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 experience chest pain after an angioplasty procedure, stroke, or TIA (transient ischemic attack -- a "mini-stroke"). Aspirin is one type of antiplatelet medicine. Other antiplatelets used in atherosclerosis treatment 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 atherosclerosis treatment include:
- Atenolol (Tenormin®)
- Metoprolol (Lopressor®)
- Propranolol (Inderal®)
- Metoprolol succinate (Toprol XL®)
- Carvedilol (Coreg®)
- Labetalol (Trandate®).
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 the treatment of atherosclerosis 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 levels, or bad cholesterol, in the blood. Sometimes, they are also used to increase HDL, or good cholesterol, and to lower triglycerides.
The five major types of cholesterol lowering drugs are: