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archer (@archer)

Meds for cardiomyopathy – Ischemic/Non-Ischemic

Heart & Blood Health | Last Active: May 25, 2020 | Replies (57)

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@kanaazpereira

Hi @archer,

I can only imagine how worried you must be! I'm tagging Mentors @predictable and @hopeful33250 as well as fellow members @hazel516 @badboys1965 to see if they may be able to share more information. According to The American Heart Association, the main types of cardiomyopathy are:
-Dilated cardiomyopathy
-Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
-Restrictive cardiomyopathy
-Arrhythmogenic right ventricular
dysplasia https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/cardiomyopathy/what-is-cardiomyopathy-in-adults

Has you been diagnosed with any of the above types, @archer?

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Replies to "Hi @archer, I can only imagine how worried you must be! I'm tagging Mentors @predictable and..."

If memory serves, it was hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Mine too.

—At the time of the cardiomyopathy diagnosis, over a year ago, my internal medico did not mention heart failure. Nor did he mention it recently during my semi-annual check-up. But, by chance, we noted the record of my visit. It listed all of my past ailments, and it included the current, now referred to as congestive heart failure. Within minutes, my blood pressure skyrocketed. My symptoms — dizziness, slight pain/pressure in the chest, occasional breathlessness, weakness — all became worse. (By coincidence, that very week, my supply of co-q was depleted.) The past two weeks have been fairly miserable — from the symptoms and from the depression.. Have now resumed with the co-q 10, as well as my long-standing prescriptions of metoprolol and losartan, This has resulted in some slight improvement. —To return to symptoms, there has only been slight evidence of edema — very slight swelling of ankles, actually barely noticeable, but perhaps my medico detected some in his exam of the heart and lungs. Really wish he had said something. There would have been a serious Q and A about CHF. —Back to my original question: what meds have other patients been given?

Sorry to hear that anxiety caused a leap in blood pressure and related symptoms @archer. I hope my experience with "congestive heart failure" that was comparatively mild will help you get confidence that your own situation is similarly mild, as suggested by the slight edema. And I hope that you and your doctor can have that "serious Q and A" session to help out too.

Meds involved are different for different types of cardiomyopathy. The full range of meds was described this way in the treatment section of the heart.org posting on the illness:

"Many medications are used to treat cardiomyopathy. Your doctor may prescribe medicines to:
* Lower your blood pressure. ACE inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers, beta blockers and calcium channel blockers are examples of medicines that lower blood pressure.
* Slow your heart rate. Beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, and digoxin are examples of medicines that slow the heart rate. Beta blockers and calcium channel blockers also are used to lower blood pressure.
* Keep your heart beating with a normal rhythm. These medicines, called antiarrhythmics, help prevent arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats).
* Balance electrolytes in your body. Electrolytes are minerals that help maintain fluid levels and the acid-base balance in your body.
* Electrolytes also help muscle and nerve tissues work properly. Medicines used to balance electrolytes include aldosterone blockers.
* Remove excess fluid and sodium from your body. Diuretics, or “water pills,” are an example of a medicine that helps remove excess fluid and sodium from the body.
* Prevent blood clots from forming. Anticoagulants (PDF), or “blood thinners,” help to prevents blood clots. Blood thinners often are used to prevent blood clots from forming in people who have dilated cardiomyopathy.
* Reduce inflammation. Medications used to reduce inflammation include corticosteroids."

In my case, the meds for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy include Lisinopril (ACE inhibitor, similar to Losartan), Carvedilol (beta blocker), Amiloride (diuretic), and Coumadin (anticoagulant for my a-fib). In the past, I have used Losartan (ARB blocker) and calcium channel blockers. Throughout I have had regular lab tests (usually quarterly) to check on electrolytes and acid-base balance rather than using any prescriptions for those purposes.

To Predictable: Sincere thanks for your patience and your detailed response. You seem to have do well via intelligent research and good doctors. In your case, what was the final diagnosis, and what was the treatment? —Just thought to mention that, for hypertension, we have had success by augmenting the Losartan with Hibiscus tea and, especially, Beet root.

CORRECTION: To Predictable: Sincere thanks for your patience and your detailed response. You seem to have done well via intelligent research and good doctors. In your case, what was the final diagnosis, and what was the treatment? —Just thought to mention that, for hypertension, we have had success by augmenting the Losartan with Hibiscus tea and, especially, Beet root.

You're welcome @archer. In my case, there hasn't been a final diagnosis, if that means cured. I've been able to manage my symptoms and keep them under control with my medications, diet, and exercise. The only treatment with cardiomyopathy in mind has been for hypertension, its original cause (we think). My medication is listed near the bottom of my detailed message just above.

Interesting to hear of your use of Hibiscus tea. I have it with dinner every night. I have heard of the benefits of beet root, but haven't used it yet since my blood pressure is behaving (except when my white-coat syndrome acts up at the doctors offices).

—Thanks for detailing the meds. (Really sorry; had not seen that lower part of the message.) It is reassuring that meds similar to my own have been so effective for you. Of course, sort of wondering why no diuretics were prescribed for me.
—In my case, hypertension has also been suggested as the probable cause of my condition. What are the symptoms that you were able to control? Apologies for the question bombardment. As you might imagine, my hope is to discover if my ailment can actually be contained and if my situation might eventually be as fortunate as your own. Again thanks.

My husband has restrictive cardiomyopathy due to amyloidosis. He only takes diuretics currently.

@archer, my "controllable symptoms" were mainly hypertension and hypokalemia (too much blood pressure and too little potassium). In both cases, an inherited variant in my kidneys was the cause, and my medication made both problems manageable. I have had no symptoms from my cardiomyopathy, which was discovered by a routine ultrasound of my heart. As to diuretics, they are the automatic first medication response to hypertension, so I got started on them. In your case, your slight edema in your extremities suggests that diuretics are less needed. I need them to deal with my sodium-potassium balance. Otherwise, I'd rather do without and take care of sodium by foregoing salty foods. I think you may be on the route to stability; one way to test that is to jot down a list of questions that you want answers to and put them to your doctor in a discussion aimed at formulating a long-term treatment strategy.