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Heart failure patients need multiple medications. Each one treats a different symptom or contributing factor. Each medication comes with its own instructions and rules. They can't do their job if you don't take them correctly. You and your caregivers should work with your healthcare team to understand the medications and how they should be taken; when, how often and in what amounts. It's important to discuss all of the drugs you take with your doctor and understand their desired effects and possible side effects. Remember that your healthcare provider and pharmacist are your best sources of information. Don't hesitate to ask them questions about your medicines.
The following chart gives you a quick "at-a-glance" look at many typical cardiac medications. Your prescription may have a different name from the ones listed on this chart. Brand names commonly available in the U.S. are shown in parentheses after the generic name for each drug.
*Some of the major types of commonly prescribed cardiovascular medications are summarized in this section. For your information and reference, we have included generic names as well as major trade names to help you identify what you may be taking; however, the AHA is not recommending or endorsing any specific products. If your prescription medication isn't on this list, remember that your healthcare provider and pharmacist are your best sources of information. It's important to discuss all of the drugs you take with your doctor and understand their desired effects and possible side effects. Never stop taking a medication and never change your dose or frequency without first consulting your doctor.
*Some cholesterol-lowering medications may interact with grapefruit, grapefruit juice, pomegranate and pomegranate juice. Please talk to your health care provider about any potential risks.
Use these handy "At-A-Glance" charts to gain a quick understanding of these common cardiac medications you may be prescribed. If you need more help understanding what medication you're taking and why you're taking it, print this chart out and take it to your doctor.
Cardiac Medications At-A-Glance Anticoagulants
(Also known as Blood Thinners.)
Commonly prescribed include:
Decreases the clotting (coagulating) ability of the blood. Sometimes called blood thinners, although they do not actually thin the blood. They do NOT dissolve existing blood clots. Used to treat certain blood vessel, heart and lung conditions.
Reason for Medication