ACE inhibitors stop the body from producing a chemical that narrows blood vessels. They are used to treat high blood pressure and damaged heart muscle. ACE inhibitors may reduce the risks of a future heart attack and congestive heart failure. They can also prevent kidney damage in some people with diabetes. Some examples of ACE inhibitors that may be used as part of angina treatment include:
- Quinapril (Accupril®)
- Benazepril (Lotensin®)
- Enalapril (Vasotec®)
- Ramipril (Altace®)
- Fosinopril (Monopril®)
- Captopril (Capoten®)
- Lisinopril (Prinivil®, Zestril®).
Anticoagulants decrease the ability of the blood to clot, and therefore help to prevent clots from forming in your arteries and blocking blood flow (these medicines are sometimes called blood thinners, though they do not actually thin the blood). Anticoagulants will not dissolve clots that have already formed, but they may prevent the clots from becoming larger and causing more serious problems.
Antiplatelets are medications that may be used for angina. These medicines stop blood particles called platelets from clumping together to form harmful clots. Aspirin is one type of antiplatelet medicine. Other antiplatelets used in the treatment of angina include:
Beta blockers slow the heart rate and allow it to beat with less force. They are used to treat high blood pressure and some arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms) and to prevent a repeat heart attack. They can also delay or prevent the development of angina.
Examples of beta blockers used in angina treatment include:
- Atenolol (Tenormin®)
- Metoprolol (Lopressor®)
- Propranolol (Inderal®)
- Metoprolol succinate (Toprol XL®).
Calcium Channel Blockers
Calcium channel blockers relax blood vessels. They are used to treat high blood pressure, angina, and some arrhythmias.
Calcium channel blockers used for angina treatment include:
- Amlodipine (Norvasc®)
- Amlodipine/benazepril (Lotrel®)
- Verapamil (Calan®, Covera®, Verelan®)
- Diltiazem (Cardizem®, Tiazac®)
- Nifedipine (Adalat®, Procardia®)
- Felodipine (Plendil®)
- Nisoldipine (Sular®).
Cholesterol-lowering drugs are usually used to decrease LDL (bad cholesterol) levels in the blood. Sometimes they are also used to increase HDL (good cholesterol) and to lower triglycerides.
The five major types of cholesterol drugs are:
- Statins, such as Lipitor®, Zocor®, or Crestor®
- Bile acid sequestrants, such as Questran®, Colestid®, or WelChol®
- Nicotinic acid, such as niacin
- Fibrates, such as Lopid®
- Cholesterol absorption inhibitors, such as Zetia®.
There are also combinations of cholesterol medicines. For example, Zetia and Zocor have been combined into a medicine known as Vytorin®.