Medications Used for Heart Disease

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Medications Used for Heart Disease

Given the complicated and risky nature of heart problems and illnesses, the medications used for heart disease are among the most extensive and most important drugs known to man. In recent decades, the rise of poor lifestyle choices has led to the alarming increase of heart failures and heart disease across the world. As such, different types of heart disease medications have consequently grown to cope with the various demands from patients with this serious medical problem.

These are the most common medications used for heart disease. The eventual choice depends on the nature of the condition but in most cases a combination of two or more of these drugs will be utilized.

ACE inhibitors – ACE inhibitors, short for angiotensin-converting enzyme, is used to widen blood vessels in order to lower blood pressure and alleviate the workload of the heart. Common examples of this type of drug include Zestril and Capoten.

Beta blockers - Beta blockers are among the most commonly used medications for heart disease. The drug functions by slowing down the heart rate and reducing blood pressure so the heart is not subjected to an overload of work. There are also studies which have shown that beta blockers can actually reverse damage and allow the heart to heal. Examples include Coreg and Zebeta.

Aldosterone antagonists - These are diuretics which selectively filter and retain potassium in the body. Diuretics are primarily used to facilitate fluid loss in order to prevent fluid build-up in the lungs allowing the patient to breathe easier. Aldosterone antagonists are particularly useful versus conventional diuretics because its potassium-screening properties maintain levels of potassium in the blood. Potassium is integral to the involuntary muscular contractions of the heart.

Angiotensin II receptor blockers - These are variants of ACE inhibitors which have been specifically designed to cater to people who have unpleasant reactions to standard ACE inhibitor drugs. Common brands include Diovan and Cozaar.

Digoxin - Heart failure patients rely on digoxin to strengthen the heart muscle contractions and slow down heartbeat preventing runaway muscular contractors which can paralyze the heart. The most popular digoxin medication is Lanoxin.

Ultimately deciding which of the medications used for heart disease is the best for your particular heart problem can only be done after a thorough consultation that identities the characteristic symptoms of your condition and then subsequently targets these symptoms. For example, people who have high blood pressure are more likely to have ACE inhibitors coupled with digoxin. Those that frequently experience fluid build-up in the lungs rely more on diuretics or specially-formulated aldosterone antagonists.

Always listen to your doctor when deciding on medications used for heart disease. He/she will know which are best suited to your condition. Once prescribed, diligently take your medication until otherwise advised. For many, these medications must be taken for the rest of their lives. However, by doing so they will lower the risk, if not altogether prevent the occurrence or recurrence of a heart problems.