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Medicines for your heart

The Heart Foundation's page on common heart pills, has information about the groups of medicines that are commonly used for heart problems. It explains what they do, how they work, side effects, and things to look out for. It has information about statins, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, thiazide diuretics, calcium channel blockers, antiplatelets, antithrombotic anticoagulants, and nitrates.

You can also find out more information about statins, which help to lower high cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart attacks on strokes, on our Cholesterol-lowering medicines page.

The Canterbury DHB leaflet Blood-thinning medicines for atrial fibrillation has more information about anticoagulants. You can also read about Warfarin and INR monitoring, and about Medicines to treat heart failure.

Information sheets

These information sheets cover many of the drugs used for heart problems.

ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs): candesartan, cilazapril, enalapril, losartan, quinapril

Anti-arrhythmics: amiodarone, flecainide, propafenone

Anticoagulants: dabigatran, warfarin

Antiplatelets: aspirin, clopidogrel, ticagrelor

Beta Blockers: atenolol, bisoprolol, carvedilol, labetalol, metoprolol, sotalol

Calcium channel blockers: amlodipine, diltiazem, felodipine, verapamil

Diuretics: bendroflumethiazide, furosemide

Nitrates: glyceryl trinitrate, isosorbide mononitrate

Other: digoxin, perhexiline

Important information about blood pressure and heart medication, and anti-inflammatories

If you take an ACE inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker (for example Cilazapril, enalapril or quinapril) and a diuretic (for example furosemide or bendrofluazide), taking a pain relieving medicine called a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) (for example ibuprofen, or aspirin in high doses) could harm your kidneys. The term for this is the "triple whammy". Read The Triple Whammy – Safe use of NSAIDs for more details. Check with your doctor, practice nurse or pharmacist if you aren't sure whether you are taking an ACE inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker and a diuretic.

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Updated February 2016.

See also:

Medications for chest pain

Page reference: 47652

Review key: HIHDR-25619