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Coronary Heart Disease: Medications

March 6, 2022


Statins, which are really important treatments for controlling cholesterol, have also been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by reducing cholesterol plaque rupture in the coronaries. Aspirin, which is not now indicated for primary prevention, meaning preventing your first heart attack, is an important medication that is still in the armamentarium for managing patients that have established atherosclerosis, especially if you’ve had a prior heart attack or coronary intervention. Beta blockers are an important class of medications and a treatment of patients with coronary artery disease. Beta blockers have been shown to reduce the risk of sudden death and arrhythmias in patients with coronary artery disease. Beta blockers work by blocking the effect of adrenaline on stimulating the heart rate and increasing the blood pressure. Another class is calcium channel blockers. Calcium channel blockers relax the arteries of the heart, but also relax all the arteries and cause vasodilatation and reduction of blood pressure. There’s a drug called ranolazine, which works differently than the other antianginals, but that’s also an important medication in treating angina or chest pain. Of course, the most common medication for treating angina is nitroglycerin or nitrates. They work by relaxing the arteries of the heart.

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