Heart Failure – Symptoms, Causes, and Medication

Heart Failure

There is no doubt that heart failure is a serious condition, but contrary to popular belief, it does not indicate that the heart has completely stopped working or has completely given out. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart failure results from your heart’s inability to pump enough blood.

 A lack of blood circulation is dangerous because it ensures your body functions properly, keeps your organs functioning, keeps you warm, nourishes your skin, supports your brain, ensures you digest food properly, and much more. The whole body suffers when the heart does not pump blood efficiently.

Sadly, heart failure is fairly common. The condition is believed to affect more than 6 million adults in the United States, according to a study published in the year 2020.  Since the symptoms that characterize heart failure can be classified into a number of different types and stages, it can also be quite complex. 

Here’s what you need to know about heart failure, including the medications by pharmaceutical ingredients manufacturers you’ll need to take if you’re suffering from it. 

What is Heart Failure?

In heart failure, the heart cannot pump blood efficiently enough to meet the body’s needs. The term heart failure does not imply that the heart has completely failed. The term congestive heart failure can also be used to describe heart failure.

A backup of blood occurs due to the inefficient pumping associated with heart failure. This leads to fluid retention in the kidneys. Consequently, the tissues in the body swell.

Inflammation is the most common form of swelling that affects the legs. This condition can also affect other tissues and organs. Breathing difficulties occur in the lungs of patients with heart failure.

Heart failure can be divided into two types, each of which affects the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles) in different ways:

  • Left-sided: Depending on how the heart fails, left-sided heart failure can be either diastolic or systolic. Heart failure caused by systolic contractions occurs when the left ventricle cannot pump blood out well. The left ventricle cannot relax and fill when it suffers from diastolic heart failure. Blood backs up into the lungs due to both types of left-sided heart failure.
  • Right-sided: As a result of an inefficient right ventricle, fluid can back up into the abdomen, legs, and feet when the right ventricle does not pump efficiently.

Symptoms of Heart Failure

Heart failure can be chronic (ongoing) or acute (sudden). Symptoms of heart failure include:

  • When you are active or lying down, you experience shortness of breath
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Leg, ankle, and foot swelling
  • Heartbeats that are rapid or irregular
  • Exercising is more difficult
  • The mucus is white or pink and blood-tinged when coughed or wheezed persistently.
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Fluid buildup causes rapid weight gain
  • A feeling of nausea and an inability to eat
  • Reduced alertness or difficulty concentrating
  • Heart failure may cause chest pain after a heart attack.

Causes of Heart Failure

  • High blood pressure, or hypertension, is caused by the force of blood flowing against your artery walls. Especially in women assigned to females at birth and Black individuals, hypertension is one of the most common causes of heart failure.
  • Coronary artery disease occurs when plaque accumulates in the arteries’ walls, preventing blood from flowing through them.
  • Blood glucose, also known as sugar or diabetes, is high when you do not have enough insulin (a hormone regulating your blood sugar) or your body cannot use insulin effectively. Heart disease and high blood pressure can also be caused by high blood sugar over time.

You may also be at risk for heart failure if you have the following conditions:

  • The weakening of the heart muscle is called cardiomyopathy
  • A congenital heart defect
  • Stroke
  • heart valve disease
  • Arrhythmias, or irregular heartbeats
  • An elevated blood pressure
  • Lung disease emphysema
  • Untreated sleep apnea
  • Hyperthyroidism 
  • Anemias with severe symptoms
  • Chemotherapy is one type of cancer treatment
  • An addiction to drugs or alcohol

Read Also: Valsartan: Remedy for Blood Pressure and Heart Attack

Medication used to treat Heart Failure

Patients with heart failure may require multiple medications. There is a different treatment for every symptom or contributing factor, and each has its own rules and instructions.

Your healthcare team should explain to you how, when, and in what dosage to take your medications.

The side effects of all your medications must be discussed with your doctor (or other healthcare providers). The best sources of information are your doctor and active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturers. If you have any questions about your medications, don’t hesitate to ask them.  

A Commonly prescribed drug is a combination of Sacubitril/valsartan(LCZ696)

Heart failure and high blood pressure can be treated with valsartan. If they take it, people with heart failure may also have a reduced risk of being hospitalized. Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) are the class of drugs in which valsartan is classified. To make blood flow more freely, it relaxes the blood vessels. Lower blood pressure can prevent heart attacks, strokes, and kidney disease.

Sacubitril/valsartan belongs to a new class of drugs known as angiotensin receptor neprilysin inhibitors (ARNI). HFrEF with NYHA class II, III, or IV is eligible for the medication, as it is FDA-approved for treating chronic heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). With other standard heart failure treatments (beta-blocker, aldosterone antagonist) and an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, sacubitril/valsartan may replace an ACE inhibitor or angiotensin II receptor blocker.

LCZ696 (sacubitril/valsartan) can lower the risk of cardiovascular events in chronic heart failure. It is unclear whether LCZ696 could improve the prognosis of patients suffering from an acute myocardial injury (MI). The study demonstrates that LCZ696 could prevent the rupture of the heart following MI, likely due to the inhibition of pro-inflammatory cell cytokines, the activity of matrix metalloproteinase-9 and aldosterone production, as well as the enhancement of the natriuretic and natriuretic peptides. These results suggest the mechanistic understanding of the cardioprotective properties of LCZ696 for acute MI, which leads to the hypothesis that LCZ696 could be beneficial for improving survival following acute MI.


The right care and treatment plan can allow many adults to continue to enjoy life even though they face limitations due to heart failure. The quality of your life depends on the following factors:

  • Your heart’s performance.
  • Your symptoms.
  • Your response to your treatment plan.
  • Your compliance with your treatment plan.

You can do this by:

  • Taking your medication as prescribed.
  • Being active.
  • Maintaining a low-sodium diet.
  • Keeping track of new or worsening symptoms and reporting them to your doctor.
  • Attending your healthcare provider’s appointments regularly.

You should talk to your doctor about your preferences for medical care because heart failure is a chronic, long-term illness. To let everyone involved in your care know what you wish to be done in the event of an emergency or illness, you may complete an advance directive or living will. 

An individual’s lifestyle will specify what treatments they wish to have to prolong their lives. Prepare your living will while you are healthy in case you are unable to make these decisions after you pass away.


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