Coronary artery stenting: During cardiac catheterization, a doctor expands a wire metal stent inside a narrowed or blocked coronary artery to open up the area. This lets blood flow better and can abort a heart attack or relieve angina (chest pain).
Thrombolysis: “Clot-busting” drugs injected into the veins can dissolve a blood clot causing a heart attack. Thrombolysis is generally only done if stenting is not possible.
Lipid-lowering agents: Statins and other cholesterol (lipid) lowering drugs reduce the risk for heart attack in high-risk people.
Diuretics: Commonly called water pills, diuretics increase urination and fluid loss. This reduces blood volume, improving symptoms of heart failure.
Beta-blockers: These medicines reduce strain on the heart and lower heart rate. Beta-blockers are prescribed for many heart conditions, including heart failure and arrhythmias.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors): These blood pressure medicines also help the heart after some heart attacks or in congestive heart failure.
Aspirin: This powerful medicine helps prevent blood clots (the cause of heart attacks). Most people who have had heart attacks should take aspirin.
Clopidogrel (Plavix): A clot-preventing medicine that prevents platelets from sticking together to form clots. Clopidogrel is especially important for many people who have had stents placed.
Antiarrhythmic medications: Numerous medicines help control the heart’s rate and electrical rhythm. These help prevent or control arrhythmias.
AED (automated external defibrillator): If someone has sudden cardiac arrest, an AED can be used to assess the heart rhythm and send an electrical shock to the heart if necessary.
ICD (Implantable cardioverter defibrillator): If a doctor suspects you are at risk for a life-threatening arrhythmia, an implantable cardioverter defibrillator may be surgically implanted to monitor your heart rhythm and send an electrical shock to the heart if necessary.
Pacemaker: To maintain a stable heart rate, a pacemaker can be implanted. A pacemaker sends electrical signals to the heart when necessary to help it beat properly.