There are several choices of medications for heart disease, including those prescribed to treat risk factors for heart disease, as well as those taken to prevent or relieve symptoms. Commonly prescribed medications include anticoagulants, antiplatelets, and beta blockers. Even if your doctor prescribes medications for you, it's still important to maintain a healthy lifestyle -- doing so will help keep your dose as low as possible.
An Introduction to Heart Medication
There are several different drugs used to treat heart disease. Some heart medications may be used to treat a risk factor for heart disease, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Others may be prescribed to prevent or relieve the symptoms of heart disease. If you take any medication for heart disease, it's important to keep up your heart-healthy lifestyle, because healthy daily habits will keep your dose as low as possible.
Specific Medications for Heart Disease
Heart medications that are commonly prescribed include:
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors)
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs)
- Beta blockers
- Calcium channel blockers
- Cholesterol-lowering medications
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors stop the body from producing a chemical that narrows blood vessels. They are used to treat high blood pressure and congestive heart failure (CHF). ACE inhibitors may also reduce the risks of a future heart attack or prevent kidney damage in people with diabetes. Examples of this type of heart medication include:
- Quinapril (Accupril®)
- Benazepril (Lotensin®)
- Enalapril (Vasotec®)
- Ramipril (Altace®)
- Fosinopril (Monopril®)
- Captopril (Capoten®)
- Lisinopril (Prinivil®, Zestril®).