Cardiac Medications

This type of treatment includes the following types of medications, that:

  • Thin your blood,
  • Slow your heart down, so that less demand matches limited blood supply,
  • Relax (dilate) your arteries so that more blood can pass through a wider pathway,
  • Lower your blood pressure so that the heart has to work less,
  • Modify your cholesterol to control the build-up of plaque (blockage),
  • It also includes lifestyle modifications (diet, exercise and weight loss, smoking).

No present treatment can cure CAD! The diseases that cause CAD are determined by your genes, diet, smoking and your environment. Treatments all have the same goals: to improve quality of life and to alleviate symptoms by balancing the supply and demand of blood to the heart. Medical treatments, diet and exercise may also delay or stop the progression of the disease and thereby prolong life. However, there are some important differences between medications and life style modification on the one hand and procedures on the other.

Procedures are usually more beneficial than medical treatment when there are severe blockages (stenoses) and/or when many coronary arteries are involved, or when the left main coronary artery (the artery that supplies blood to the left side of the heart) is narrowed.

Bloodthinners & Anti Platelet Drugs

Anti Platelet drugs

When wounded, specialized blood cells (called platelets) group together to form a blood clot that stops the bleeding.  In a coronary artery narrowed by a blockage this process may cause a heart attack. Anti-platelet drugs are often used to prevent (further) damage.


In patients at low absolute risk of a first CAD event, the use of Aspirin has a clinically important reduction in risk of myocardial infarction, weighed against the risk of bleeding. The risks and benefits of aspirin therapy vary for each person.At low doses, inhibits platelet generation of thromboxane A2 and leads to antithrombotic effect. At medium doses, it inhibits COX-1 and COX-2 by blocking the prostaglandin production and has analgesic and antipyretic effects. ASA at high doses is effective as an anti-inflammatory drug in treating rheumatic disorders.

Clopidogrel (Plavix)

Clopidogrel is a thienopyridine ADP-receptor antagonist that irreversibly binds to the P2Y12 receptor. Clopidogrel, administered by mouth once a day, may have variable responses and has a delayed onset of action from 2 to 6 hours if given as a loading dose of 600 mg and 12 to 24 hours if used at a 300-mg dose. There are concerns about decreased efficacy if clopidogrel is administered in patients with poor metabolism. 

Dipyridamole (Persantine)

Dipyridamole inhibits the activity of adenosine deaminase and phosphodiesterase, which causes an accumulation of adenosine, adenine nucleotides, and cyclic adenosine monophosphate. It further inhibits platelet aggregation and leads to vasodilation. Dipyridamole is usually used in conjunction with other anticoagulants to prevent thromboembolic complications after surgery. Dipyridamole is also available in combination with ASA under the brand name Aggrenox and is used to reduce the risk of stroke. Aggrenox is usually administered by mouth twice daily. Dipyridamole is also used as a stress test agent.

Anticoagulant Drugs

Anticoagulants inhibit the ability of blood to clot, or coagulate. They don't dissolve existing blood clots. They prevent new clots from forming or existing clots from getting larger. The most common use of anticoagulation is in people with a heart arrhythmia called atrial fibrillation. Most people with atrial fibrillation should take warfarin (Coumadin®) or a new drug, Dabigatran.


Diuretics help the body get rid of excess sodium (salt) and water and help control blood pressure. They are often used in combination with additional prescription therapies.

Medications that slow your heart down


Drugs that relax (dilate) your arteries & lower your blood pressure

ACE inhibitors


Calcium channel blockers

Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs

Various medications can lower blood cholesterol levels.  


This class of drugs works in the liver to prevent the formation of cholesterol. Statins are most effective at lowering the LDL (bad) cholesterol, but also have modest effects on lowering triglycerides (blood fats) and raising HDL (good) cholesterol.

Selective cholesterol absorption inhibitors or Resins (also known as bile acid sequestrant or bile acid-binding drugs)

This class of cholesterol-lowering (LDL) medications works by preventing the absorption of cholesterol from the intestine and by promoting increased disposal of cholesterol.

Fibrates (fibric acid derivatives)

Fibrates are best at lowering triglycerides and in some cases increasing HDL (good cholesterol) levels. .

Niacin (nicotinic acid)

This drug works in the liver by affecting the production of blood fats.