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Given the many conditions that affect the heart, it's no surprise that hundreds of medications have been developed to treat heart disease and related conditions. Medications are available to:
lower blood pressure
slow the heart rate
stop abnormal heart rhythms
improve the force of heart contractions
improve circulation in the coronary arteries (nitrates and other anti-angina medications)
prevent blood from clotting (anticoagulants (also known as blood thinners) and antiplatelet agents)
break apart clots that have formed in an artery or vein (thrombolytics, also known as clot busters)
remove excess water from the body (diuretics, also known as water pills)
The development of these medications have helped dramatically decrease death rates from cardiovascular disease in the United States and other developed countries.
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