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How Is a Heart Murmur Treated?

A heart murmur isn't a disease. It's an extra or unusual sound heard during the heartbeat. Thus, murmurs themselves don't require treatment. However, if an underlying condition is causing a heart murmur, your doctor may recommend treatment for that condition.

Innocent (Harmless) Heart Murmurs

Healthy children who have innocent (harmless) heart murmurs don't need treatment. Their heart murmurs aren't caused by heart problems or other conditions.

Pregnant women who have innocent heart murmurs due to extra blood volume also don't need treatment. Their heart murmurs should go away after pregnancy.

Abnormal Heart Murmurs

If you or your child has an abnormal heart murmur, your doctor will recommend treatment for the disease or condition causing the murmur.

Some medical conditions, such as anemia or hyperthyroidism, can cause heart murmurs that aren't related to heart disease. Treating these conditions should make the heart murmur go away.

If a congenital heart defect is causing a heart murmur, treatment will depend on the type and severity of the defect. Treatment may include medicines or surgery. For more information about treatments for congenital heart defects, go to the Health Topics Congenital Heart Defects article.

If acquired heart valve disease is causing a heart murmur, treatment usually will depend on the type, amount, and severity of the disease.

Currently, no medicines can cure heart valve disease. However, lifestyle changes and medicines can treat symptoms and help delay complications. Eventually, though, you may need surgery to repair or replace a faulty heart valve.

For more information about treatments for heart valve disease, go to the Health Topics Heart Valve Disease article.

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September 20, 2012 Last Updated Icon

The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.