Heart Failure Medicines
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Alternative or Herbal Therapy Interactions

Many patients have questions about whether alternative or herbal therapies can help treat heart failure.

Although you may have read some encouraging claims about these therapies, there is no evidence that they improve heart failure.

We do know that the ingredients in some alternative therapies interfere with the action of heart failure medicines and may have other harmful actions.

Some natural or synthetic products containing the following substances may interfere with or adversely affect the intended effects of certain medicines used to treat heart failure:

  • Ephedra (ma huang)
  • Ephedrine metabolites
  • Chinese herbs
  • Hawthorne (cratageus) products

Additionally, the following substances can interact with a blood thinner you may be taking:

  • Garlic
  • Ginseng
  • Gingko
  • Coenzyme Q-10

If you wish to try alternative or herbal therapies, please talk to your doctor or nurse about it. Ask them the following questions:

  • Will this alternative or herbal therapy interfere with my heart failure medicines?
  • How much of this alternative or herbal therapy is safe for me to take?
  • Has this alternative or herbal therapy been tested for safety in people with heart failure?
  • Have research studies proven that this alternative or herbal therapy helps people with heart failure?

Tell your doctor about any natural medicines or alternative or herbal therapies that you are taking. Beware of extravagant claims about the benefits of alternative or herbal therapies. Never take alternative or herbal medicines in place of your regular medicines.


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