Common Heart Disease Drugs
There are many drugs prescribed for heart disease. It’s important for people with heart disease and those who care for them to understand the meds, follow the labels, and recognize possible side effects.
The ones most people with heart disease are given by their doctor include:
ACE inhibitors: These widen arteries to lower your blood pressure and make it easier for your heart to pump blood. They also block some of the unpleasant things that can happen with heart failure.
Aldosterone inhibitors: Eplerenone (Inspra) and spironolactone (Aldactone) are part of a class of medicine called potassium-sparing diuretics. They can ease the swelling and water buildup heart disease can cause. They help the kidneys send unneeded water and salt from your tissues and blood into your urine to be released.
These drugs may help some symptoms, even while you take other treatments. They protect your heart by blocking a chemical in your body called aldosterone that causes salt and fluid buildup.
This medicine is for folks with some types of severe heart failure.
Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs): These are used to lower blood pressure for people with heart failure. They help keep your blood vessels as wide as possible so blood can flow through your body more easily. They also lessen salt and fluid buildup in your body.
Beta-blockers: They block the effects of adrenaline (epinephrine). This helps your heart work better. These meds also drop production of harmful substances your body makes in response to heart failure. And they cause your heart to beat slower and with less force. Those both lower your blood pressure.
Calcium channel blockers: These treat chest pain (your doctor may say “angina”) and high blood pressure. They relax blood vessels and increase blood and oxygen to your heart. That eases its workload.
They treat heart failure caused by hypertension. But they’re used only when other medicines to lower blood pressure don’t work. Ask your doctor if one is right for you.
Cholesterol-lowering drugs: Cholesterol helps your body build new cells, insulate nerves, and make hormones. But inflammation may force cholesterol to build up in the walls of your arteries. That buildup increases your chance of having a heart attack or stroke.