Ischemic Heart Disease Treatment Drugs
To keep you healthy:
Participation in a cardiac rehabilitation program, to support you in making healthy lifestyle changes and in managing medications.
A non-invasive therapy called enhanced external counterpulsation may also be used to relieve chest pain in certain patients. However, this therapy is not recommended for certain patients, including those with peripheral artery disease, severe heart failure and severe aortic regurgitation.
A procedure to restore good blood flow to your heart. This may be necessary if the build-up of cholesterol plaque (atherosclerosis) is causing severe and dangerous blockages in your arteries, or if medication alone is not enough to control your symptoms. The choice typically is between open-chest coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) and minimally invasive percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI, also called angioplasty and stenting). CABG is recommended over PCI in patients with diabetes and complex multivessel disease and in some patients, doctors may use a “hybrid” combination of the two procedures to improve blood flow to the heart. The best approach will depend on where the blockages are, how severe they are, how many arteries are involved, and your overall health.
Healthy lifestyle habits that include:
Eating a diet that is low in cholesterol, saturated fats, trans fats, and salt, and that includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains.
Maintaining a healthy body weight.
Exercising 30 to 60 minutes at moderate intensity, such as brisk walking, at least 5 days a week.
Taking steps to reduce stress and relieve depression.
Stopping smoking and avoiding second-hand smoke.
Limiting alcohol intake to 1 to 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women.
Getting an annual flu shot.
Keep blood levels of cholesterol and other lipids under control (usually statins).
Lower blood pressure to less than 140/90 mmHg (lower if you have diabetes or heart failure).
Prevent heart attack, including daily low-dose aspirin (75 to 162 mg), clopidogrel (Plavix) if you are at high risk, beta blockers, and angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs).
Relieve chest pain and other symptoms, including beta blockers and nitroglycerin tablets to put under your tongue in case you suddenly develop chest pain. Some patients may need calcium-channel blockers or long-acting nitrates instead.
Achieve good diabetes control, including keeping the hemoglobin A1c at 7% or less for most people.
Your doctor and heart care team will present all your options, and you will play a key role in making this important decision. This heart care team typically includes an interventional cardiologist and a cardiac surgeon who work with you to review your medical history and health status, discuss possible treatment options and select the best treatment strategy for you.