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Heart Attack Medication

Anticoagulants decrease the ability of the blood to clot, and therefore help to prevent clots from forming in your arteries and blocking blood flow. (This type of heart attack medication is sometimes called a blood-thinner, though it does 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.
An example of anticoagulants used during heart attack treatment is warfarin (Coumadin®, Jantoven®).
Antiplatelets are medications that stop blood particles called platelets from clumping together to form harmful clots. These heart medications may be given to people who have had a heart attack, have angina, or who experience chest pain after an angioplasty procedure. Aspirin is one type of antiplatelet medicine. Other antiplatelets used as heart attack medications include:
  • Clopidogrel (Plavix®)
  • Dipyridamole (Aggrenox®, Persantine®, and others)
  • Ticlopidine (Ticlid®).
Glycoprotein IIb-IIIa inhibitors may also be used. These are very potent antiplatelet medicines given intravenously to prevent clots from forming in your arteries. They are only used in the hospital under a doctor's supervision. They are not available as prescription drugs. Examples of this type of heart attack medication include:
  • Eptifibatide (Integrilin®)
  • Abciximab (ReoPro®)
  • Tirofiban (Aggrastat®).
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