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NeedyHearts NeedyHearts is offline
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CHD Treatment: Medications - 01-02-2010, 07:57 AM

Medicines often are needed to treat congenital heart defects until the defect can be repaired or corrected. Some complex acyanotic heart defects and most cyanotic heart defects require ongoing treatment with medicines even after the defect is repaired. Children with certain defects that cannot be completely corrected may have to take medicines for a long time.



Medicines typically are used to:
  • Treat heart failure by reducing the amount of extra fluid in the body (with diuretics), by increasing the strength of the heartbeats (with cardiac glycosides), or by enlarging blood vessels (with vasodilators).
  • Control irregular heartbeats by using antiarrhythmics.
  • Prevent endocarditic with antibiotics.
  • Improve blood flow to the lungs or the body (with prostaglandins and prostaglandin inhibitors).

Treatment with medicines varies depending on the:
  • Type of defect: Complex cyanotic heart defects usually need treatment with medicines more often than acyanotic heart defects.
  • Size of the defect: Children with large defects are likely to have symptoms of heart failure and to require medicines for it.
Medicines used to treat congenital heart defects are very strong and can be dangerous if they are not given correctly. It is important to know how to give medicine to your child safely. For example, you should be confident with knowing how much medicine your child needs and how and when to give it.

Last edited by NeedyHearts; 01-02-2010 at 08:02 AM.
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