Heart Disease Drug Therapy
Tremendous advances have been made in the use of drugs to treat many heart conditions. These drugs can help prevent certain heart conditions from getting worse, prolong life and reduce the effect of symptoms on the ability to perform daily activities.
- Lower cholesterol levels
- Eliminate chest pain
- Help the kidneys eliminate excess water in the blood, thus reducing the volume of blood that the heart has to pump
- Lower blood pressure
- Make the heart beat more slowly
- Open up blood vessels, thus lowering blood pressure
- Prevent the blood from creating life-threatening clots
- Regulate the heartbeat
While many different drugs may be prescribed, the major categories of drugs used to treat heart conditions are:
- ACE inhibitors
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers
- Beta blockers
- Calcium-channel blockers
- Cholesterol-lowering medicines
The information provided about each category is general in nature. It does not cover all the possible drugs that could be given for heart conditions, nor does it describe all the possible uses, side effects, interactions with other drugs or vitamins and herbal supplements. Please talk to the doctor or pharmacist for full information about the drugs that are prescribed. This information should not be used as medical advice for individual health problems.
If the doctor thinks that a drug therapy program can benefit health, he or she will develop a program that is specific to the condition, the age, the general health and other medications the patient may be taking. Drugs should be taken as prescribed. The doctor should be informed of all drugs and supplements the patient is taking and of any side effects.