Heart failure occurs when the heart is damaged by irregular heart rhythm, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, anemia or other conditions. Most commonly, the left side of the heart is affected but some patients have right-sided heart failure. In addition to life style changes, there are specific medications and interventions recommended for each type and stage of heart failure.
Heart failure is a serious and chronic condition which can worsen if not properly treated. However, following the recommendations of your physician can allow you to manage your symptoms, feel better and reduce or avoid hospital visits. Failure to follow your healthcare plan can lead to worsening of your condition. It is important that you visit your doctor or nurse practitioner regularly and follow all instructions in order to have the best possible quality of life with heart failure.
Symptoms of heart failure
Symptoms include shortness of breath, fatigue, palpitations, swelling of feet, ankles and abdomen. Symptoms can worsen quickly, leading to acute heart failure. Early recognition and treatment of worsening symptoms is critical to prevent severe exacerbation and, in many cases, hospitalization.
Treatment of heart failure
Although there is usually no cure for heart failure, improved medications and implanted devices can improve control of symptoms and provide an improved quality of life. Oral medications include Ace Inhibitors or ARBs, beta-blockers, diuretics. Other medications may be added, based on each patient’s needs. Oxygen is provided as shortness of breath increases. Many patients will also require a night time respiratory treatment called CPAP. Implanted devices may include a dual chamber pacemaker or cardioverter defibrillator. A low sodium diet is critical to symptom control and fluid restrictions may also be ordered. Stage D patients may qualify for a heart transplant, administration of continuous IV medication (Inotropes) at home, mechanical support (ventricular assist device) or palliative/hospice care.
More about Walgreens services
Walgreens offers a wide range of services to treat acute and chronic conditions. Through our integrated pharmacy platform we can offer solutions to assist you with your oral, inhaled, infused, injected and topical medications.
If your physician has ordered a medication that requires administration by a nurse in your home or in an alternate treatment site, Walgreens can provide infusion services.
If your doctor is treating you for a breathing disorder, Walgreens can provide respiratory services.
If your physician has ordered a medication that you will be self administering or receiving in a physician's office, Walgreens can provide specialty pharmacy services.
Inclusion of resources on this list does not imply endorsement by Walgreen Co. or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates. These resources should be used for general information and educational purposes only. Information provided by these resources should not replace necessary medical consultations with a qualified health or medical professional. Information provided here does not constitute professional medical advice. Although it is intended to be accurate, neither Walgreen Co., its subsidiaries or affiliates, nor any other party assumes liability for loss or damage due to reliance on this material. If you have a medical question, consult your medical professional.