Constrictive Pericarditis Medication

Updated: Dec 23, 2014
  • Author: John L Parks, MD; Chief Editor: Richard A Lange, MD, MBA  more...
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Medication

Medication Summary

No medications are required when the diagnosis of constrictive pericarditis is definitive, because the patient is usually referred for surgical management. To help maintain a euvolemic state, diuretics and afterload-reducing medications should be used cautiously; decreasing preload or afterload can cause greater compression of the heart and sudden cardiac decompensation, especially when general anesthetic agents are administered just before the pericardiectomy is performed.

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Diuretics, Loop

Class Summary

Diuretics may improve pulmonary and systemic congestion. They should be used cautiously because any drop in intravascular volume may cause a corresponding drop in cardiac output. Any loop diuretics may be used to treat volume overload. Always start at the minimal dose necessary.

Furosemide (Lasix)

Furosemide increases excretion of water by interfering with the chloride-binding co-transport system, which, in turn, inhibits sodium and chloride reabsorption in the ascending loop of Henle and distal renal tubule. If a switch is made from IV to oral administration, an equivalent oral dose should be used. Doses vary depending on the patient's clinical condition and renal function.

Torsemide (Demadex)

Torsemide increases excretion of water by interfering with the chloride-binding cotransport system, which, in turn, inhibits sodium and chloride reabsorption in the ascending loop of Henle and distal renal tubule. It increases excretion of water, sodium, chloride, magnesium, and calcium. If a switch is made from IV to oral administration, an equivalent oral dose should be used. Doses vary depending on the patient's clinical condition and renal function.

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