Understanding of contemporary pharmacological therapy for chronic heart failure continues to evolve. In this Review, we discuss how fi ndings from clinical trials have caused the roles of old therapies to be expanded and past treatment algorithms to be challenged. Several trials investigating preserved ejection fraction as a measure of heart failure had disappointing results, although important studies are in progress. Many novel therapeutic approaches for heart failure have emerged and are discussed in this review. The pharmacological treatments for heart failure continue to change, with many exciting possibilities for the future.