Cardiac failure: an update and the role of the pharmacist

G. Schellack, N. Schellack*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Heart failure (HF) often occurs in patients who have more than one comorbidity, with resultant polypharmacy. Medication errors may occur, along with adverse interactions between medicines. This highlights the importance of the pharmacist as part of the multidisciplinary team in the management of HF. Many advances have been made in the way in which heart failure is classified, diagnosed, managed and treated. The body of knowledge is ever-expanding, and hence the need for frequent review of treatment guidelines in light of the data emerging from ongoing research. This article focuses on elucidating some of the current strategies to manage and treat this condition. Certain associated pathological conditions and modalities are therefore beyond the scope of this article and the reader is advised to consult the the latest international guidelines for more detailed explanations of advanced treatment strategies, the cardiomyopathies, congenital heart defects, acute cardiac failure, and heart failure within the context of myocardial infarction, cardiac valve replacement surgery, coronary artery revascularisation and other specialised examples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-29
Number of pages9
JournalSA Pharmaceutical Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • ACE-inhibitor
  • ARB
  • ARNI
  • CCB
  • HFpEF
  • HFrEF
  • LVEF
  • NT-proBNP
  • brain natriuretic peptide
  • cardiac or heart failure
  • cardiac output
  • ejection fraction
  • stroke volume
  • systolic dysfunction
  • β-blocker


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