Medical Management

Heart Failure and Recovery Program

Medical management of heart failure conditions

Medical management of heart failure conditions can take any of a number of forms. An enlarged heart, a condition known as cardiomegaly, may not pump blood effectively and can lead to congestive heart failure. Although the heart may improve over time, most children with cardiomegaly need lifelong treatment with medications.

Management of a heart failure condition includes proper diet and exercise, in addition to medications.

Diet

Modifications to diet, such as reducing salt intake and an overall healthier balance to include more fruits and vegetables and less fat and cholesterol, are often recommended. For infants whose heart failure impairs the effectiveness of normal feeding, stomach tubes are sometimes inserted to assure the baby receives enough nutrition.

Exercise

Exercise recommendations are provided based on the patient’s level of symptoms and physical abilities to help promote cardiovascular circulation.

Medications

  • Diuretics can increase urination, helping to help remove excess fluid from the body.
  • Beta blockers can slow down the heart rate to help the heart function more effectively.
  • Digoxin may be prescribed to manage heart rhythm and improves the strength of contraction.
  • ACE inhibitors can help to lower blood pressure, which in turn reduces the workload on the heart.