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Heart Medications

Antiplatelets
Antiplatelets are medications that stop blood particles called platelets from clumping together to form harmful clots. These 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 include:
 
  • Clopidogrel (Plavix®)
  • Dipyridamole (Aggrenox®, Persantine®, and others)
  • Ticlopidine (Ticlid®).
     
Beta Blockers
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. These medications can also delay or prevent the development of angina.
 
Examples of beta blockers used in heart disease treatment include:
 

 

Calcium Channel Blockers
Calcium channel blockers relax blood vessels. They are used to treat high blood pressure, angina, and some arrhythmias.
 
Calcium channel blockers include:
 
Cholesterol-Lowering Medications
Cholesterol-lowering drugs are usually used to decrease LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, levels in the blood. Sometimes, they are also used to increase HDL, or "good" cholesterol, and to lower triglycerides.
 
The seven major types of cholesterol-lowering 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®)
  • Microsomal triglyceride transfer protein inhibitors (Juxtapid™)
  • Oligonucleotide inhibitors, also known as apo B-100 synthesis inhibitors (Kynamro™).
 
There are also cholesterol medicines that have been combined. For example, Zetia and Zocor have been combined into a medicine known as Vytorin®.
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