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Your medicines… Keeping your heart and circulation healthy
There are lots of different medicines your doctor may prescribe, so don’t worry if someone you know is taking different medicines; it just means another medicine is more suited to their needs.
What’s really important is to take your medicines as directed, even if you feel no different, as many heart and circulation issues like high blood pressure have no symptoms. It’s also a good idea to regularly monitor your condition and medicines to make sure you’re getting the maximum benefit.
Blood pressure medicines
Some of the common types of medicines prescribed to help lower blood pressure are:
- ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibtors, eg ramipril – to reduce the activity of an enzyme that can raise blood pressure
- Angiotensin II antagonists, eg losartan – to prevent the action of angiotensin which can raise blood pressure
- Beta-blockers, eg atenolol – to prevent the heart working with too much speed and force to reduce blood pressure
- Calcium channel antatagonists, eg amlodipine – to help the blood vessels to relax and hence reducing blood pressure
- Diuretics or water tablets, eg bendroflumethazide – to take away water and salt
It’s not uncommon to need two or three medicines to control your blood pressure so again, don’t worry if you’re taking more medicines that someone you know. Alongside your prescription medicines, you could also try the Lloydspharmacy Blood Pressure Lowering Device, which uses breathing techniques to help reduce your blood pressure.
The most common type of cholesterol-lowering medicines are known as statins, eg simvastatin. Most should be taken at night as this is when the body produces most of its cholesterol. If you experience any muscle pain or weakness while you’re taking a statin let your pharmacist or doctor know.
As well as medicines for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and to prevent clots forming, if you have angina you’ll also be prescribed medicines to relieve and prevent the pain of the condition. Some common angina medicines are:
- Glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) - available as tablets or spray for use immediately if an angina attack is suspected to provide relief from the pain
- Nitrates, eg isosorbide mononitrate - work in a similar way to the GTN spray/tablets but last much longer in the body. They increase the blood flow to the heart to help prevent angina attacks
Irregular heart beat medicines
Some people with an irregular heart beat need medicines to help regulate their heart beat, such as digoxin and amiodarone. You could also be more at risk of blood clots, so you may need medicine to help prevent them.
Medicines to prevent clots forming
Platelets help the blood to clot after cuts, but if lots of platelets become attached to a cholesterol deposit in your arteries, a blood clot can form which increases your chance of having a heart attack. Some people require medicines, such as aspirin and warfarin, to prevent this happening, particularly if they’ve had a stroke or heart attack, or have an irregular heart beat.
It’s always best to be sure…So talk to us if you have any questions about your medicines
Your Lloydspharmacy team is here to answer any question about your medicines, or you can ask your GP or nurse. At Lloydspharmacy, we can also give you a free Medicines Check-up* to make sure you’re getting the maximum benefit from your treatment – just ask the pharmacy team for more details.*Medicines Check-up Services are available in England, Wales and the Isle of Man. They are available to all customers receiving more than one prescription medicines from the same Lloydspharmacy for three months or longer.