Heart pump medication, also called inotropic therapy, makes an injured or weakened heart pump harder. It's used to make the heart muscle's contractions stronger. It may also speed the heart's rhythm.
It’s used in end-stage heart failure to help relieve and control symptoms so you can perform your daily activities better. These medications are only used when other drugs don’t control heart failure symptoms anymore.
Edema is the medical term for swelling. Body parts swell from injury or inflammation. It can affect a small area or the entire body. Medications, infections, pregnancy, and many other medical problems can cause edema.
Edema happens when your small blood vessels become "leaky" and release fluid into nearby tissues. That extra fluid builds up, which makes the tissue swell.
Heart pump drugs are sometimes given in the short term to people waiting for a heart transplant. The risk of death rises if they’re taken long term.
Heart pump medications include:
How Should I Take These Drugs?
The first time you get them will be in a hospital where you can be closely watched.
Dobutamine and milrinone are IV medications given through an infusion pump into your vein. This helps make sure the dose is accurate. You might get them continuously or periodically over 6 to 72 hours, one or more times per week.
Even if you feel well, don’t stop taking this medicine without asking your doctor. If you are discharged from the hospital with an inotropic medication, a home health nurse will give you specific directions on how to care for your intravenous site, catheter, and infusion pump.
What Are the Side Effects of This Therapy?
Tell your doctor or nurse right away the first time any of these side effects happen: