Heart Association Warns of Drug Interactions That Can Increase Heart Failure Risk

Taking Advil, Sudafed, or many other common medications used for a wide range of ailments, may worsen heart failure or even trigger it, according to the findings of new research. 

In a scientific statement issued this week in the medical journal Circulation, the American Heart Association indicates that most heart failure patients take an average of six different medications, and warn that drug interactions are one of many factors that increase the risk of heart failure or exacerbate the condition.

Researchers found nearly 90 different medications may increase the risk of heart failure or worsen the condition. Many of the over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription drugs that made the list are commonly taken by Americans, including Advil, antidepressants and other drugs.

Did You Know?

AT&T Data Breach Impacts Millions of Customers

More than 73 million customers of AT&T may have had their names, addresses, phone numbers, Social Security numbers and other information released on the dark web due to a massive AT&T data breach. Lawsuits are being pursued to obtain financial compensation.

Learn More

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Advil and Aleve are among the list of evidence-based medications that can negatively affect heart failure, by leading to sodium and water retention or exacerbating underlying myocardial dysfunction. Even OTC heartburn medications may have high levels of sodium that are usually restricted in heart failure patients.

Pseudoephedrine, known under brand names like Sudafed, is commonly sold OTC for colds and flu and can increase blood pressure, posing a risk to heart patients.

Other prescription drugs having a potential impact on worsening heart failure include, anesthesia medications, the diabetes medication Metformin, beta blockers for hypertension, doxorubicin and other anticancer drugs, interferon, interleukin-2, tricyclic antidepressants, the antipsychotic clozapine, Lithium and Albuterol, which is commonly used to treat asthma.

The statement also notes alternative and complimentary medicines should be scrutinized, as some may be dangerous for heart failure patients, including ginseng, St. John’s wort and green tea that interfere with common heart failure medications.

The varying medications and herbal treatments can be dangerous in several ways, including being toxic to the heart muscles or changing how the muscle contracts, interacting with medications used to treat heart failure reducing their benefits, and having high levels of sodium than is recommended for heart failure patients.

Researchers say the extensive list is important to offer healthcare providers information on drugs that may cause exacerbate heart failure to assist in improving the quality of care for patients.

This is the first-ever authoritative overview of which drugs are known to affect heart failure. Heart failure is a common, costly debilitating condition and is the leading discharge diagnosis among patients over 65.

The cost of treating heart failure in Medicare patients reach $31 billion and is expected to increase to $53 billion by 2030.

Study authors call on healthcare professionals to conduct a comprehensive medication review during each visit to ensure patients aren’t using any potentially harmful combinations. They also suggest using a medication flow sheet for each patient, detailing the name, dose and type of medication. This could be used as a way to enhance medication safety.

The American Heart Association statement also called on doctors to stop prescribing medications to patients without a clearly defined need and to avoid prescribing new drugs to address side effects of other drugs.

0 Comments

Share Your Comments

I authorize the above comments be posted on this page*

Want your comments reviewed by a lawyer?

To have an attorney review your comments and contact you about a potential case, provide your contact information below. This will not be published.

NOTE: Providing information for review by an attorney does not form an attorney-client relationship.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

More Top Stories

Leadership Development Committee for Suboxone Dental Injury Lawyers Established in Federal MDL
Leadership Development Committee for Suboxone Dental Injury Lawyers Established in Federal MDL (Posted today)

The U.S. District Judge presiding over all Suboxone lawsuits has created a mentorship program to use the litigation to provide some attorneys an opportunity to gain experience in handling complex federal multidistrict litigations.

Gilead Settlement Resolves 2,625 HIV Drug Lawsuits Pending in Federal Courts for $40M
Gilead Settlement Resolves 2,625 HIV Drug Lawsuits Pending in Federal Courts for $40M (Posted 2 days ago)

Gilead says it will pay $40 million to resolve HIV drug lawsuits over Truvada, Atripla, Viread, Stribild and Complera pending in the federal court system, involving claims that the the company sat on safer formulations of the drugs for years to increase profits.