Heart attack is the lay man’s term for a myocardial infarction. Myocardial infarction is nothing but damage to the heart due to blockage of the artery carrying blood to the heart.
So once the individual is stabilized, what are the medications he/she needs to take to improve his symptoms and reduce long term events (events like chest pain or a repeat heart attack)?
These are as follows:
1. Aspirin: This is blood thinner and prevents clot formation. The dosage recommended is 75 or 150 mg a day. It is preferable to take it after meals to avoid gastric irritation.
2. Statin: This is one of the most popular drug and know to reduce repeat heart attacks and long term mortality (death rates). These are anti-cholesterol medicines which reduce the bad fats thereby reducing blockages in the heart. The commonly used drugs here are Atorvastatin, Rosuvastatin and Simvastatin. The goal of therapy is to achieve a LDL-cholesterol value of less than 100 mg/dl.
3. Beta-blockers: These drugs reduce the heart rate and the blood pressure. This reduces the blood requirement of the heart and thus improves healing. It also reduces events like sudden cardiac arrest and angina pain. The commonly used drugs are Metoprolol, Bisoprolol, Atenolol and Carvedilol.
4. ACE inhibitors: Again a group of drug know to reduce blood pressure and long term mortality. It should be given to patients with heart pumping less than 40%. It reduces the load on the heart and thus prevents further damage. The commonly used drugs here are Enalapril, Ramipril, Lisinopril etc.
All the above drugs should be take only after consultation with your doctor.
Also most of the time, the treatment is Long term!
Most of the patients tend to discontinue their medications. This is not recommended as the benefits with the drugs are immense. So one should consult his Cardiologist and ensure that they are on the necessary medicines. In case of side-effects, there are good alternatives which should be discussed with the Cardiologist.