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Drug update

Using bisoprolol and carvedilol in chronic heart failure

Henry Krum

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Abstract

Beta blockers have been quite literally a revolution in the treatment of systolic chronic heart failure. At the clinical level, beta blockade is associated with prolonged survival, fewer hospitalisations and improved quality of life in selected patients with cardiac failure.

Article Extract

Until recently, beta blockers were considered contraindicated in the treatment of systolic chronic heart failure (CHF) because of their negative inotropic effects. However, with an increased understanding of the pathophysiology of heart failure, particularly the role of chronic sympathetic activation in disease progression, the use of beta blockers to inhibit sympathetic activation has been increasingly recognised.

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