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Medications for Heart Health: Common Types and What They Do

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US, taking the life of one person every 36 seconds.

Luckily, there are many medications for heart conditions for doctors to prescribe. When used correctly, these heart medications offer a safe and effective way to prevent future heart attacks and strokes.

But what are some of the most common heart disease medication types? And what do they do exactly? Let’s take a look!

ACE Inhibitors or ARBs

Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) dilate blood vessels. This then helps improve blood flow, eases the demands on the heart, and lowers blood pressure. As such, these are both leading high blood pressure treatment options for those with hypertension and/or heart failure.

Aspirin

Aspirin is the most common antiplatelet heart medicine, working to prevent the blood clots that can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Doctors often prescribe a daily aspirin to patients who’ve had a previous heart attack or stroke, or those who have a valve replacement or stent. This is often combined with a short-term clot-preventing medication, such as clopidogrel (Plavix).

Anticoagulants

Available at any online drugstore, this type of heart medicine helps prevent blood from coagulating or clotting. People who have had a heart attack or who have atrial fibrillation often take anticoagulants. Common examples include warfarin (Coumadin), dabigatran (Pradaxa), and rivaroxaban (Xarelto).

Antiarrhythmics

People with abnormal heart rhythms may take antiarrhythmic heart medications. These help regulate your heart to a normal beat. Doctors may prescribe these heart medications with procedures, such as ablation, or devices, such as pacemakers.

Beta-Blockers

Beta-blockers block the effects of adrenaline, in turn slowing your heart rate down and taking pressure off your heart. Doctors often prescribe beta-blockers after a heart attack to aid heart health recovery. Some beta-blockers can also help improve the heart’s ability to pump blood, while others can treat high blood pressure and angina. Common beta-blockers include nebivolol (Bystolic), metoprolol (Toprol), and carvedilol (Coreg).

Calcium Channel Blockers

Calcium channel blockers prevent calcium from entering the cells of the heart and arteries.  This increases the heart’s supply of blood and oxygen to help reduce its workload. Calcium channel blockers can help treat angina and arrhythmia. They also serve as an alternative high blood pressure treatment for those who cannot take beta-blockers. Common calcium channel blockers include DynaCirc (isradipine) and Norvasc (amlodipine).

Statins

Statins reduce inflammation and lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels by 20 to 60 percent. Most people who have had a stroke or heart attack, a heart bypass, stents, or diabetes take statins. Patients with a high LDL, but without heart disease, may also take statins.

Common Medications for Heart Health

These medications for heart disease and related conditions save lives by preventing heart attacks and strokes.

If you have heart disease or are at risk of developing it in the future, you’ll likely take one or more of these heart medications. But remember, you must always follow your doctor’s instructions to ensure that they are both safe and effective for your ongoing heart health.

Want more news updates and informative advice? Be sure to check out our other blog posts for all the latest tips and tricks!

But remember, you must always follow your doctor’s instructions to ensure that they are both safe and effective for your ongoing heart health.

Want more news updates and informative advice? Be sure to check out our other blog posts for all the latest tips and tricks!

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