The physician may prescribe congestive heart failure medications to control the symptoms of heart failure that can accompany dilated cardiomyopathy, including:
- Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), which dilate (widen) the blood vessels and help strengthen the heart muscle
- Anticoagulants, which inhibit blood clot formation by preventing the clumping of platelets in the blood,
- Beta-blockers, which lower blood pressure and heart rate, reducing the workload on the heart,
- Digitalis, which regulates the heart's rate and rhythm and strengthens the force of heart contractions,
- Diuretics, which reduce fluid retention, a common symptom of heart failure,
- Nitrates, which causes blood vessels to dilate, and
- Vasodilators, which relax the walls of the blood vessels, allowing more blood to flow through.
Patients with severe congestive heart failure that is associated with dilated cardiomyopathy may require a left ventricular heart assist device or even a heart transplant.
A physician may recommend that the patient first make lifestyle changes, including:
- Quitting smoking
- Eating to control high blood pressure
- Eating to lower cholesterol
- Losing weight
- Controlling diabetes
- Consume alcohol moderately