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Mitral Valve Regurgitation - Medications

Medicines do not prevent or correct the damage to the heart caused by mitral valve regurgitation (MR). In chronic regurgitation, they might be used in some people to reduce the severity of regurgitation. Or they might be used to treat complications of mitral regurgitation. In acute regurgitation, medicine is used as emergency treatment before surgery.

Chronic regurgitation

In chronic MR, you probably won't need medicines unless you have symptoms.

People with chronic and severe MR who also have an enlarged, abnormally functioning left ventricle may not benefit from mitral valve surgery and are often treated with medicines to try to relieve their symptoms. Depending on the severity of their MR, some older people may also be treated with medicines because they may not be good candidates for surgery. That's because they are at greater risk for developing complications during or following surgery.

Vasodilators. You might take these medicines if you have symptoms or high blood pressure or if your heart is not pumping blood as well as normal.

Antibiotics. If you have an artificial valve, you may need to take antibiotics before you have certain dental or surgical procedures. The antibiotics help prevent an infection in your heart called endocarditis. You will likely take antibiotics after surgery to repair or replace a valve. If you have had rheumatic fever, you may take antibiotics to avoid getting it again.

Medicine after surgery. If you have surgery for mitral regurgitation, you will likely take a blood thinner. Blood thinners prevent blood clots. Blood thinners include antiplatelet medicine, such as aspirin, or anticoagulant medicine, such as warfarin. You may need to take this medicine for the rest of your life.

Acute regurgitation

In acute MR, medicines are used in the hospital to stabilize your condition until you can have surgery to replace or repair the valve. Vasodilators such as nitroprusside help reduce the amount of blood flowing back into the left atrium. Diuretics help reduce workload on the heart.

Complications

Medicines are used to prevent or treat complications of mitral regurgitation such as atrial fibrillation or heart failure. For more information, see the topics:

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 29, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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