A doctor may recommend various medications, such as antiarrhythmics, anticoagulants, or beta-blockers, to help treat heart valve problems. In some situations, a person may only require medications to help them manage symptoms and lower the risk of complications.
Heart valves act as gateways between the four chambers in the heart. They allow blood to flow forward into the next chamber or blood vessels while preventing blood from moving backward. However, some people may develop problems with their heart valves that affect blood flow.
Also known as valvular heart disease, these problems typically occur due to a narrowing of the valves, known as stenosis, or blood leakage, which is known as regurgitation. In some cases, issues may occur due to a combination of the two.
Problems in heart valve function may cause serious strain on the heart that can lead to complications. Depending on the severity of the condition, a doctor will typically consider medications or surgery as treatment options.
In this article, we provide a list of medications that may help manage heart valve problems.
The best treatment option for an individual with heart valve problems will depend on the severity of the issue. Healthcare providers often recommend medications for people with heart valve problems to reduce symptoms and ease the strain on the heart muscles.
While medications do not address heart valve problems, they can play an
In some cases, such as when a person has a mild valve condition or when surgery is unsuitable, medications are typically the most suitable course of action.
The medications that doctors recommend for people with heart valve problems vary depending on the type of problem, other risk factors, and any other health issues they experience.
Healthcare professionals may recommend one or more of the
ACE inhibitors and ARBs
Both angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs)
Antibiotics treat infections due to bacteria. Doctors may recommend them for some individuals to prevent infections, such as those at a higher risk for infective endocarditis, a rare condition that involves inflammation of the heart.
Anticoagulants, also called blood thinners, reduce the risk of blood clots that may develop from issues with circulating blood around nonfunctioning heart valves. Blood clots are dangerous as they can lead to stroke.
Beta-blockers work to decrease heart activity and manage atypical heart rhythms. A 2020 study found that they may lower the risk of congestive heart failure and other heart problems in some people after valve replacement surgery.
Vasodilators help open the blood vessels to improve blood flow and reduce strain on the heart muscles. Healthcare professionals may recommend them for heart valve problems to
Medications and surgery play different roles in the management of heart valve problems. Medications
Surgical options treat the heart valve problem by repairing or replacing the valve. However, as with any surgical procedure, valve surgery comes with several risks. A healthcare professional will determine the appropriate treatment for the heart valve problem.
- Valvuloplasty: This is a nonsurgical procedure where a healthcare professional guides a catheter from a blood vessel in the groin to the heart. They then inflate a balloon to stretch the valve open and remove it.
- Heart valve repair surgery: This often involves remodeling a person’s own tissue to improve heart valve function.
- Heart valve replacement surgery: This procedure involves replacing the valve with artificial or biological valves.
If a person has a mild valve problem or is an unsuitable candidate for surgery, a doctor will typically recommend medications to manage symptoms. Although medications cannot treat heart valve problems, they can provide relief and reduce the risk of complications.
A doctor may recommend various medications, which typically help ease the strain on the heart and improve blood flow. However, in some cases, heart valve problems may require further treatment, such as surgery.