Medicines in Heart Disease
There are many different medicines use to treat and control the symptoms of coronary heart disease. These medicines come in different "dosage forms" which means that they can be taken in different ways.
Oral: This is the most common way for medicines to be taken. Most medicines for the heart are either tablets or capsules and are taken by mouth and swallowed.
Sub-lingual: This means placing a tablet under the tongue and allowing it to dissolve. Some medicines used for angina are taken this way.
Spray: Aerosol sprays are used for some medicines used to treat the symptoms of angina. These are sprayed into the mouth when symptoms appear.
Patches: Some medicines used to prevent angina are contained in self adhesive patches. These are stuck onto the skin, and the medicine is absorbed through the skin.
Medicines used for coronary heart disease can be divided into different types. Each type of medicine used in coronary heart disease works in a different way and can be used for more than one reason.
Types of medicine used in coronary heart disease
ACE inhibitors: These are used for high blood pressure and heart failure.
Anti-arrhythmics:: These help control the rate of which your heart beats.
Anti-coagulants: These help prevent your blood from clotting.
Aspirin: This also helps your blood from clotting.
Beta-blockers: These are used for high blood pressure and angina.
Calcium-channel blockers: These are used for high blood pressure and angina.
Cholesterol reducing medicines: These are used to reduce the levels of cholesterol in the blood.
Diuretics: Theses are used for high blood pressure and heart failure.
Nitrates: These are used for angina.
Thrombolytics: These are only used in emergencies such as a heart attack.
There are several different medicines within each type. For example, there 16 different types of beta-blockers available in the UK.!
You may find that a particular medicine doesn't suit you - but because other medicines of the same type available, your doctor can usually prescribe another medicine for you.
Most medicines used for coronary heart disease must be taken regularly, as directed by your doctor.
It is important not to stop taking them without first speaking to your doctor or pharmacist. However, some medicines only need to be taken when symptoms appear, for example the spray used to treat the symptoms of angina.
Over the counter medicines
Always check with your pharmacist before taking any medicines that you can "buy over the counter" from your pharmacy or supermarket, especially medicines for coughs and colds. Some of theses medicines may not be suitable for people who have coronary heart6 disease.
They may make your symptoms worse or they may interact with medicines prescribed for you by your doctor.
· Always read the label and the patient information leaflet.
· Only take medicines as recommended by your doctor or pharmacist.
· Only use medicines for the condition for which they were prescribed.
· If you need to take medicines regularly, do not stop taking them without speaking to your doctor or pharmacist first.
· Always store medicines in a suitable place, well out of the reach of children.
· Never share your medicines with anyone else.