Name of MedicationWhat the Medication DoesReason for Medication
Decreases the clotting(coagulating) ability of the blood.Sometimes called blood thinners,although they do not actually thinthe blood. They do NOT dissolveexisting blood clots. Used to treatcertain blood vessel, heart andlung conditions.Keeps blood clots from formingby preventing blood plateletsfrom sticking together.Expands blood vessels anddecreases resistance by loweringlevels of angiotensin II. Allowsblood to flow more easily andmakes the heart's work easier or more efficient.
(Also known as Blood Thinners)Commonly prescribed include:Dalteparin (Fragmin)Danaparoid (Orgaran)Enoxaparin (Lovenox)Heparin (various)Tinzaparin (Innohep)and Warfarin (Coumadin)
Commonly prescribed include:Aspirin, Ticlopidine, Clopidogreland Dipyridamole
Angiotensin-ConvertingEnzyme (ACE) Inhibitors
Commonly prescribed include:Benazepril (Lotensin)Captopril (Capoten)Enalapril (Vasotec)Fosinopril (Monopril)Lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril)Moexipril (Univasc)Perindopril (Aceon)Quinapril (Accupril)Ramipril (Altace) andTrandolapril (Mavik)Helps to prevent harmfulclots from forming in theblood vessels.May prevent the clots frombecoming larger and causingmore serious problems.Often prescribed to preventfirst or recurrent stroke.Helps prevent clotting in patientswho have had a heart attack,unstable angina, ischemicstrokes, TIA (transient ischemicattacks, or “little strokes”) andother forms of cardiovascular disease. Usually prescribedpreventively, when plaque buildupis evident but there is not yet alarge obstruction in the artery. Used to treat or improvesymptoms of cardiovascular conditions including high bloodpressure and heart failure.
To see an illustration of a cardiac medication from this chart, visit:
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© 2008 American Heart Association, Inc.
Some of the major types of commonly prescribed cardiovascular medications are summarized in this section.For your information and reference, we have included generic names as well as major trade names to help you identify what youmay be taking; however, the AHA is not recommending or endorsing any specific products. If your prescription medication isn't on this list, remember that your healthcare provider and pharmacist are your best sources of information. It's important todiscuss all of the drugs you take with your doctor and understand their desired effects and possible side effects. Never stoptaking a medication and never change your dose or frequency without first consulting your doctor.