Learn About Your Heart...
Made Simple


By Nicolas Shammas, MD


A new, comprehensive sourcebook for
heart and vascular disease patients

Cardiovascular Health Topics



1.
Statistics about Heart and Blood Vessel Diseases in the United States
2.
Structure and Function of the Heart and Blood Vessels
3.
Diseases of the Blood Vessels of the Heart
4.
Surgical Therapies for the Cardiovascular Patient
5.
Peripheral Vascular Disease
6.
Diseases of the Blood Vessels of the Head and Neck
7.
Strokes: How to Survive Them and How to Prevent Them
8.
Valvular Heart Disease
9.
Heart Rhythms: How to Recognize Them and Treat Them
10.
Congestive Heart Failure
11. Understanding Cardiomyopathy, or Weak Heart Muscle
12. Children and Heart Disease
13. Diseases of the Pericardium
14. Systemic Illnesses, Infections and Drugs that Affect the Heart
15. Erectile Dysfunction: a Vascular Disease
16. Cardiovascular Disease Prevention
17. Heart Healthy Nutritional Tips
18. Cardiac Rehabilitation
19. Medications for Cardiovascular Disorders
20. Heart Tests You Need to Know
21. Learn What to Do in a Medical Emergency
22. How to Choose Your Doctor and Hospital
23. Medical Research and How You Can Get Involved
24. Taking the Next Step — A Few Community Resources to Help You Live More Healthfully
25. How Much Did You Learn from This Book: Take a Simple Test



MEDICATIONS FOR HIGH BLOOD PRESURE TABLE A1

Medications and Actions Generic Name Examples of Brand Names Uses Specific Side Effects Specific Precautions
Centrally Acting Agents
These medications affect control centers in the brain that decrease blood pressure
Methyldopa
AldometDecrease blood pressure Fluid retention (edema)
Fever
Insomnia
Lower blood pressure
Dizziness
Liver function or blood cell count
Abnor-malities
Dry mouth
May need to stand slowly from lying position to avoid sudden blood pressure drop and faintness; do not stop taking abruptly
Guanfacine
Tenex
Guanabenz
Wytensin
Clonidine Catapres
Clonidine
(skin patch)
Catapres-TTS
Drowsiness
Itching (skin patch)
Double-check possibility of interactions with other medication
Direct Acting Vasodilators
These medications cause the muscle in the walls of blood vessels to relax
Hydralazine Apresoline Decrease blood pressure; reduce work load of heart Low blood pressure
Dizziness
Lupus syndrome (blisters, chest pain, joint pain, weakness)
Diarrhea
Headache
May need to stand slowly from lying position to avoid sudden blood pressure drop and faintness
Minoxidil Loniten Decrease blood pressure Fast heartbeat
Flushing
Fluid retention (edema)
Excessive hair growth
Check resting heart rate periodically; check weight (to assess fluid gain)
Peripherally Acting Agents
These medications exert their effects on the nerves of the body that are involved in blood pressure regulation
Guanadrel
Hylorel
Decrease blood pressure Fluid retention (edema)
Low blood pressure
Dizziness
Drowsiness
Difficulty ejaculating
Mental depression
Stomach and bowel disturbances
Double-check possibility of interactions with medications; may need to stand slowly from lying position to avoid sudden blood pressure drop and faitness
Guanethidine
Ismelin
Mecamylamine
Inversine
Prazosin
Minipress
Rauwolfia
Harmonyl
Alkaloids
Raudixin
Rauzide
Serpasil
Terazosin
Hytrin
Doxazosin Cardura
Beta blockers, see Table F; calcium blockers, see Table G; diuretics, see Table C; angiontension converting enxyme (ACE) inhibitors, see Table C

MEDICATIONS FOR HIGH BLOOD PRESURE (ARBs) TABLE A2

Agent trade Name FDA-Approved Indications Usual Adult Maintenance Drug Interactions Half-life Side Effects
Candesartan Atacand Hyper-tension, congestive heart failure 8-32 mg a day Potassium-sparing diuretics, potassium supplements 9 h Hyperkalemia, Angioedema (rare), and cough in 20% of patients who experience cough with an ACE-inhibitor
Eprosartan Teveten Hyper-tension 400-800 mg a day Potassium-sparing diuretics, potassium supplements 20 h
Irbesartan Avapro Hyper-tension; nephropathy in type 2 diabetes 300 mg a day Potassium-sparing diuretics, potassium supplements 11-15 h
Losartan Cozaar Hyper-tension; nephropathy in type 2 diabetes 100 mg a day Fluconazole (Diflucan), potassium-sparing diuretics, potassium supplements 6-9 h (active metabolite)
Olmesartan Benicar Hyper-tension 20-40 mg a day Potassium-sparing diuretics, potassium supplements 13 h
Telmisartan Micardis Hyper-tension 20-80 mg a day Digoxin, potassium-sparing diuretics, potassium supplements 24 h Changes in renal function may be anticipated in Susceptible Individuals
Valsartan Diovan Hyper-tension; congestive heart failure in patients intolerant to ACE-inhibitors 80-320 mg a day for hypertension; 80-160 mg twice a day for congestive heart failure; 320 mg maxium dose Potassium-sparing diuretics, potassium supplements 6 h

This list is not comprehensive and does not represent an endorsement of any product listed.

Antiarrhythmic medications

These drugs are used to treat abnormal heart rhythm and rate. The most commonly used medications are:

  1. Beta-blockers

  2. Calcium channel blockers

  3. Digitalis

  4. Other anti-arrhythmic medications.

Arrhythmias are abnormalities of the heart rhythm that occur when there is a disruption in the normal cardiac rhythm. This could be due to abnormalities in the atrium, which is the upper chamber of the heart, or in the ventricles, which are the lower chambers of the heart.

These groups of drugs are given to regulate the heartbeats and/or to prevent the arrhythmias from occurring.

These medications sometimes could be given intravenously and/or orally depending on the clinical situation and the availability of these drugs. It will be selected based on the form of arrhythmia you have. Unfortunately, these drugs have potential side effects, such as slowing of the heartbeat or worsening of the arrhythmias. These medications can also reduce blood pressure and have other symptoms, which will be listed in the graphics.


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