Heart Home > What Is Carvedilol CR Used For?
Carvedilol CR is a medication that is used for treating several conditions related to the heart and blood vessels, including congestive heart failure and high blood pressure. It can also help improve survival following a heart attack. On occasion, healthcare providers may also recommend off-label uses of carvedilol CR, such as for the treatment of anxiety, arrhythmias, and chest pain.
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 include:
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling of the feet, ankles, or lower legs
- Rapid weight gain.
(Click Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure for more information.)
For people with mild to severe congestive heart failure, carvedilol CR decreases blood pressure and makes the heart more efficient, which allows more blood to be pumped from the heart. Because of these effects, the active ingredient in carvedilol CR has been shown to:
- Decrease the progression of congestive heart failure
- Improve congestive heart failure symptoms (including exercise tolerance)
- Decrease hospitalizations and loss of life from congestive heart failure.
This data comes from clinical studies where carvedilol (the short-acting version) was combined with other congestive heart failure medications, including ACE inhibitors, diuretics, and digoxin (Digitek®, Lanoxin®, Lanoxicap®). Similar results are expected with carvedilol CR.
However, carvedilol CR does not cure congestive heart failure.