Carvedilol reduces mortality and hospitalization in adults with congestive heart failure. Limited information is available about its use in children. The objective of this study was to determine the dosing, efficacy and side effects of carvedilol for the management of dilated cardiomyopathy in children. Sixteen children with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy, aged 7 months to 138 months and with an ejection fraction less than 40%, were treated with carvedilol. The average initial dose was 0.1 mg/kg/day and it was uptitrated to 0.4 mg/kg/day. After six months on carvedilol, there were improvements in clinical scoring system from an average of 2.94 to 2.50 (p<0.05), in mean fractional shortening from 17.2 +/- 6.1% to 22.7 +/- 5.1% (p<0.05), and in ejection fraction from 35.2 +/- 6.8% to 43.1 +/- 11.2% (p<0.05). No side effect was observed during the study period. Two patients died due to serious infection. Carvedilol in addition to standard therapy for dilated cardiomyopathy in children improves cardiac function and symptoms. It is well tolerated, with minimal adverse effects, but close monitoring is necessary.