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Treating heart failure

Heart failure cannot be cured but it can be controlled through healthy lifestyle measures and medicines. You have an important part to play in managing heart failure.

Your GP or heart specialist (cardiologist) will advise you on the medicine options and start you on the appropriate treatment.

The type of medicines you'll need depends on the type of heart failure you have and how severe it is.

Medications known as diuretics are used to treat your symptoms by getting rid of extra fluid. Other medications are used to help your heart pump better and may help you live longer.

You may need one or more medicines and there might need to be a period of adjusting doses and adding medicines to see what works best for you.

Types of medicines to treat heart failure

Other treatments

Some people need a device such as a pacemaker, cardiac resynchronisation therapy pacemaker (CRT-P) or implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) to help manage their heart failure.

Heart surgery is sometimes needed depending on the cause of the heart failure. For example, a faulty heart valve may need replacing.

Advanced heart failure

Although treatment can help control symptoms, heart failure can get worse over time, becoming more severe and getting to a point where treatment isn't that effective any more. Read more about advanced heart failure.

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On the next page: Self-care for heart failure

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed December 2021.

Page reference: 41344

Review key: HIHFA-27478