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

Why you may need a statin

Age can be the deciding factor in the decision to take a cholesterol-lowering drug. Many women over 65 and most over 70 may benefit from using a statin. (Locked) More »

Antidote for blood thinner's side effect

The FDA has approved idarucizumab (Praxbind), which may be able to reverse the effects of dabigatran (Pradaxa), a newer type of blood thinner that's had a rare side effect of uncontrolled bleeding during surgery or accidents. More »

Ask the doctor: Medications that affect warfarin

I'm helping my mother, who is in her late 80s, keep track of her medications, as she can be a little forgetful. Her doctor just started her on warfarin, which I've heard can interact with many different medications. What are the most common ones? More »

Once-a-day blood pressure medication

If you can't remember to take the second dose of your blood pressure medication, ask your doctor about switching to a long-acting blood pressure drug that only needs to be taken once a day. (Locked) More »

Arthritis pain relief while taking warfarin

People who take warfarin should avoid taking over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen and naproxen. Taking the two medications together can increase the risk of bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract and elsewhere in the body. (Locked) More »

Should you rethink high blood pressure treatment?

Early results of the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial suggest that aiming for a systolic (top) blood pressure reading of less than 120 mm Hg may significantly reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure. More »

Which blood pressure drug is right for you?

There are hundreds of medications that a doctor may prescribe to treat high blood pressure. The most common drugs include diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs), beta blockers, and calcium-channel blockers. Each medication works differently in the body, and there are many different varieties of those drug types. Choosing one or more is based on a person’s other health conditions. (Locked) More »