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If there are no other problems, pericarditis usually goes away on its own in a couple of weeks. During this time:
Your doctor may prescribe a medicine to relieve pain and reduce swelling. Medicines may include a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as aspirin or ibuprofen, or another type of medicine called colchicine. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
Get plenty of rest. Avoid exercise and strenuous activity. Ask your doctor when you can be active again.
Follow your doctor's advice about what problems to watch for, such as shortness of breath or other signs of complications.
Be sure to keep all follow-up appointments with your doctor. If you have complications or the illness gets worse, you may need further treatment. This could include medicines or a procedure to relieve the fluid and pressure around your heart (pericardiocentesis).
The Stanford Medicine Online Second Opinion program offers you easy access to our world-class doctors. It’s all done remotely and you don’t have to visit our hospital or one of our clinics for this service. You don’t even need to leave home!