Common Heart Medications
There are many different medications that can help treat heart disease.
Learn what type of medication you're taking, what it treats, and how
to take it safely. If you have questions about why you need a medication
or how it works, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Medications are prescribed
in just the right doses for your heart condition. They work only if you
take them exactly as directed. So while your doctor can prescribe the
best medications for you, it's up to you to take them correctly.
Keep a List
Keep a list of all your medications. Include your dosage and the time or
times you take them. If any changes to your medication are made, be sure
to update your list. And share this list with any new health care provider
that you visit.
Common Types of Medication
ACE inhibitors treat high blood pressure and heart failure.
Antiarrhythmics help slow and regulate a fast or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia).
Anticoagulants help reduce the risk that a blood clot will form and block the artery
Antihypertensives help treat high blood pressure (hypertension).
Aspirin (taken regularly in the right dosage) helps reduce blood clots.
Beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers help treat high blood pressure. They may
also help prevent chest pain (angina) and regulate an arrhythmia.
Digitalis helps treat heart failure and may help an irregular heartbeat.
Diuretics help treat high blood pressure and heart failure. They are sometimes called
water pills because they help your body get rid of excess water.
Lipid-lowering medications help control your cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Nitrates help prevent and treat angina.
Vasodilators help blood flow more easily through the arteries. Calcium channel blockers
and nitrates are vasodilators.
Take heart medications at the same time every day. This will keep the amount
of medication in your bloodstream at a steady level.