarin 10 1 review
Rx D N X

Generic name: warfarin systemic

Brand names:  Coumadin, Jantoven

Drug class: coumarins and indandiones

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Coumadin Rate Add review
Rx D N X

Generic name: warfarin systemic

Drug class: coumarins and indandiones

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Entresto 4.7 132 reviews
Rx N

Generic name: sacubitril / valsartan systemic

Drug class: angiotensin receptor blockers and neprilysin inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Norvasc 8.0 1 review
Rx C N

Generic name: amlodipine systemic

Drug class: calcium channel blocking agents

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Cardizem Rate Add review
Rx C N

Generic name: diltiazem systemic

Drug class: calcium channel blocking agents, group IV antiarrhythmics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Altace 5.0 2 reviews
Rx D N

Generic name: ramipril systemic

Drug class: Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Lanoxin Rate Add review
Rx C N

Generic name: digoxin systemic

Drug class: inotropic agents, group V antiarrhythmics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Toprol-XL 8.0 1 review
Rx C N X

Generic name: metoprolol systemic

Drug class: cardioselective beta blockers

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

hydralazine 0.0 1 review
Rx C N

Generic name: hydralazine systemic

Brand name:  Apresoline

Drug class: vasodilators

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Diovan Rate Add review
Rx D N

Generic name: valsartan systemic

Drug class: angiotensin receptor blockers

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Nitrostat 10 1 review
Rx C N X

Generic name: nitroglycerin systemic

Drug class: antianginal agents, vasodilators

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Topics under Heart Failure

Learn more about Heart Failure (Congestive Heart Failure)

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Legend

Rating For ratings, users were asked how effective they found the medicine while considering positive/adverse effects and ease of use (1 = not effective, 10 = most effective).
Activity Activity is based on recent site visitor activity relative to other medications in the list.
Rx Prescription Only.
OTC Over the Counter.
Rx/OTC Prescription or Over the Counter.
Off-label This medication may not be approved by the FDA for the treatment of this condition.
EUA An Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) allows the FDA to authorize unapproved medical products or unapproved uses of approved medical products to be used in a declared public health emergency when there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives.
Pregnancy Category
A Adequate and well-controlled studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy (and there is no evidence of risk in later trimesters).
B Animal reproduction studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.
C Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.
D There is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.
X Studies in animals or humans have demonstrated fetal abnormalities and/or there is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience, and the risks involved in use in pregnant women clearly outweigh potential benefits.
N FDA has not classified the drug.
Controlled Substances Act (CSA) Schedule
M The drug has multiple schedules. The schedule may depend on the exact dosage form or strength of the medication.
U CSA Schedule is unknown.
N Is not subject to the Controlled Substances Act.
1 Has a high potential for abuse. Has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. There is a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.
2 Has a high potential for abuse. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions. Abuse may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
3 Has a potential for abuse less than those in schedules 1 and 2. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.
4 Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 3. It has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 3.
5 Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 4. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 4.
Alcohol
X Interacts with Alcohol.

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