• Shruti GOCHHWAL

Common Medication for People at a High Risk of Getting a Heart Attack

Heart Attack is a medical issue in which the blood supply to the heart is blocked, possibly leading to the death of a portion of the heart muscle. It could also be fatal. A heart attack can result in various medical conditions.

According to the Million Death Study Project under the Registrar General of India, 2.1 million people in India die every year with heart ailments. Out of these 4/5th are because of heart attacks.

This trend is not just reported in India. According to the World Health Organization, Cardiovascular disease or heart disease is the most reported cause of death in the world.

There are many medications available for the various symptoms associated with heart diseases.

Medication for Heart Attack

It’s significant to mention that the supply of blood to your heart is important for your life.Some heart medication are long term, and preventive in nature. While, there are others meant to be taken in an emergency to prevent a heart attack.

Various kinds of medication.

Credits: Pixabay

Caption: The heart attack medication list has many kinds of medication that the doctor can use.

Disclaimer

The following information is for your general knowledge only. Do not construe the same as medical advice. Taking the wrong heart drugs may have terrible results. Consult your doctor, and only procure/take heart medication as per their directives.

ACE Inhibitors

Angiotensin-converting Enzyme Inhibitors are blood flow dilating medications. Conversion of angiotensin Enzyme Inhibitors are blood flow dilating medications. These medications are taken as blood is limited to the heart. ACE Inhibitors are given in various conditions and increase the blood flow.

Common ACE Inhibitors which are used as an immediate medication for heart attack:

  1. Benazepril

  2. Captopril

  3. Lisonipril

  4. Quinapril

  5. Ramipril

ACE Inhibitors should not be given to pregnant women. If the pregnant mother consumes them, they can cause birth defects in the foetus.

 Pregnancy

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Caption: A pregnant woman.

Beta-blockers

Beta-blockers are drugs that block neurotransmitters – norepinephrine and epinephrine. A Beta-blockers reduce heart rate and blood pressure.

The result is that the heart muscles have a reduced workload. Chest pain is also decreased by beta-blockers and is a typical symptom of heart attack.

Asthmatic patients should not be given beta-blockers as they can trigger severe asthmatic attacks.

In diabetic patients, it is a struggle to disguise the symptoms of low blood sugar. In case diabetic patients are taking these drugs then blood sugar should be checked multiple times a day.

The beta-blockers can be withdrawal gradually. Immediate withdrawal can result in more heart problems. They can also cause the following side effects:

  1. Difficulty in Breathing

  2. Insomnia

  3. Depression

  4. Decreased Sex Drive

Beta-blockers which are used as heart medication are:

  1. Propanolol

  2. Esmolol

  3. Atenolol

  4. Acebutolol

  5. Labetalol

Diuretics

Diuretics are medicines which increase the body’s urine production. Increased urine output results in large quantities of salts such as Sodium and Potassium being expelled from the body.

This results in lowering blood pressure and reducing the chances a heart attack

They are usually given in combination with beta-blockers.

Most used diuretics:

  1. Furosemide

  2. Hydrochlorthiazide

  3. Metolazone

  4. Toresemide

  5. Bumetanide-

Diuretics have mild side effects. These are increased urination, fatigue and muscle cramps.

Statins

Statins act by altering the cholesterol levels in the body. The body has many kinds of lipids. Low-density lipids (LDL) and high-density lipids are predominant on which statin functions.

Low-Density Lipids are considered bad lipids and Statins lower their levels. High-Density Lipids which are believed to good lipids are increased by Statins. This is the main principle behind using statins.

Statins are the most common heart attack preventive medication. They should be avoided by the following types of people:

  1. Diabetic Patients

  2. People suffering from Liver Disease

  3. Geriatric Patients

  4. Kidney Disease Patients

 Blood sample

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Caption: A person getting their finger pricked.

Statins which are used as heart attack medication:

  1. Atorvastatin

  2. Rosuvastatin

  3. Lovastatin

  4. Fluvastatin

  5. Simvastatin

Statins have mild side effects which include nausea, rash, vomiting, gas, and constipation.

Antiplatelet Drugs

In most cases the blood clots, which restrict the blood supply to the heart, are responsible for heart attacks. Antiplatelet drugs decrease the formation of platelets and prevent clotting.

They interfere with the platelet activation process and decrease the tendency of platelets to form clots. Antiplatelet drugs which are used as medication for heart attack are:

  1. Ticlodipine

  2. Clopidogrel

  3. Prasugrel

  4. Vorapaxar

  5. Terutoban

Aspirin

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An Aspirin or Acetyl Salicylic Acid is a very common drug that has multiple indications. Its uses vary along with its dosage.

For heart attacks, a very low dose is given. Generally, A low dose between 75mg and 325 mg is prescribed.

At this dosage, Aspirin interferes with the clotting action of the blood and results in removing obstructions which are preventing blood flow.

The correct dose of aspirin is very important. In higher doses, it acts as a pain killer and has other indications as well.

Dual Anti Platelet Therapy

When used in conjunction with Aspirin, the highest effects are achieved using Antiplatelet drugs. This significantly increases the effectiveness of both agents, as compared to them being administered alone.

An Aspirin can have the following side effects:

  1. Nausea

  2. Vomiting

  3. Difficulty in sleeping

  4. Stomach Ulcers

Anticoagulants

Anticoagulants are commonly known as blood thinners. They increase the clotting time and reduce the coagulation of blood. They can reduce already formed clots and are very important as heart attack medication.

Anticoagulants also help in preventing the size increase of blood clots.

Anticoagulants have severe side effects. They can cause a severe increase in bleeding in case of injuries as well as menstrual periods.

The following are Anticoagulants used as heart attack medication:

  1. Warfarin

  2. Heparin

  3. Apixaban

  4. Edoxaban

  5. Dabdigatran

Warning Signs to Watch Out for

There are various symptoms that occur before a heart attack. These symptoms can vary in different people but are observed in most of the people.

  1. Chest Discomfort: Chest pain which feels like excessive pressure on the chest, is one of the most common symptoms of a heart attack. It could stay a few minutes or it could come and go.

  2. Unexplained Shortness of Breath: Shortness of breath frequently accompanies pain in the chest. In most cases, there is severe difficulty in breathing.

  3. Pain and Discomfort: Pain and discomfort can be felt all over the body. The most common sites are the jaw, neck, back, shoulders, and arms.

These are the more prevalent warning signs. However, some milder and less common warning signs could be:

  1. Nausea

  2. Vomiting

  3. Cold Sweats

  4. Light-headedness

  5. Fatigue

Overview

The heart attack medication list contains various categories of medications. Each category also has many alternatives to choose from, but these medications can cause serious damage if taken incorrectly.

If any warning signs of a heart attack are observed, then you should seek immediate medical help. A heart attack is a serious medical condition, but a timely and correct intervention can result in a positive outcome.

There are various preventive methods to decrease the risk of heart attacks which should be explored. Especially in patients who have already had one heart attack. The risk of another heart attack is more high for patients who have undergone one.

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