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 blood flow to the heart.
- Beta blockers decrease the workload on your heart by slowing your heart rate.
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors lower your blood pressure and reduce the strain on your heart.
- Nitrates, such as nitroglycerin relax blood vessels and relieve chest pain.
- Anticoagulants thin the blood and prevent clots from forming in your arteries.
- Antiplatelet medications, such as aspirin and clopidogrel, stop platelets from clumping together to form clots. These medications are given to people who have had a heart attack, have angina, or have had angioplasty.
Doctors may also prescribe medicines to relieve pain and anxiety, or to treat irregular heart rhythms which often occur during a heart attack.