Current Treatments To Help Prevent A Heart Attack In Heart Disease Patients

by Charles Harmon. - Date: 2007-06-25 - Word Count: 704 Share This!

In addition to lifestyle changes, a diagnosis of heart disease is typically followed by surgery and sometimes mediation treatment or just mediation treatment. Unlike other health conditions that are cured with a surgical procedure or with medication, treating heart disease is a matter of managing the risk factors that contribute to the progression of the disease. The treatment plan a doctor advises depends on how developed heart disease is and the individual's particular situation. Since heart disease predisposes an individual to a myocardial infarction (heart attack), the treatment plan for heart disease typically involves medication to help prevent a heart attack.

Doctors continue to recommend that patients with heart disease simply take one aspirin each day. This may be a baby aspirin or a regular strength aspirin. Aspirin is probably the oldest preventive measure for heart attack. Aspirin is unique in that it both prevents and treats heart disease. The key to aspirin's success in preventing heart attacks is its ability to block the body's production of chemicals that can cause blood platelets to form blood clots.

There are some side effects associated with using aspirin on a regular basis, same as there may be when you take other medicines on a regular basis. It can cause upset stomachs. People who have gastrointestinal conditions typically are not ideal candidates for aspirin therapy. You can buy coated aspirins that are not as hard on the stomach, but take longer for the aspirin to reach the blood stream. This is more important in situations when aspirin is used in emergency situations. It is most often prescribed to elderly patients or that who have already suffered a heart attack.

ACE Inhibitors
Many people with heart disease have high blood pressure. If implementing dietary changes and starting an exercise program doesn't decrease your blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe an angiotension-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor. The most common medicines prescribed for high blood pressure include Captopril (Capoten), Enalapril (Vasotec), and Fosinopril (Monopril). High blood pressure is a result of decreased blood flow through the blood vessels. ACE inhibitors work to prevent the conversion of angiotension II in the body, thus lowering blood pressure.

The common symptoms associated with ACE inhibitors are considered mild and include a dry cough, indigestion, sinusitis, and nausea. ACE inhibitors are not appropriate for pregnant women and individuals who have kidney disease. You should not use ACE inhibitors if you are taking non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs, anesthetics, and diuretics. ACE inhibitors are particularly beneficial for individuals who have high blood pressure and who have suffered a heart attack.

Beta Blockers
Beta blockers are prescribed for a variety of heart conditions, including arrhythmia, angina, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. However, the medication has shown the most benefit in preventing heart attacks in patients diagnosed with heart disease. Beta blockers are similar to ACE inhibitors in that they enable the heart to function more efficiently. The difference in the two medications is that beta blockers modify the heart rate so that the heart is no longer placed under stress.

Beta blockers are suitable for most individuals, except asthmatics, and people being treated for emphysema and hypotention (low blood pressure). The medication can mask low blood sugar, so doctors may not prescribe the medication for diabetics. Whether or not pregnant women should take beta blockers is a decision that doctors make on an individual basis.

Some studies indicate that Beta blockers could result in low blood pressure in pregnant mothers and babies who are breastfed by women taking beta blockers may result in low blood pressure in the baby. The most common symptoms of beta blockers include lightheadedness, vomiting, and weight gain.

Ace inhibitors and beta blockers should not be used without a doctor's prescription. Although you commonly hear to take aspirin to prevent heart attacks you should consult with your doctor before taking aspirin on a regular basis for anything to do with preventing heart attacks.

To date there is no medicine or treatment that will definitely cure or prevent heart disease. Since heart disease is not just one disease but could be any number of diseases affecting the heart, any real cure may be a long time coming, especially if it is true that genetics is a contributor of heart disease.

Copyright 2007 Charles Harmon

Related Tags: heart, heart disease, heart rate monitor, heart rate

Charles is a software developer and owns several websites. He creates websites and writes articles. A favorite interest of his is investing in stocks and options . Another interest is downloading software downloading software . Charles is currently building a site dedicated to heart health .

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