The information provided here is meant to give you a general idea about each of the medications listed below. Only the most general side effects are included, so ask your doctor if you need to take any special precautions. Use each of these medications as recommended by your doctor, or according to the instructions provided. If you have further questions about usage or side effects, contact your doctor.
Vasodilators help dilate or enlarge blood vessels. People with
have blood vessels that are narrowed, which reduces the amount of blood that can be delivered to the heart muscle. Nitrates or nitroglycerin may be used to immediately relieve an attack of
that is occurring, or prevent or reduce future attacks. Nitrates come in many preparations, including tablets, sprays (for use under the tongue), ointments, or patches for placement on the skin. The tablets or sprays are used at times of anginal episodes, while the ointment or patch is used on a daily basis for prevention of attacks.
Possible side effects include:
Dizziness or lightheadedness, especially when getting up from a lying or sitting position
These medications help slow the heart rate and reduce blood pressure, especially during exercise. They are intended to prevent anginal attacks or
. Beta blockers are also prescribed when recovering from a heart attack in order to lessen the likelihood of recurrence.
Statins are drugs that help to lower cholesterol levels and decrease inflammation. They are often prescribed to people diagnosed with coronary artery disease (CAD).
These medicines may reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack.
These medications affect the movement of calcium into the cells of the heart and blood vessels. As a result, blood vessels open wider (dilate); the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart is increased, while the heart's workload is decreased. This helps to prevent anginal attacks, as well as lessen the possibility of heart attacks.
This medication, which contains a nitrate, dilates blood vessels due to its effect on potassium flow in the heart cells and blood vessels.
is an anti-anginal medication that does not depend on reductions in heart rate or blood pressure. It reduces the frequency of anginal chest pain, but has not been shown to reduce heart attacks.
has been shown to decrease the risk of heart attack by preventing blood clots from forming. Ask your doctor before taking aspirin daily. A possible side effect of taking aspirin regularly is bleeding in the stomach and gastrointestinal tract.
If you are taking medications, follow these general guidelines:
Take your medication as directed. Do not change the amount or the schedule.
Do not stop taking them without talking to your doctor.
Do not share them.
Know what the results and side effects. Report them to your doctor.
Some drugs can be dangerous when mixed. Talk to a doctor or pharmacist if you are taking more than one drug. This includes over-the-counter medication and herb or dietary supplements.
United States Pharmacopeial Convention.
21st ed. Englewood, CO: Micromedex; 2001.
4/16/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance
DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance: LaRosa JC, Deedwania PC, Shepherd J, et al. Comparison of 80 versus 10 mg of atorvastatin on occurrence of cardiovascular events after the first event (from the Treating to New Targets [TNT] trial). Am J Cardiol. 2010;105(3):283-287.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a