I’m Taking What? Medications Your Heart Needs


As many as half of U.S. patients do not take medications as prescribed.* Sometimes they stop because they feel better, or they think those little pills aren’t helping. Not only do medications help, they can help prevent a heart attack or stroke.

Four main types of heart meds, and what they do:

  1. Statins — lower bad LDL cholesterol by 20 to 50 percent
  2. Clot preventers (aspirin, Plavix, warfarin) — reduce platelet clumping and thin the blood
  3. Beta blockers —block effects of adrenaline, which can harm the heart muscle
  4. ACE inhibitors —prevent production of angiotensin, an artery-constricting hormone

Take your medications as prescribed, or tell your doctor immediately if for any reason you stop.

*National Council on Patient Information and Education