Managing Your Medicines

Updated:Mar 8,2018

Medication spilling out of bottle

If you have heart disease, medicine along with lifestyle changes may be part of your treatment plan to reduce the risk of future health problems. You may be taking many medicines. Certain medicines can greatly lower your risk of another cardiac event. That's why it's important for you to understand your medicines and take them correctly.

These medicines include:

  • Beta-blockers: These drugs treat high blood pressure and some other heart conditions by reducing the heart rate and the heart's output of blood.
  • Antithrombotics (Antiplatelet/anticoagulant medicines): These medicines are used to prevent blood clots from forming in your arteries. Patients who have had cardiac procedures such as angioplasty and stenting to open up their arteries need these drugs to help keep the arteries open.
  • ACE inhibitors: This class of medicines treats high blood pressure and heart failure by interfering with the body's production of angiotensin, a chemical in the body that causes the arteries to constrict. Patients who can't take ACE inhibitors may be able to use angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs).
  • Statins: These medicines help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol. This not only lowers cholesterol, but protects the inner lining of the arteries.

Your doctor may recommend other medicines for you. Be sure to tell all of your healthcare professionals about all the medicines you're taking, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, supplements and herbs.

Related Links and Media

  • VIDEO: Dr. Clyde Yancy stresses understanding and taking your medications:

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This content was last reviewed March 2018.

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Heart Insight Supplement:
Know Your Medicines

Keeping track of your medicines can be overwhelming. Learn what you can do to take all your medicines safely and effectively in this free supplement from Heart Insight magazine. View and share via your preferred platform:  

Digi-Edition | iOS | Android | Kindle Fire