Learning About Treating Myocarditis

Once this condition is diagnosed, treating myocarditis becomes the focus. The swelling responsible for causing this condition will improve for many patients, either with treatment or on its own, resulting in the patient making a full recovery. The primary goal of treating this condition focuses on getting the underlying cause treated and under control.

Treating Mild Cases

If the patient has a mild form of this condition, certain medications and rest may be all that is needed. The medications prescribed aim to help the body fight the infection that cause this condition. Antibiotics will be prescribed if the cause was bacterial. Antivirals medications can be prescribed for viral causes, but they have not been proven to be effective in treating this condition in most cases because in most cases, the viral infection has cleared up before the symptoms of this conditions begin.

Certain rare forms of viral myocarditis, such as eosinophilic myocarditis and giant cell myocarditis, may respond to corticosteroids or immunosuppressants. If this condition is the result of a chronic illness like lupus, treatment will be focused on the underlying cause.

Drugs and Medications

If the patient is experiencing irregular heartbeats or rapid heartbeats due to this condition, hospitalization may be recommended by the patient’s doctor. In the hospital, the patient will be administered medications that will help to regulate their heartbeat. If the patient has a weak heart, medications that may help to eliminate excess fluid or reduce the workload on the heart may be prescribed. When treating myocarditis, these medications include:

  • Beta-blockers: These medications work in several ways to help control fast heart rhythms or irregular rhythms, and may help to treat heart failure. Commonly prescribed beta-blockers include carvedilol and metoprolol
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors: These medications help blood to flow more easily by relaxing the heart’s blood vessels. Commonly prescribed angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors include enalapril, lisinopril, captopril, and ramipril. Angiotensin II receptor blockers that may be prescribed include valsartan and losartan
  • Diuretics can help to alleviate fluid retention and sodium retention. Commonly prescribed diuretics include furosemide

Treating Severe Cases

Aggressive treatment may be necessary in some severe cases. Such treatments may include:

  • Temporary artificial heart: This is a device that can be worn outside the body or implanted that will take over part of the heart’s duties of pumping blood in and out
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation: This is a device used to assist in improving the blood’s oxygen content. When the blood is removed from the patient’s body, it is passed through this devices’ special membrane to add oxygen to the blood and remove carbon dioxide from the blood. Once the blood is newly oxygenated, it is returned to the body
  • Intravenous medications: Various medications may be administered through the intravenous route to help improve how the heart is pumping quicker
  • Intra-aortic balloon pump: This is a surgical procedure in which a balloon is inserted into the heart’s aorta. It helps to decrease the heart’s workload and increase blood flow as the balloon inflates and deflates

Resources

MayoClinic.com. (2010). Myocarditis. Retrieved on September 14, 2010 from MayoClinic.com: https://www.mayoclinic.com/health/myocarditis/DS00521

MedlinePlus. (2010). Myocarditis. Retrieved on September 14, 2010 from MedlinePlus: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000149.htm