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Heart Disease Health Center

Common Heart Disease Drugs

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Cholesterol -Lowering Drugs: Cholesterol helps your body build new cells, insulate nerves, and produce hormones. But inflammation may lead to cholesterol build-up in the walls of arteries, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. 

Some people have a genetic predisposition to high cholesterol levels. These people may need drug therapy such as statins in addition to a healthier diet to reduce their risk of atherosclerosis.

Digoxin : Digoxin helps an injured or weakened heart to work more efficiently and to send blood through the body. It strengthens the force of the heart muscle's contractions and may improve blood circulation.

It may also be prescribed if the patient has atrial fibrillation (irregular heart beat rhythm) to help slow down the heart rate.

Diuretics: Diuretics, commonly known as "water pills," cause the kidneys to get rid of unneeded water and salt from the tissues and bloodstream into the urine. Getting rid of excess fluid makes it easier for your heart to pump. Diuretics are used to treat high blood pressure and reduce the swelling and water build-up caused by various medical problems, including heart failure. They also helps make breathing easier.

Inotropic Therapy: Inotropic therapy is used to stimulate an injured or weakened heart to pump harder to send blood through the body. It helps the force of the heart muscle's contractions and relaxes constricted blood vessels so blood can flow more smoothly. Inotropic therapy may also speed up the heart's rhythm.

Inotropic therapy is used in end-stage heart failure to help relieve and control heart failure symptoms. These medications are only used when others no longer control heart failure symptoms. 

Potassium or Magnesium: Potassium and magnesium are minerals that can be lost because of increased urination when taking diuretics.  Low levels in the body can be associated with abnormal heart rhythms.  Some patients take them as supplements as directed by their doctor.

Vasodilators: Vasodilators are used to treat heart failure and control high blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels so blood can flow more easily through the body. Vasodilators are prescribed for patients who cannot take ACE inhibitors.

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