Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Heart failure treatment

Lifestyle changes

Manage your fluid balance

Monitor and manage your fluid balance by establishing a daily routine of weighing yourself so you know if fluid is building up in your body.

There are 3 ways that you can help to manage your fluid balance:

  • manage your fluid intake
  • restrict your salt intake
  • take diuretic (fluid) medicines as prescribed by your doctor.

Restrict your salt intake

Salt causes your body to retain fluid. Make sure you eat low-salt foods and don't add salt to your food at the table or during cooking.

Be smoke-free

Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood and damages the walls of your arteries. Stopping smoking is one of the most important things that you can do to reduce your risk of further heart disease.

For more information about quitting smoking, talk to your doctor or call the Quitline on 13 78 48 (13 QUIT).

Limit your alcohol intake

Alcohol can damage your heart. Talk to your doctor about whether or not you should drink alcohol. Your doctor may ask you to stop or limit your drinking.

Don't drink more than one to two standard drinks of alcohol a day. If your heart failure has been caused by alcohol, stop drinking altogether.

Chronic heart failure programs

You may be able to attend a special program to help you manage heart failure. These programs usually involve a number of health professionals, such as nurses, dietitians and exercise specialists.

Medicines for heart failure

There are many different types of medicines used to treat heart failure or chronic heart failure. It is important that you take all the medicines prescribed by your doctor.

If you think your medicine is not working, is causing you problems or you have any questions, talk to your doctor. Do not stop taking your medicines without talking to your doctor first.

Your doctor might also recommend that you have a device, such as a pacemaker or implantable cardiac defibrillator implanted in your chest to help your heart work better.

In severe cases of heart failure, a heart transplant or other procedures may be needed.

Last reviewed: October 2016

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Found 859 results

Heart failure

Heart failure occurs when the heart muscle has become too weak to pump blood through the body as effectively as normal

Read more on WA Health website

Chronic heart failure | Issue 4 | Volume 40 | Australian Prescriber | Australian Prescriber

Managing chronic heart failure which drugs should be used in which patients?

Read more on Australian Prescriber website

Heart Failure | myVMC

Heart failure, in simple terms, is when the heart fails to maintain an adequate circulation of blood around the body, owing to a defect in the hearts pumping action

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Congestive Heart Failure | myVMC

Congestive heart failure is characterised by the heart not being able to pump enough blood around the body. It affects 13% of Australians over 65.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Chronic Heart Failure | myVMC

Chronic heart failure occurs when the heart fails to pump sufficient blood through the body. It may occur rapidly (heart attack) or slowly.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death and disease burden in Australia. The number of people living with cardiovascular disease is increasing due to factors including population ageing and improved treatments that have resulted in people living longer with CVD.

Read more on Department of Health website

Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors Information | myVMC

Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are medications used to treat heart and kidney conditions like hypertension, heart failure and heart attack.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Auspril | myVMC

Auspril is used to treat essential and renovascular hypertension and symptomatic heart failure. It contains enalapril maleate, which reduces blood pressure.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Heart disease and relaxin association information | myVMC

Relaxin is a reproductive peptide hormone that relaxes tissues, including the heart. Relaxin levels increase in heart failure.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Coralan Tablets - myDr.com.au

Coralan Tablets - Consumer Medicines Information leaflets of prescription and over-the-counter medicines

Read more on myDr – Consumer Medicine Information website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice and information you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo
Feedback