Treatment for the symptoms of heart failure varies depending on the stage of heart failure. Stage A heart failure is generally treated using lifestyle modifications and medications, while Stage B treatment may involve valve or coronary artery repair or replacement and Stage C may necessitate the implantation of a pacemaker. Stage D, which is the final stage of heart failure, may be treated with a heart transplant or ventricular assist device or other options, including palliative care to control discomfort and improve quality of life, notes to WebMD.
Beginning stages of heart failure may be treatable with lifestyle changes, such as discontinuing alcohol or drug use and smoking cessation. Treatment of high blood pressure and use of prescription medication can help. Beta blockers and ACE inhibitors may be prescribed for cardiac conditions.
As heart failure progresses to its second and third stages, surgical repair or intervention with a pacemaker implantation may be warranted. The addition of digoxin and diuretics may be added to a medication routine, and some patients may need to be started on a regimen of hydralazine/nitrate. Fluid restriction and a strict reduction in dietary sodium is generally recommended.
When treatments fail, advanced heart failure treatment may involve a heart transplant or other surgical options. Participation in clinical research trials is also an option. Final-stage patients may be given hospice care to make life more comfortable during their last months.