Congenital Heart Defects - Medications

Medicines often are needed to treat congenital heart defects until the defect can be repaired or corrected. Some children and adults need to take medicine even after the defect is repaired. Children with certain defects that cannot be completely corrected may have to take medicines for a long time.

Treatment with medicines depends on the:

  • Type of defect. Complex cyanotic heart defects usually need treatment with medicines more often than acyanotic heart defects.
  • Size of the defect. Children with large or complex defects are likely to have symptoms and may need medicines to relieve the symptoms.

Medicine choices

Medicines might be used to treat complications, relieve symptoms, or prevent problems. They might not treat the defect itself.

The following are some of the medicines used for heart defects.

To treat complications and relieve symptoms

To treat a certain defect

To prevent problems

What to think about

Know how to give medicine safely. Your child's heart medicines are very strong and can be dangerous if they aren't given correctly. For help, see the topic Congenital Heart Defects: Caring for Your Child.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
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