Skip to main content
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.

Call NHS 111 if:

Your chest pain is:

You may also have a high temperature and feel hot and shivery.

These could be symptoms of pericarditis.

Pericarditis often follows a viral infection, such as a sore throat or cold.

Contact NHS 111.

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

Treatment for pericarditis will depend on what's causing it. You may be given anti-inflammatory painkillers, such as ibuprofen, and you should feel better within 1 to 2 weeks.

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

You may need other treatment. For example, a GP may prescribe these medicines:

  • colchicine – if anti-inflammatory painkillers do not work or you're not able to take them
  • steroids – if colchicine does not work
  • antibiotics – if 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.