There are many medicines available to keep blood pressure in check and heart healthy. Medicines for cardiac care also includes drugs which are given to prevent heart attack (or another heart attack). Your doctor is the best person to decide what kind of medicine or combinations of medicines are best to keep your heart healthy. People who have had suffered heart attack are usually prescribed combinations of medicines to provide the broadest range of protection against factors that increase risk for another heart attack.
Here's a brief introduction to many types of medicines that you may be prescribed for cardiac care:
Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors prevent the formation of a hormone called angiotensin II, which normally causes blood vessels to narrow. The medicines containing ACE inhibitors cause the vessels to relax and blood pressure goes down. Some scientists believe that ACE inhibitors medicines have additional actions that may be advantageous for heart attack patients, including preventing the formation of fatty deposits in coronary arteries.
Diuretics act to prevent fluid accumulating in the body and to control blood pressure and sometimes called as "water pills". This type of medicines are widely prescribed for patients who have had a heart attack.
Beta-blockers work by reducing nerve impulses to the heart and blood vessels. This makes the heart beat slower and with less force. This results in lowering blood pressure and the heart works less hard. Beta-blockers, if Used (given intravenously) immediately after a heart attack they improve the chances of survival. Later, when patient go back home doctors may prescribe beta-blocker medicines to be taken by orally.
As term suggests calcium channel blockers keep calcium from entering the muscle cells of the heart and blood vessels, thereby causing the blood vessels to relax and lower the pressure.
These type of medicines directly open blood vessels by relaxing the muscle in the vessel walls, causing the blood pressure to go down.
Popular as 'wonder drug', Aspirin has been proven to be a very beneficial medicine for patients who have had a heart attack, and is now considered as one of the 'must-have' treatments for almost all heart attack patients. Aspirin can reduce the risk of another heart attack because it prevents blood clots forming and blocking the blood supply to the heart. Low doses of aspirin (as low as 75 mg/day) are effective for reducing the risk of a heart attack.
There are several types of medicines that can lower the level of cholesterol in the blood. The most widely used type of the drugs, nowadays, are called statins, such as atorvastatin and simvastatin. These medicines lower cholesterol very effectively if taken regularly. They work by inhibiting the synthesis of cholesterol in the liver.
Anticoagulants prevent the blood from congealing inside blood vessels. Though a similar effect can be obtained by using aspirin but anticoagulants may be appropriate for some patients, including those who have a history of ill health due to embolus formation and people with certain types of irregular heart beat.
Remember to take your medicines regularly and in time. Do not stop taking any of your medicine at any time without consulting your physician. Some simple steps you can take to keep your heart healthy and reduce your risk of another heart attack are eat a healthy diet, exercise, loose excess weight, stop smoking, drink less alcohol, keep blood pressure in control, reduce high cholesterol levels and if diabetic, maintain good control of blood glucose levels.