Heart Attack

Frequently Asked Questions

12. What medicines are used to treat people who have had or are having a heart attack?

There are many medicines that are used to treat a heart attack.

  • Clot-busters or thrombolytic drugs dissolve blood clots that are blocking the coronary arteries.
  • Beta blockers are used to decrease the workload on your heart, relieve chest pain and discomfort, and prevent another heart attack.
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors lower your blood pressure and reduce the strain on your heart.
  • Anticoagulants thin the blood and prevent clots from forming in your arteries.
  • Anticlotting medicines stop platelets from clumping together and forming unwanted blood clots.
  • Statins control or lower cholesterol in your blood. Lowering cholesterol can decrease the chance of having another heart attack or stroke.

Doctors may also prescribe medicines to relieve pain and anxiety, or to treat irregular heart rhythms which often occur during a heart attack.