Heart failure is a disease in which the heart pumps blood to the tissues inefficiently leading to reduced blood flow, its accumulation (congestion) in the veins and the lungs and other alternations in the work of the cardiac system which can further weaken the heart.
Diabetes increases the incidence of heart failure and at the same time ramps up the risk of morbidity and mortality in patients developing heart failure. Diabetic patients are known to be at risk of developing left ventricular systolic dysfunction which further leads to congestive heart failure due to two major reasons. Firstly, diabetic patients run an increased risk of suffering from coronary artery disease and sustaining an ischemic event. Secondly, they tend to develop diabetes-specific myocardial infarction which later transforms into left ventricular systolic dysfunction.
Actos can cause or worsen congestive heart failure. At that heart failure risks are noticeably higher for patients with a history of heart disease and heart failure. It is important that only a minority of patients without a history of heart failure develop this disease while taking Actos. And the development of cardiac impairment under the therapy with Actos is not so imminent as it is with Avandia and some other medications known to trigger the development of congestive heart failure in diabetes sufferers.
The typical symptoms of cardiac impairment include shortness of breath and the feeling of exertion which sweeps you too often, cough caused by fluid buildup in the lungs, and excessive weight gain. Patients who experience these symptoms while on Actos should immediately report them to their endocrinologist or diabetes specialist.
There are two symptoms which are normally associated with heart failure and both of them can be brought about by Actos. So, Actos can also cause fluid buildup in the body known as edema which can lead to congestive heart failure. And Actos stimulates weight gain. Both these symptoms can be reflective of developing heart failure. But not necessarily, if you take Actos, they can be mere side-effects without any link to the heart dysfunction. If you exercise a good glycemic control, do not gain excessive weight and keep a worked-out regimen, you are likely to keep your heart healthy for a long time ahead.
Patients combining Actos with insulin are at a greater risk of developing congestive heart failure. That is why you should be double careful if you embark on a combo therapy.
The medical recommendations for treatment of heart failure include the intake of a suitable diuretic, an ACE inhibitor or angiotensin II receptor antagonist, a ?-blocker and in some patients Spironolactone or Digoxin.
It is an old truth that prevention is better than cure, and it does prove to be realistic when you find yourself seriously ill. That is why screening for coronary heart disease and left ventricular systolic dysfunction, symptomatic and not evidential as it is, can do much in terms of changing your drug therapy, dosage adjustment or meaningful alternations in your life style, which can prove life-saving in the end.