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Note: All hospitals have Emergency Rooms unless otherwise noted.
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If you experience shortness of breath and fatigue with a low-grade fever and dry cough, call your WellStar physician. If you experience severe chest pain - a common symptom of pericarditis, but also of a heart attack - go to the emergency room immediately.

Pericarditis Treatment

Treatment of pericarditis depends on the cause as well as the severity of the condition. In mild cases of pericarditis, patients may get better on their own without treatment. In others cases, medications and bed rest may be required. In some instances, medical procedures or surgery become necessary.

Taking Care of Pericarditis with Rest and Medications

Your WellStar physician may order bed rest until complications subside as well as medications to reduce the inflammation and swelling associated with pericarditis. Some of these medications include analgesics, antibiotics, aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), colchichine or corticosteroids.

Taking Care of Pericarditis with Medical Procedures and Surgery

In some cases, your WellStar physician may recommend more invasive treatments, particularly in instances of cardiac tamponade, a dangerous form of pericarditis associated with rapid fluid build-up, or in recurrent pericarditis. Such procedures include:

  • Pericardiocentesis, in which your WellStar cardiologist uses a sterile needle or small tube (catheter) to remove and drain the excess fluid from the pericardial cavity.
  • Pericardiectomy, a surgical procedure to remove those portions of the pericardium that has become rigid and is compromising the performance of your heart.