Medication is often the first course of treatment, and there are several classes of medications that are used to treat children with cardiomyopathy. The choice of medication depends on the child’s type of cardiomyopathy, clinical condition and the effect of the disease on heart function.
Children with cardiomyopathy often have signs and symptoms of heart failure. Because the heart is unable to keep up with the body’s needs, other organs such as the lungs and kidneys may be affected. Depending on the age of the child, cardiologists typically use one of two heart failure classification scales to monitor heart failure in children and to determine the effectiveness of therapy.
If a child has heart failure, medication is prescribed to improve heart function and alleviate symptoms. Other medications may be used to treat blood clots or metabolic irregularities. Children with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy may also take medications to treat symptoms caused by arrhythmias or obstruction of blood flow through the heart.
Intake and Monitoring
Each medication has its own instructions and intake guidelines. The pediatric cardiologist will explain how they should be taken, when, how often and in what amounts. Parents should have a general understanding of the drug’s purpose and possible side effects.
Careful monitoring is important with any drug regime. As the child grows and his/ her heart function changes over time, adjustment of doses or changes in medication may be necessary to ensure safety and effectiveness.