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Specific treatment for rheumatic heart disease will be determined by your physician based on:
your overall health and medical history
extent of the disease
your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
expectations for the course of the disease
your opinion or preference
Since rheumatic fever is the cause of rheumatic heart disease, the best treatment is to prevent rheumatic fever from occurring. Penicillin and other antibiotics can usually treat strep throat (a streptococcus A bacterial infection) and stop acute rheumatic fever from developing.
Persons who have previously contracted rheumatic fever are often given continuous (daily or monthly) antibiotic treatments, possibly for life, to prevent future attacks of rheumatic fever and lower the risk of heart damage.
Antibiotic therapy has sharply reduced the incidence and mortality rate of rheumatic fever/rheumatic heart disease. To reduce inflammation, aspirin, steroids, or non-steroidal medications may be given. Surgery may be necessary to repair or replace the damaged valve.