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Heart Disease Medication

Different kinds of drugs are used to treat different heart disease. Some heart medications are used to treat a risk factor for heart disease, such as elevated levels of blood pressure or high cholesterol levels and others are prescribed to prevent or relieve the symptoms of heart disease. Even if you take medications for heart disease, it's important to maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle, as healthy habits will keep the dosage of your medication as low as possible.

Different groups of heart medications are listed below

  • Beta Blockers: These drugs are used in treating hypertension. Beta blocker slows the heart rate and lessens the force with which the heart muscle contracts. In other words, they make the heart pump stronger delivering blood supply more effectively to all areas of the body.
  • Ace inhibitors (ACE): Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are heart medications that help to widen or dilate the blood vessels thus improving the amount of blood that the heart pumps out and it also helps lower blood pressure. As ACE inhibitors increase blood flow, it decreases the amount of work the heart has to do thus improving the condition of a failing heart.
  • Calcium channel blockers: These are medications that are used to treat certain kind of arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation and other conditions like high blood pressure. Calcium in the heart cells makes the heart to contract and the arteries to narrow, but calcium channel blockers prevents the entry of calcium into the muscle cells of the heart and the arteries.
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs): These medications help lower blood pressure and are commonly prescribed for the treatment of heart failure. These heart drugs allow more blood flow by decreasing the chemicals that narrow the blood vessels and they also decrease certain chemicals that cause salt and fluid build-up in the body.
  • Antiarrhythmic: These medications are prescribed when the heart beats at an irregular heart rhythm. They get rid of the arrhythmia and cause the heart to pump more effectively. Arrhythmias happen when the atrium and the ventricles which normally beat in a synchronized way, lose their normal rhythm.
  • Anticoagulants: They are also referred as blood thinners and these drugs are used to prevent coagulation or clotting inside the blood stream. They prevent the formation of blood clot or stop a clot already formed from getting larger. People who had a heart attack, or have a history of blood clots are usually put on blood thinners.
  • Water pills (Diuretics): Diuretics also known as "water pills" are used to treat fluid retention in the body by getting rid of excess water and sodium through the kidneys.
  • Aspirin: It is commonly used as a blood thinning medication for those who are at risk of developing blood clots or people who have suffered a heart attack or a stroke.
  • Digitalis: This heart drug works directly on the heart muscle to strengthen and regulate the heartbeat. It is also used in treating certain heart conditions.

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