The regular intake of tablets is an essential and important part of the treatment regime for all cardiac conditions. The choices available and any potential side effects will be discussed with you in detail prior to any medications being prescribed. Commonly used categories of medication used to treat heart conditions are mentioned below.
Tablets to thin the blood
These include medications such as aspirin, clopidogrel and ticagrelor that help prevent heart attacks and also prevents blood clots from forming within any stents that you may need. Other medications such as warfarin, dabigatran and rivoraxiban are used in certain conditions such as atrial fibrillation and valvular heart disease to prevent strokes from happening.
Tablets to improve the efficiency of the heart
This category includes medications belonging to a class known as beta blockers. They are widely used in cardiac conditions and help to regulate the heart rate, lower the blood pressure, reduce symptoms of chest pains and in the long term, improve the efficiency of the heart and thereby help to prolong survival. Examples include bisoprolol, atenolol, carvedilol and metoprolol.
Another category are medications called ACE inhibitors. These also help to lower the blood pressure, reduce breathlessness and overall improve the contractile function of the heart with time. Examples include Ramipril, Lisinopril and captopril. A similar class, but with a better side effect profile are angiotensin receptor blockers such as losartan and candesartan.
Tablets to lower the cholesterol
A very common category of medications that lower the cholesterol levels in the blood are statins. There are several varieties, including simvastatin, atorvastatin, pravastatin and rosuvastatin and all have proven benefits in improved outcomes in coronary artery disease.
Further details of other medications and onward links can be found under the Learning Zone