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Pericarditis

Pericarditis is inflammation of the lining around your heart.

Symptoms of pericarditis include a sharp pain in your chest that gets worse when you breathe in deeply or lie down.

Pericarditis is usually treated with anti-inflammatory painkillers. Depending on the cause, you may need other medicines like steroids or antibiotics.

Pericarditis is usually caused by a viral infection.

Read more on the NHS website.

Symptoms of pericarditis include a sharp pain in your chest that gets worse when you breathe in deeply or lie down.

See a GP or go to your local walk-in centre if your chest pain:

These could be symptoms of pericarditis.

Pericarditis can sometimes feel like a dull ache or it can come on gradually.

You may also feel hot and sweaty, short of breath, sick, lightheaded or just unwell.

It often occurs after a viral infection, such as a sore throat or cold.

Read more on the NHS website.

Pericarditis is usually treated with anti-inflammatory painkillers. Depending on the cause, you may need other medicines like steroids or antibiotics.

Medical treatments

You'll usually be prescribed anti-inflammatory painkillers, and you should feel better within 1 to 2 weeks.

Sitting up or leaning forward can also help ease the pain.

Other medicines, like colchicine and steroids

Other treatments for pericarditis can depend on the cause.

For example, your GP may prescribe these medicines:

  • colchicine – if anti-inflammatory painkillers do not work or you are not able to take them
  • steroids – if colchicine does not work
  • antibiotics – if the pericarditis is caused by a bacterial infection

Read more on the NHS website.

Pericarditis is usually caused by a viral infection.

Read more on the NHS website.