A new scientific statement from the American Heart Association (AHA) warns that commonly used medications and
nutritional supplements may cause or worsen heart failure. The statement provides guidance on avoiding drug–drug
or drug–condition interactions for people with heart failure, including comprehensive information about particular
drugs and “natural” treatments that could have serious unintended consequences for people with heart failure.
AHA notes that, on average, heart failure patients have five or more separate medical conditions, and they take
seven or more prescription drugs a day. “Since many of the drugs heart failure patients are taking are prescribed
for conditions such as cancer, neurological conditions, or infections, it is crucial but difficult for health care providers
to reconcile whether a medication is interacting with heart failure drugs or making heart failure worse,” said Robert
L. Page II, PharmD, chair of the writing committee for the new scientific statement published in the AHA journal
. Healthcare providers should discuss at every visit all prescription and OTC drugs as
well as any nutritional supplements and herbs that patients with heart failure may be taking. Patients ahould keep a
list of all medications and doses to show at every medical appointment, and inform a health care provider treating
their heart failure before stopping or starting any medication.
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