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Medicine check-ups for older adults

Heart disease medicines

​Heart diseases change how the heart works. Types of heart disease include atherosclerosis and heart rhythm problems. It’s important to take care of your heart by eating a healthy diet, doing physical activity, not smoking, and limiting how much alcohol you drink. If you have heart disease, medicines may help control it. Common heart disease medicines include:

Type of medicine Name of medicine

statins(a type of cholesterol-lowering medicine)

atorvastatin (Lipitor)
rosuvastatin (Crestor)
simvastatin (Zocor)

cholesterol absorption blockers (a type of cholesterol-lowering medicine)

ezetimibe (Ezetrol)
blood thinners warfarin
direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs)
acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin)


In older adults, it’s not clear if there are benefits of taking cholesterol-lowering medicines and blood thinners. Ask your healthcare provider if there are more benefits than risks for you.


Blood thinners may cause bruising and bleeding inside of your body.

Cholesterol-lowering medicines may cause:

  • muscle pain and weakness
  • headaches and nausea
  • memory problems and confusion
  • liver problems
  • a higher blood sugar level

Do you need a medicine check-up?

It’s important to regularly talk to your healthcare provider and pharmacist about your medicines. Ask if you still need to take all of your medicines or if you can take a lower dose.

More information

For more information about medicines for heart disease, search the name of the medicine in the medication database.

Current as of: March 5, 2020

Author: Seniors Health Strategic Clinical Network