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Treatment Following a Heart Attack
A heart attack (also known as a myocardial infarction) is a life-threatening event in which the supply of blood and oxygen to part of the heart is blocked for a long enough period of time that a portion of the heart muscle dies. One of the complications of a heart attack is congestive heart failure. Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a condition in which the heart cannot pump enough blood throughout the body. It does not mean that your heart has stopped or is about to stop working. It means that your heart is not able to pump blood the way that it should. This can lead to symptoms of CHF that may include shortness of breath; swelling of the feet, ankles, or lower legs; and rapid weight gain (see Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure for more information).
A heart attack can also damage the left side of the heart and cause it to pump blood less efficiently. This is called left ventricular dysfunction. With left ventricular dysfunction, a person does not necessarily have symptoms. This condition will often lead to heart failure.
For people who develop heart failure or left ventricular dysfunction following a heart attack, taking Mavik on a daily basis increases the survival rate by up to 16 percent. It is not known exactly how Mavik improves survival following a heart attack.
Also, for those with left ventricular dysfunction, Mavik can decrease the chances of developing CHF symptoms by 20 percent.
Mavik is part of a class of drugs called ACE inhibitors. ACE stands for angiotensin-converting enzyme. Mavik helps to block the angiotensin-converting enzyme, which is normally part of a reaction in the body that causes blood vessels to narrow (constrict). By blocking this enzyme, Mavik causes blood vessels to relax, which can lower blood pressure.
By helping blood vessels relax, Mavik also increases the efficiency of the heart. This means that the heart does not have to work as hard and more blood can be pumped out to the rest of the body. Both of these are helpful for a person with congestive heart failure or left ventricular dysfunction.