Pericarditis - Treatment

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What kinds of treatment or procedures did you or a relative receive for pericarditis?

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What is the treatment for pericarditis?

Most often, pericarditis is caused by a viral infection and the treatment is aimed at decreasing inflammation and controlling pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs (ibuprofen [Motrin and others], naproxen [Aleve, Naprosyn, and others]) are commonly used. A short course of narcotic pain medication may be helpful. For other causes of pericarditis, treatment of the underlying cause of pericarditis is essential.

Pericardiocentesis, a procedure where a thin needle is inserted through the chest wall into the pericardial sac, may be considered if a large effusion is present that affects heart function (see cardiac tamponade below).

Pericardotomy (cutting a hole in the pericardial sac) or pericardectomy (removing the sac completely) may be needed for recurrent pericarditis that causes scarring within the pericardial sac and prevents the heart from beating properly.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: pugloverr, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: November 25

I am 19 and have this my doctor prescribed me methylprednisolone 4 mg Dosepak for pericarditis that I have to take for 6 days and I should be better.

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Comment from: don, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: November 24

I was diagnosed with pericarditis months ago and have been on medications. It helped for a while, then it came back. I am in hospital now and had surgery to put what they call a window in the pericardium. They drew a quart of fluid from around my heart and have a drain tube which will be removed today. They will be testing the biopsy and fluid to determine the cause.

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