Medications can help you to both feel better and stay as healthy as you can. Take your medications exactly as instructed. Never stop taking medications or change dosage unless told to by your doctor, even if you feel better.
Your doctor may prescribe one or more of the following medications:
ACE inhibitors help blood flow more easily by relaxing blood vessels and lowering blood pressure. This lets the heart pump more blood without doing more work.
Anticoagulants help prevent blood clots.
Antiarrhythmics may be used to control a fast or irregular heartbeat.
Beta-blockers slow the heart rate and lower blood pressure, which lessens the work the heart has to do. They may also help keep the heartbeat regular.
Calcium channel blockers dilate blood vessels, lowering blood pressure and slowing the heart rate.
Diuretics help rid the body of excess fluid. Having less fluid to pump makes a heart’s job easier. Getting rid of extra water can also help reduce swelling, bloating, and shortness of breath.
Digitalis and digoxin help the heart pump with more strength. This helps the heart pump more blood with each beat. Digitalis may also keep the heartbeat regular.
Make taking your medications part of your daily routine.
Take your medication at the same time or times each day. Make it a habit.
Read and follow the directions on the prescription label.
Don’t run out of medication. Order more medication when you have a 1- to 2-week supply of pills left. Let your doctor know if you are having trouble filling your prescriptions.
Some of the medications you take may cause side effects. Side effects may include nausea, dry cough, dizziness, muscle cramps, or changes in your heartbeat. If you have any of these or other symptoms that bother you after starting a medication, tell your doctor right away. Your doctor may be able to adjust your dosage or give you a different medication. Never stop taking your medication or change your dose on your own.