Heart Disease - Medications

What medications and/or supplements do you take to prevent heart disease?

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The purpose of medications for coronary artery disease is to allow more efficient heart muscle function to overcome any blockage that might exist.

Aspirin is one of the cornerstones of coronary artery disease treatment. It prevents platelets from clumping together when blood becomes turbulent, like when it flows past a narrowing in an artery.

Beta blockers prevent the action of adrenaline on the heart and allow the heart to beat a more efficiently by reducing the heart rate and causing the heart muscle to contract less aggressively. Examples of beta blockers include:

  • atenolol (Tenormin)
  • metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL)
  • propranolol (Inderal, Inderal LA)
  • carvedilol (Coreg)
  • labetalol (Normodyne, Trandate)

Calcium channel blockers can also be used to control heart rate and allow the heart to beat more efficiently. Examples of calcium channel blockers include:

  • diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac)
  • verapamil (Calan, Verelan, Verelan PM, Isoptin, Covera-HS)

Nitroglycerin dilates blood vessels and may be used sublingually, under the tongue, to treat angina. Some patients may be prescribed long-acting nitroglycerin to help control anginal symptoms.

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