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Is new drug an ace in the hole?

MagazineJune 2003 (Vol. 14 Issue 3)Is new drug an ace in the hole?

Heart failure is a catch-all term which simply means that your heart isn't working quite as well as it should

Heart failure is a catch-all term which simply means that your heart isn't working quite as well as it should. A number of problems building up over time can result in a heart that can't pump as well as it used to. These include high blood pressure and narrowed or clogged arteries, or even an inherent defect in the walls or valves of the heart itself. Without enough oxygen from the blood, a patient with so-called heart failure will often feel breathless and tire easily just from doing everyday things.

The usual treatment for heart failure is one of a variety of heart drugs. ACE inhibitors, which prevent the release of angiotensin, are the first-line treatment for heart failure. Other more tried-and-tested drugs include vasodilators, diuretics, beta-blockers, digitalis drugs, calcium-channel blockers and blood-thinning drugs like warfarin. Overall, the older-type diuretics are probably the conventional treatment choice with the fewest side-effects for older patients.


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