Heart Medications

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 cholesterol

·       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.

Heart Medications Articles

Generic heart medications

Generic heart medications are equivalent to their brand-name versions and are safe for people with heart disease to use. (Locked) More »

HDL and heart attack

High LDL cholesterol levels are known to increase the risk of heart attack, and lowering LDL levels has been proven to help protect against heart attack. (Locked) More »

Aspirin not effective in some people

Aspirin’s powerful antiplatelet activity helps prevent clots from forming inside arteries or stents and causing heart attacks and strokes. When someone who takes aspirin suffers a cardiovascular event, they are said to be aspirin resistant. However, the problem is actually uncommon. Instead, most cases of aspirin resistance can be attributed to the failure to take aspirin as prescribed. (Locked) More »

Is low-dose aspirin safe for you?

  Many healthy people take a low-dose aspirin every day to prevent heart problems, but this carries a small but potentially dangerous bleeding risk. In rare cases, aspirin can trigger bleeding in the brain or gastrointestinal tract serious enough to send you to the hospital. In contrast, the science strongly supports the benefit of taking aspirin if you have a diagnosis or symptoms of cardiovascular disease. If you take low-dose aspirin, understand the nature and size of the bleeding risk. It is especially important to discuss low-dose aspirin pros and cons if you have already started taking a daily baby aspirin without consulting your doctor.   More »

Muscle aches and pains from statin use

If you take a cholesterol-lowering statin and have no muscle pain or discomfort, regular blood tests are no longer advised, says the FDA. That’s because levels of creatine kinase (CK), a byproduct of muscle breakdown, are naturally elevated in some people and may lead to unnecessary discontinuation of this potentially lifesaving medication. If you take a statin and experience severe muscle pain and weakness, however, seek medical help immediately. These are signs of rhabdomyolysis, a rare but dangerous condition. (Locked) More »

Treatments for heart failure

  People with heart failure with low ventricular ejection fraction have a heart too weak to meet their body’s demand for oxygenated blood during daily activity. Clinical trials have confirmed that several medications and devices can help many of these people live longer and enjoy a better quality of life. But this doesn’t mean that all therapies are right for everyone. In general, all will benefit from a beta blocker plus an ACE inhibitor or an ARB, and many will need a diuretic. Other medications and devices are likely to benefit only certain individuals.   More »

High HDL may not protect the heart

People with naturally high levels of protective HDL cholesterol have lower rates of cardiovascular disease. New studies suggest that boosting low HDL with medication may not pay off as much as lowering harmful LDL cholesterol. (Locked) More »

Viagra and Cialis for heart failure?

Drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction (Cialis, Levitra, and Viagra) may also help ease heart failure. These drugs cause arteries to relax, which could help a failing heart pump more effectively. A grant of $26.3 million to a Harvard team will be used to determine if these drugs (known as phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors) can help people with heart failure live longer and reduce heart failure-related hospitalizations. (Locked) More »