Cardiac Medications

Updated:Oct 22,2014

If you've had a heart attack, you will most likely be prescribed medication that you will take for the rest of your life.

There are many types and combinations of drugs used to treat coronary artery disease (CAD), and your doctor will decide the best treatment combination for your situation.

The following chart gives you a quick "at-a-glance" look at many typical cardiac medications. Your prescription may have a different name from the ones listed on this chart. Brand names commonly available in the U.S. are shown in parentheses after the generic name for each drug.

*Some of the major types of commonly prescribed cardiovascular medications are summarized in this section. For your information and reference, we have included generic names as well as major trade names to help you identify what you may be taking; however, the AHA is not recommending or endorsing any specific products. If your prescription medication isn't on this list, remember that your healthcare provider and pharmacist are your best sources of information. It's important to discuss all of the drugs you take with your doctor and understand their desired effects and possible side effects. Never stop taking a medication and never change your dose or frequency without first consulting your doctor.

*Some cholesterol-lowering medications may interact with grapefruit, grapefruit juice, pomegranate and pomegranate juice. Please talk to your health care provider about any potential risks.

Use these handy "At-A-Glance" charts to gain a quick understanding of these common cardiac medications you may be prescribed. If you need more help understanding what medication you're taking and why you're taking it, print this chart out and take it to your doctor.

Cardiac Medications At-A-Glance

(Also known as Blood Thinners.)

Commonly prescribed include:

  • Dalteparin (Fragmin), Danaparoid (Orgaran)
  • Enoxaparin (Lovenox)
  • Heparin (various)
  • Tinzaparin (Innohep)
  • Warfarin (Coumadin)

What the Medication Does

Decreases the clotting (coagulating) ability of the blood. Sometimes called blood thinners, although they do not actually thin the blood. They do NOT dissolve existing blood clots. Used to treat certain blood vessel, heart and lung conditions.
 

Reason for Medication

  • Helps to prevent harmful clots from forming in the blood vessels.
  • May prevent the clots from becoming larger and causing more serious problems.
  • Often prescribed to prevent first or recurrent stroke.

Download a Printable Version of this Chart (PDF)

Cardiac Procedures and Surgeries At-A-Glance

Implantable Medical Devices At-A-Glance


Heart Attack

NEW from Heart Insight:
Know Your Medicines

Keeping track of your medicines can be overwhelming. Learn what you can do to take all your medicines safely and effectively in this free Digi-mag topic supplement from Heart Insight magazine or in PDF format. Or download the Heart Insight magazine iPad app to access along with all of our regular issues.

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