Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Medication for Cardiomyopathy: What is does for your Heart?

Healing is two-step process. Your mind can achieve great things and healing is one of them. First step is getting peace of mind. Peace of mind comes with the knowledge that you went out to do something for yourself. This starts by seeing a specialist and getting the prescription necessary to improving your condition. Buying the medication and following through with the schedule in taking what your doctor prescribed. Understanding what you are taking is absolutely necessary to attain this. It comes in knowing that you are doing something to help yourself reach your goal of self-preservation.

Second step is to improve your physical state. This goes to show that the person is dedicated in getting better. Thus follows the conscious effort in avoiding the things which may worsen the condition like unhealthy food, vices, stress and overall unhealthy lifestyle. Taking your prescription regularly and on time is a must. Avoid cutting the recommended dosage or prolonging the medication. Taking some medicine doesn't equate to the effect of taking all your prescribed medicine. There is a reason why it was given all in one prescription. Mostly some of it will not work without the others.

Reading the material below, understanding the benefits of your prescription and its effects will help you understand what your cardiologist wants to achieve.

Here are some of the most common medications used for cardiomyopathy

1.     Beta-adrenergic (beta) blockers 
·         Beta blockers decrease the heart's demand for oxygen which decreases the workload on the heart.
·         In slowing the heart rate it lessens the symptoms of heart failure.
·         This is prescribed to lower blood pressure, slow the heart rate and by reducing the effect of adrenaline on the heart.
·         Studies show the increase survival by about 30-35 percent in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy.
·         Beta blockers can prevent further heart enlargement and scarring.
·         By preventing the enlargement of the heart, Beta blockers decrease risk of for people diagnosed with cardiomyopathy.
2.     Diuretics
·         It is more commonly called water pills.
·         It helps to promote urine production in the kidneys through relieving excess fluid in the body.
·         This decreases symptoms of shortness of breath, bloating and swelling.

3.     Positive inotropic medications 
·         Positive inotropic medication is used to strengthen the contractions of the heart.
·         Thisis prescribed to people with severe dilated cardiomyopathy. 
Examples of these drugs include the following:
§  digoxin
Ø  Digoxin has been used for a very long time to improve heart contractions and seems to work best in people who have severe heart failure complicated by atrial fibrillation because digoxin can slow a rapid heart rate.
·         Studies show that these drugs may accelerate the degeneration of the heart by forcing an already weakened organ to work harder.
·         Hence it is usually only used for a short period of time, or when there are no other treatment options. Take these only up to the time your doctor recommends and bring up if there are any adverse effects felt in your body.
§  milrinone
§  dopamine
§  dobutamine 
·         Positive inotropic medications are not recommended for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients because they can worsen the condition.
So far, so good in learning about prescription drugs given by doctors for people diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. Read on to learn more about the other drugs possibly given to you to reduce or eliminate certain symptoms.

4.     Vasodilators 
Ø  These commonly used to reduce symptoms of heart failure.
Ø  It can prolong the life of people with dilated cardiomyopathy.
Ø  Examples of vasodilators which cause blood vessels throughout the body to relax are the following:
·         (ACE) Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors
·         (ARBs) Angiotensin receptor blockers
Ø  Benefits include the following:
Ø  Decreases the resistance to blood flow measured as blood pressure,
Ø  Blood pressure change which in turn reduces the workload on the heart.
Ø  Vasodilators can also reverse the enlargement and scarring of the heart.
Ø  Taking these prescribed drugs can improve symptoms decrease the risk of hospitalization and death.
Ø  These are vasodilators which also reduce the workload of the heart and have been shown to improve symptoms and survival in dilated cardiomyopathy.
·         hydralazine
·         nitrates

5.     Aldosterone blockers 
Ø  Used to help balance electrolytes in the body
Ø  Prevents heart and blood vessel scarring, stiffening, and enlargement
Ø  Studies have shown that aldosterone blockers can improve survival in patients with severe dilated cardiomyopathy
Ø  Clinical studies also show improvement for those who have had a heart attack complicated by cardiomyopathy.

6.     Antiarrhythmic 
Ø  Antiarrhythmics increase the efficiency of the heart by regulating the heart rhythm.
Ø  These are drugs alter the way in which electrical currents are transmitted through the heart muscle.
Ø  The heart pumps most efficiently when it beats in a regular rhythm.
Ø  These drugs are used only in selected patients because they can have significant side effects. Do not take these drugs without a prescription.

Having learned a lot about your prescription drugs, now you are armed with the necessary knowledge to understand why your cardiologist gave this to you. Congratulations for you have just started the process of healing, both inside and out. Always keep the positive outlook in life, for this will provide good results slowly but surely.

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