Chronic congestive heart failure has become a significant medical burden in the adult and a growing problem in the pediatric age group. While the etiologies of heart failure differ between children and adults, applied medical therapies are generally the same. In this regard, over the last decade, β-adrenergic receptor blockade has become an important component in drug therapy of congestive heart failure in the adult population. A third-generation β-blocker, carvedilol, has now been shown in adult trials to be efficacious in the treatment of heart failure and has been shown to be superior to other similarly used β-blockers. Carvedilol use has been adapted into pediatric heart failure practice although data supporting its efficacy in infants and children are scarce. This review will describe the application of carvedilol in the adult, as it pertains to pediatric practice, review the existing pediatric literature and describe our institutions experience with carvedilol in heart failure therapy.
Keywords: cAMP, Left ventricular (LV)reverse remodeling, pharmacokinetics, Beta blockers, transplantation
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