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Treatment

The treatment of cardiomyopathy depends on its cause. Here are some of the more common treatments:

  • Medications that prolong life in people with dilated cardiomyopathy.

    • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors

    • Angiotensin receptor blockers

    • Beta-blockers

    • Aldosterone receptor antagonists

  • Drugs that improve the symptoms of heart failure in dilated cardiomyopathy.

    • Diuretics

    • ACE inhibitors

    • Angiotensin receptor blockers

    • Digoxin

  • Drugs that help to relax the heart muscle in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

    • Beta-blockers

    • Verapamil, a calcium-channel blocker drug

  • Antiarrhythmic drugs to correct abnormal heart rhythms.

  • A pacemaker or an implantable defibrillator to prevent fatal arrhythmias.

For patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, blockage to the outflow of blood can sometimes be reduced. This is done by damaging part of the muscle between the two ventricles. This damage can be created at surgery or through a catheter.

A heart transplant may be necessary for patients whose poor heart function has become disabling or life threatening.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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