Caution, heart: a reminder on how to drink medicines for…

Health Tips

Understanding drugs

Drugs that lower the level of “bad cholesterol” (low-density lipoprotein (LDL)), that is, lipid-lowering drugs. The most commonly prescribed (drugs of choice) among them are statins. They are prescribed both in the framework of primary prevention, when there is no atherosclerotic disease yet, and for secondary prevention, that is, in the presence of atherosclerotic vascular lesions.

The LDL target to be achieved depends on the individual’s cardiovascular risk (for more information on how this is determined, visit the If You Have a Heart portal). The dose of a statin is selected based on how much you need to reduce the level of LDL, the instructions for medical use of a particular drug, as well as individual tolerance. As a rule, titration (step-by-step change) of the dose of the drug with its increase is required. Sometimes other lipid-lowering drugs may be added if the target values ​​cannot be achieved.

The main goal of this therapy is to prolong life and prevent cardiovascular accidents (myocardial infarction and stroke). The effect of therapy and the need for its correction are evaluated in the study of the lipid spectrum.

Antiplatelet agents – drugs that prevent platelet aggregation. Drugs in this class are designed to prevent blood clots. These include, for example, acetylsalicylic acid or its combination with another antiplatelet agent. They are prescribed as part of secondary prevention to increase life expectancy, prevent myocardial infarction, stroke in patients with confirmed atherosclerotic diseases. To assess the success of the applied therapy, laboratory tests, such as the assessment of the effect on aggregation, are not used.

Anticoagulants – drugs that act on the components of the blood coagulation cascade. This type of medication is prescribed for people with atrial fibrillation, artificial heart valves, a history of thromboembolic complications, etc. New oral (taken by mouth) anticoagulants, unlike previous generation drugs, do not require laboratory monitoring of coagulogram parameters. The purpose of such therapy is to prevent the development of thromboembolic complications.

Drugs to lower blood pressure

Inhibitors renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system are represented by angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers (sartans). ACE inhibitors in the name of the active substance (not in the trade, but in the international non-proprietary name) have the ending -adl, and angiotensin II receptor blockers end in -sartan. These drugs not only reduce blood pressure (BP), but also prevent target organ damage, prolong life and reduce the risk of cardiovascular accidents. These drug classes are used to treat hypertension, chronic heart failure, myocardial infarction, type 2 diabetes, and chronic kidney disease.

Beta blockers – drugs that lower blood pressure and heart rate (HR). They are used to treat angina pectoris, arterial hypertension, chronic heart failure, to prevent recurrent myocardial infarction, as well as for cardiac arrhythmias. Beta-blockers not only have symptomatic effects, but also affect the prognosis of the course of the disease. Beta blockers end in -lol

calcium antagonists used to treat hypertension and, with intolerance to beta-blockers, angina pectoris.

The groups of drugs listed in paragraphs 1-6 above reduce the risk of death and cardiovascular accidents.

Other groups of drugs such as nitrates, metabolic drugs, some antiarrhythmics and other drugs may relieve symptoms, but do not prolong life or prevent the development of myocardial infarction and strokes.

What not to do when taking

Often, the patient needs to take several cardiovascular drugs. In such cases, for convenience, the attending physician may recommend fixed combinations of two, three, or even four drugs in one tablet.

Drugs for the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular diseases are taken for a long time, and not courses. An exception may be the time-limited use of a second antiplatelet agent, but the attending physician will definitely tell you about this and give detailed explanations.

In no case should you stop taking the drug, even if the target values ​​\u200b\u200bof blood pressure or LDL have been achieved, since when you stop taking the drug, its effect will also end. Taking antihypertensive drugs is necessary to prevent high blood pressure and cardiovascular events, and not just to reduce high blood pressure. That is why drugs for the treatment of arterial hypertension are correctly called antihypertensive, as is customary in English-speaking practice.

Regardless of which group the drugs prescribed to the patient belong to, the drugs must be taken regularly, without gaps and in accordance with the doctor’s recommendations.

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