Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Treatment goals for Dressler's syndrome are to manage pain and reduce inflammation. Medications commonly used include the following:

  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others)
  • Naproxen (Aleve)

If these drugs don't help, the following drugs may be prescribed:

  • Colchicine is an anti-inflammatory drug that may be used to treat persistent or recurring episodes of Dressler's syndrome. Because of potential side effects, such as diarrhea and abdominal pain, this treatment isn't an option for some people.
  • Corticosteroids can suppress inflammation related to Dressler's syndrome. They're used only when other treatments don't work, because of the risk of serious side effects and because corticosteroids may interfere with the healing of damaged heart tissues after a heart attack or surgery.

Treating complications

Complications of Dressler's syndrome require more invasive treatments:

  • Draining excess fluids. If the buildup of fluids around the heart disrupts heart function (cardiac tamponade), then you'll likely undergo a procedure called pericardiocentesis. A doctor uses a needle or small tube (catheter) to remove and drain the excess fluid. You'll receive a local anesthetic before the procedure.
  • Removing the pericardium. If thickening or scarring of the pericardium reduces heart function (constrictive pericarditis), you may need to have the entire pericardium removed, a surgical procedure called pericardiectomy.
Aug. 03, 2012