Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors

"What types of medications can I take to treat my Congestive Heart Failure?"


I have been diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Since I found out about this condition, I have been prescribed so many medications that I can hardly keep up with them, some work and some don't. I have been taking a beta-blocker blood pressure medication for many years, but I have other health issues that need to be addressed as well, such as neuropathy, diabetes, arthritis, and COPD. Due to several drug allergies, some of the medications I need to take for the heart failure interfere with the drugs for the other conditions. I know I need to take a diuretic, and take Edecrin, but it is not working as well as it should, and I have such a problem with low potassium. What are some other choices of heart failure medications that I can take?


There are a few essential medications for people that have been diagnosed with congestive heart failure and it's important to discuss them with your cardiologist. First, everyone should be on a beta-blocker as you have been. The two most common beta blockers used are metoprolol succinate and carvedilol.

See a doctor who can help

Find a Cardiologists near you

The second essential medication is an ACE inhibitor. The most commonly used ACE inhibitor is lisinopril. Depending on the severity of the congestive heart failure, the addition of spironolactone or eplerenone might be helpful. The diuretics you mentioned are also sometimes used, but this is only if people complain of fluid retention. If you struggle with fluid retention, fluid overload, or fluid in the lungs, then a diuretic usually is the next medicine added. Edecrin is one type of diuretic, but there are others that are used more commonly. Most of them can result in low potassium so most people need to be on potassium supplementation. The best physician for you to discuss these issues with is a board certified cardiologist. He or she will need to follow you over the years to make sure that the doses of your medications are correct. You should also be monitored with periodic imaging of the heart usually with an echocardiogram. This way your doctor will know in advance if your heart is getting worse.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.