A Look at Common Heart Medications

After being diagnosed with heart conditions, such as congestive heart failure or heart arrhythmia, your heart doctor may recommend a combined treatment plan of lifestyle changes and medications. You can also expect to take medications for your heart health after surviving a heart attack. It’s important to take all medications as prescribed and to avoid discontinuing medicines unless your heart doctor instructs you to do so. If you experience side effects, you can contact your healthcare provider.


Anticoagulants include drugs such as warfarin, fondaparinux, heparin, and thrombin inhibitors. These medicines work by interfering with the ability of the blood to form a clot. Blood clots can be dangerous because they may obstruct blood flow to the heart, causing a heart attack, or to the brain, causing stroke. They may also block blood flow to the lungs, a condition known as pulmonary embolism (PE). Anticoagulants cannot break up an existing blood clot; however, they can prevent existing blood clots from growing larger and prevent new clots from forming .

Antiplatelet Agents

Antiplatelet agents include aspirin, tirofiban, and clopidogrel. Like anticoagulants, antiplatelet agents work by reducing the risk of blood clots. However, unlike anticoagulants, these drugs prevent blood platelets from binding together.

Beta Blockers

Beta blockers include atenolol, metoprolol, and bisoprolol. Beta blockers are commonly prescribed for patients with high blood pressure, angina, or heart arrhythmia. They may also be recommended for patients who have survived a heart attack because they can help prevent another heart attack. Beta blockers work by forcing the heart to beat more slowly and less forcefully.

Calcium Channel Blockers

Another type of drug used to treat arrhythmia, angina, and hypertension is a calcium channel blocker. Amlodipine, felodipine, and verapamil are examples of calcium channel blockers. These drugs work by inhibiting the flow of calcium into the cells that comprise the blood vessels and heart. This can help relax the blood vessels and decrease the heart’s pumping action.

For comprehensive diagnostic and interventional medical services, you can rely on Cardiac Solutions . Our team of cardiologists, nurse practitioners, and other providers is committed to helping patients manage heart disease in Glendale, Phoenix, throughout the West Valley. Schedule a consultation with a heart disease specialist by calling (623) 876-8816.

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