Medications

Heart disease is a lifelong condition and for most people this will mean taking lifelong medication. Discover more about common types of heart medications in the section.

Tips for staying safe while taking heart medications:

  1. Ask your doctor or pharmacist all your questions about your medications. Make sure you understand why you are taking these pills and how long you need to take them for
  2. Remember to take each dose when you need to, but if you do forget one don’t try to catch up by taking extra tablets next time
  3. Plan ahead – Get your prescription filled in plenty of time so that you don’t run out of pills
  4. Don't skip doses of your pills, even when you feel well and don't stop taking them without advice from your doctor or nurse - stopping suddenly can be dangerous
  5. Carry a list of your pills with you at all times.
Showing 10 medications
  • Anti-arrhythmics help to control or slow irregular heart rhythms such as atrial fibrillation, supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) or ventricular tachycardia (VT).

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  • Anticoagulants (also known as 'blood thinners') can help to lower your risk of stroke. Warfarin is probably the most well-recognised anticoagulant, while Dabigatran is a newer medication.

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  • Antiplatelet agents lower your chance of having a heart attack or stroke caused by blood clots. If you do have a heart attack, they can help to limit any damage to your heart.

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  • Calcium channel blockers lower your blood pressure. Some calcium channel blockers have the added benefit of slowing your heart rate, which can further reduce blood pressure, relieve chest pain (angina), control an irregular heartbeat (e.g. atrial fibrillation).

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  • Glyceryl Trinitrate (GTN) sprays or tablets can help to relieve symptoms of angina.

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  • Statins lower your LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides and raise your HDL (good cholesterol). They lower your overall risk of heart attack and stroke.

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  • Beta blockers steady your heart rate and rhythm, lower your blood pressure and reduce the risk of you having a heart attack. They can also help to control angina. If you have heart failure, beta blockers can help to stop it from getting worse.

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  • ACE inhibitors lower blood pressure and make it easier for your heart to pump blood. This can help to relieve symptoms caused by poor pumping of your heart like breathlessness and swelling. ACE inhibitors can help to manage conditions like high blood pressure and heart failure.

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  • Long-acting nitrates are used to help prevent angina.

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  • Thiazide diuretics will help to lower your blood pressure. This reduces pressure on the walls of your arteries, making it easier for your heart to pump blood around your body. They may also help to decrease swelling.

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