Organizations that may help
Please explore this list of links to organizations and research/clinical trials that may be helpful to people who are living with heart failure.
American Diabetes Association. This official website contains information on diabetes prevention, treatment, research, nutrition and diet advice, and more.
American Heart Association. This website offers in-depth information on heart failure, as well as tips for caregivers, guidance on end-of-life issues, personal stories, and even heart-healthy recipes.
Association of Black Cardiologists. This professional organization of African American heart specialists offers occasional news updates on research related to heart disease in the African American community and recommended books on heart health.
The Cleveland Clinic Heart Center and the Mayo Clinic. These top-notch hospitals for heart care each offers websites with searchable databases on all sorts of heart-health topics, as well as research updates and news information.
Heart Failure Society of America. This organization of healthcare professionals and researchers also offers a useful patient and caregiver "brochure" about heart failure. You can also order patient education materials by calling (301) 312-8635.
National Black Nurses Association. This professional organization's website offers programs for African American nursing professionals, as well as information for the public about heart-related screenings, counseling services, and preventive education classes that are offered at its 17 chapter locations.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. This US-government website offers an excellent overview of heart failure, its causes, and its treatments. It also offers an in-depth guide to lowering blood pressure, including information on heart-healthy exercise and the DASH eating plan.
National Medical Association (NMA). This professional organization of African American physicians focuses on promoting equality in healthcare. The website offers information about health policies that the group supports and materials to encourage African American health professionals and patients to more actively participate in clinical research studies. The website also includes a physician locator feature to help you find a doctor in your area who's an NMA member.
National Network of Tobacco Cessation Quitlines (1-800-QUIT-NOW). This phone network, recently established by the US Department of Health and Human Services, connects callers with counselors who can offer free guidance and support for quitting smoking. Callers are routed either to their state quitline services or, in states where these are not yet available, to telephone counselors at the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Information Service.
US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health. This website offers links to publications, statistics, fact sheets, and resources on all sorts of minority health issues.
ClinicalTrials.gov. This website, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, lists details about government-supported and privately supported clinical trials covering various health matters, including heart failure. It also includes easy-to-understand details about how clinical trials are conducted and what questions you should ask if you're considering enrolling.
CenterWatch. This website offers information on industry-supported clinical trials covering various health matters, including heart failure. You can also use the website to search for studies being conducted in your area and to sign up for e-mail notifications of new trials that are starting.
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Information for Patients about BiDil® (isosorbide dinitrate/hydralazine HCl)
BiDil is approved for use with other heart medicines to treat heart failure in black patients to improve survival, improve heart failure symptoms, and help patients stay out of the hospital longer. There is little experience in patients with heart failure who experience significant symptoms while at rest. Most patients in the clinical study of BiDil also received other heart failure medicines.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Tell your doctor about any allergies you have, especially if you're sensitive to nitrates, such as nitroglycerin tablets or isosorbide dinitrate (Isordil®). BiDil has a nitrate component, so you need to let your doctor know.
Tell your doctor if you're taking any erectile dysfunction or pulmonary hypertension drugs like Viagra® or Revatio™ (sildenafil), Levitra® (vardenafil) or Cialis® (tadalafil).
WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
Also tell your doctor if you are taking any medication to decrease blood pressure because when taken with BiDil, blood pressure may become too low.
It is possible you'll get headaches, especially at first, but they often lessen over time. Keep your doctor posted on your headache progress; he or she may want to adjust your dosage.
If you experience dizziness, call your doctor. Please make sure to tell your doctor about any of the signs or symptoms mentioned below or about any unusual events that worry you.
Drinking less fluids than your doctor recommends or losing fluid due to diarrhea, sweating, or vomiting may cause low blood pressure, lightheadedness, or fainting. If fainting occurs, stop taking BiDil and contact your doctor immediately.
Lightheadedness may occur when standing, especially after sitting or lying down.
If you experience any achy and/or swollen joints, unexplained fever for more than a few days, skin rashes, chest pain, prolonged weakness or fatigue (even after a good night's sleep), or any other unexplained signs or symptoms, make sure to tell your doctor as they may be signs of a serious medical condition.
You may also experience rapid heartbeat that could lead to chest pain or aggravate chest pain, or numbness or tingling in the hands or feet.
COMMON SIDE EFFECTS
Headache and dizziness were the most frequent side effects experienced in studies with BiDil.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Please click here to see full Prescribing Information for BiDil. This information does not take the place of talking with your healthcare provider about your condition or your treatment. Ask your doctor if BiDil may be right for you.