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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