New treatments for heart failure

A range of new drugs have come to enrich the therapeutic arsenal available to physicians to treat heart failure, which is a serious condition.

With age, sometimes the heart become gradually unable to ensure its pump function, which leads to eject blood into the circulation during each of her contractions. Some diseases such as myocardial infarction, high blood pressure or, more rarely, early damage to the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy) can also promote this state of fact by reducing the ability to eject from the heart (myocardial infarction, cardiomyopathy) or by increasing the resistance to the flow of blood (hypertension). In any case, result is the onset of heart failure that causes an enlarged, reflexively mechanism or dilation of the heart Chambers.

heart failure

After years of evolution, heart failure can affect lung function by causing the appearance of edema in the alveoli. While the left side of the heart is often only to be concerned at the beginning of the disease, congestive heart failure can reach the right side of the heart in a second time and lead to a stagnation of blood in the liver and the legs, which may increase in volume.

New therapeutic weapons
Heart failure is a serious condition. Long considered a disease of aging because observed more often in older people, it had no effective treatment. It is more even today and a whole range of new drugs have come to enrich the therapeutic arsenal available to physicians.

Once the treatment was based on the use of diuretics to eliminate water and salt in excess and heart work. These products are still used, but now their associate another class of drugs, Angiotensin II (IEC)-converting enzyme inhibitors, who oppose the constriction of vessels acting on their wall. The IEC are currently prescribed in first choice for heart failure patients, and their interest has been shown in many international studies. However, they could in turn be competing a few years other drugs that intervene on other vasoconstrictor systems or increase the action of endogenous vasodilators present naturally within the body.

The enemy of yesterday changes camp
Another class of drugs, useful for cardiologists, is represented by beta-blockers, drugs that work by blocking the effects of adrenaline. Curiously, β-blockers have long been contraindicated in heart failure for different reasons, and particularly because they slow the heart. But it was discovered a few years ago that they were on the contrary a beneficial effect in this condition. They also now represent a treatment of choice for heart failure class II or III, and several recent studies have confirmed that their use improves the symptoms of the sick (shortness of breath, fatigue…) and decreases the number of deaths.

Arrhythmia, different solutions
Cardiologists are also increasingly making to disorders of heart rhythm, which can be severe and sometimes even cause death in heart failure patients. Digitalis, who for decades represented the flagship treatment in the matter are thus more and more replaced by other kinds of antiarrhythmic drugs.