If you are at risk for heart disease, there are many medicines that can reduce your risk. These include:
All medicines can cause side effects. So it is important to understand the pros and cons of any medicine you take. It is also important to take your medicines exactly as your doctor tells you to.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors are used for three main reasons. They lower blood pressure, protect the kidneys, and prevent heart attacks and strokes. Examples include lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), benazepril (Lotensin), and ramipril (Altace).
Before you start taking an ACE inhibitor, make sure your doctor knows if:
ACE inhibitors can cause side effects. Call your doctor or nurse call line right away if you have:
Taking an aspirin every day can lower your risk for a heart attack. A heart attack occurs when a blood vessel in the heart gets blocked. When this happens, oxygen can't get to the heart muscle, and part of the heart dies. Aspirin can help prevent blood clots that can block the blood vessels.
Talk to your doctor before you start taking aspirin every day. He or she may recommend that you take one low-dose aspirin (81 mg) tablet each day, with a meal and a full glass of water.
Taking aspirin isn't right for everyone, because it can cause serious bleeding. And you may not be able to use aspirinif you:
Before having a surgery or procedure, tell your doctor or dentist that you take aspirin. He or she will tell you if you should stop taking aspirin beforehand. Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do.
Aspirin can cause side effects. Call your doctor or nurse call line right away if you have:
Statins lower cholesterol. Examples include atorvastatin (Lipitor), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), and simvastatin (Zocor).
Before you start taking a statin, make sure your doctor knows if:
Statins can cause side effects. Call your doctor or nurse call line right away if you have:
Beta-blockers are used for three main reasons. They lower blood pressure, reduce angina symptoms (such as chest pains or pressure), and reduce the chances of a second heart attack. They include atenolol (Tenormin), carvedilol, and metoprolol (Lopresor).
Before you start taking a beta-blocker, make sure your doctor knows if you have:
Beta-blockers can cause side effects. Call your doctor or nurse call line right away if you have:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have any problems.
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Current as of: December 6, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology
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