Treatment for Heart Murmur

Treatment for heart murmurs depends on the underlying cause. Most innocent heart murmurs do not require treatment, because even with the murmur, the heart is healthy. If a condition like fever or hyperthyroidism is causing an innocent murmur, the murmur disappears once the condition is successfully treated. Innocent heart murmurs in women who are pregnant do not require treatment.

Abnormal heart murmurs usually are treated using medication, surgery, or a combination of these treatments. Commonly prescribed medications include the following:

  • Anticoagulants (to prevent blood clots)
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (to lower blood pressure or treat valve abnormalities)
  • Antibiotics (to reduce the risk for endocarditis in patients with mitral valve prolapse; may be administered intravenously)
  • Beta blockers (to lower blood pressure or regulate heart rhythm)
  • Digitalis (Lanoxin®; to treat heart valve abnormalities)
  • Digoxin (to help the heart squeeze faster)
  • Diuretics (to remove extra fluid from the body and decrease stress on the heart)
  • Statins (to lower cholesterol)

Cardiac catheterization can be used to rebuild or widen blood vessels or to repair holes in the septum (wall dividing the heart's chambers). Severe valve abnormalities or an infected heart valve may require valve repair or valve replacement surgery.

Heart Murmur Prognosis

People with innocent heart murmurs have an excellent prognosis. Their hearts are healthy and they generally do not need to restrict their activities or diets in any way. For people who have abnormal heart murmurs, the prognosis depends on the type and severity of the condition that is causing the murmur.

In many cases, heart murmurs go away on their own as children grow or the underlying illness resolves. If not, treatment for the underlying cause usually yields a good prognosis.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 19 Nov 2008

Last Modified: 01 Sep 2010