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Congestive Heart Failure Medications: Know Their Side Effects

Aug 10, 2017

Conventional treatment of CHF includes various prescription drugs and surgery. The most striking effect of prescription drugs on the human body is the depletion of essential nutrients – vitamins and minerals that play a vital role in the human body’s intricate machinery, taking part in hundreds of metabolic reactions to keep the body working.

So, if you are prescribed medication for your heart condition, know that they will deplete vital nutrients from your body. You will be better served if you knew which medication depletes which nutrients.

You can then supplement your body with the lost nutrients.

Almost all classes of medications have been studied for the nutrient depletion that they cause, by Dr. Ross Pelton, R.Ph, CCN  and his colleagues and documented in their seminal work, Drug Induced Nutrient Depletion Handbook.  The nutrient-depletion information below is taken from this excellent resource.

Side Effects And Nutrient Depletion of Drugs Prescribed for CHF

Beta Blockers (Carvedilol, Metoprolol)

Drugs that lower heart rate, hypertension by blocking signals from ‘sympathetic’ or the ‘fight-or-flight’ nervous system.

Side effects: Dizziness and feeling tired

Nutrient Depletion: They deplete the vital nutrient COQ10 from the body, which could cause everything from muscle pains, low energy, high blood pressure and even congestive heart failure!

Centrally Acting Anti-Hypertensives (Hygroton, Thalitone, Catapres, Duraclon, Aldomet)

Side effects: Low energy, depression, fatigue.

Nutrient Depletion: Zinc, CoQ10 loss can lead to loss of taste and smell, slow wound healing, high blood pressure and even congestive heart failure.

Digoxin (Lanoxin)

Side effects: Lowers heart rate, but could also cause other side effects like nausea, poor appetite and digestive problems.

Nutrient Depletion: Magnesium is depleted and this could lead to asthma, muscle cramps, heart problems, PMS and osteoporosis.  Absorption of the Vitamin B family is also hampered by this drug and could lead to depression, memory loss, irritability, edema, and muscle weakness.

ACE Inhibitors (Lisinopril, Captopril)

These drugs also help blood vessels open up and lower blood pressure.

Side effects: Reduces a certain chemical called Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE), that over time, damages the heart. Other side effects include feeling dizzy, a dry cough and increased levels of potassium in the body. Kidney damage also happens with long term use.

Nutrient Depletion: Lead to loss of zinc from the body. Depletion of this critical mineral could lead to loss of sense of smell and taste, lower immunity and slow wound healing.

Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (Losartan)

Similar to ACE inhibitors, without the nasty side effect of cough.

Side effects: Includes adverse effects on kidney function and dizziness.

Nutrient depletion: Loss of potassium

Aldosterone Antagonist (Spironolactone, Eplerenone)

Another class of drugs that prevent aldosterone hormones, which over a period of time, damage the heart.

Side effects: Swelling, excess potassium levels and tenderness in breasts.

Hydralazine And Nitrates (Apresoline, Nitrobid, Imdur, Isordil)

They work as vasodilators, helping blood vessels relax and open up.

Side effects: Headaches, dizziness, swelling in hands, arms, feet, or legs.

Nutrient Depletion: Vitamin B6 is depleted by this class of drugs, which could cause anemia, increased, tiredness, weakness and further cardiac issues. CoQ10 is also reduced in the body, which could lead to fatigue, muscle cramps and high blood pressure.


Furosemide (Lasix), bumetanide (Bumex), torsemide (Demadex), metolazone (Zaroxolyn); remove excess water from the body.

Side effects: Increased urination, dehydration, ringing or buzzing in the ears, itching and skin issues including rashes and hives, possibility of metabolic syndrome and diabetes and gout (painful inflammation of the joints).

Nutrient Depletion: Calcium loss could lead to blood pressure irregularities, osteoporosis, Magnesium loss to asthma, cardiovascular problems, cramps, Potassium loss to edema, fatigue, irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness, Zinc loss could lead to loss of taste and Vitamin B1 and B6 lost could lead to depression, edema, irritability, memory loss, muscle weakness increased cardiovascular disease risk and sleep disturbances.

Parting Words

At Sepalika, we do not support the long-term use of conventional medication for chronic diseases. The above information underlines our philosophy.

While conventional medication is extremely useful in combating acute illnesses (like infections), it rarely looks at the root cause of a chronic condition.

It only tries to treat symptoms but often fails to see all the symptoms as connected to a deeper underlying cause.

All chronic diseases are a result of an imbalance in the bodily functions. Finding the root cause of this imbalance and treating it with diet and lifestyle modifications is key to reversing the condition.

Jitendra Rathod
Jitendra is a microbiologist and a passionate student of the human body. He is a firm believer in the power of alternative and holistic medicine. He believes nature holds the key to restore us back to health and balance.