March 11, 2022

Common medications for heart valve problems

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Some help the heart; others prevent related problems.

If you are feeling the effects of a problem with your heart’s valves, there are medications that can ease symptoms. Others can help prevent different problems that may occur because of valve disease. Your doctor can discuss what might be right for you. 

Medicines for heart valve symptoms 

Here are some types of medicines that may be prescribed:

  • Diuretics help rid the body of excess fluid through your urine. Having less fluid to pump makes a heart’s job easier. Getting rid of extra water can also help reduce swelling, bloating and shortness of breath. 
  • Digitalis helps the heart pump with more strength. This allows the heart to pump more blood with each beat. Digitalis may also keep the heartbeat regular. 
  • ACE inhibitors or ARBs make blood flow more easily by relaxing blood vessels and lowering blood pressure. This means the heart doesn’t have to work as hard to pump the same amount of blood. 
  • Beta-blockers slow the heart rate, which lessens the work the heart has to do and keeps the heartbeat regular. They can also help the heart pump better. 
  • Antiarrhythmics control a fast or irregular heartbeat (heart palpitations). 

Medications to prevent related problems

Problems with heart valves can make the heart more likely to form blood clots or become infected. Anticoagulants are medicines that help prevent these problems. They prevent blood clots from forming inside the heart chambers or on a damaged heart valve. These medicines may require close monitoring.

For the best and safest treatment, take any medicine exactly as you are instructed.

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Vanderbilt University Medical Center is a leader in treating heart valve disease with the newest transcatheter techniques. Vanderbilt’s team includes general cardiologists, interventional cardiologists and cardiac surgeons, all with advanced training and expertise in structural heart and valve disease. They treat patients with diseases of the aortic, mitral or tricuspid valve, from the routine to the complex.

Download a free treatment guide