Pharmacological management of chronic heart failure
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Pharmacological management of chronic heart failure

Michael Sampson Senior Lecturer – Adult Nursing, London South Bank University, London, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To familiarise yourself with the physiology involved in chronic heart failure

  • To understand the signs and symptoms that accompany chronic heart failure

  • To update your knowledge of the common medicines used to treat chronic heart failure

Chronic heart failure is a progressive and life-limiting syndrome that is caused by a failure of the heart to pump blood around the body effectively. It frequently leads to a range of distressing symptoms, such as breathlessness, fatigue and fluid retention. Chronic heart failure can be caused by a variety of cardiac diseases, but is commonly linked to coronary heart disease and hypertension. In response to these, the body initiates a series of compensatory mechanisms, which ultimately become maladaptive, and the manipulation of these mechanisms is the cornerstone of pharmacological management of the condition. This article explains the compensatory mechanisms that occur in chronic heart failure and outlines the medicines commonly used in its management.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2022.e12004

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared

Sampson M (2022) Pharmacological management of chronic heart failure. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2022.e12004

Published online: 25 July 2022

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