Print this topic

HealthInfo Canterbury

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 II 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


If you take an ACE inhibitor or angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) (for example, cilazapril, enalapril, quinapril, losartan or candesartan) and a diuretic (for example, furosemide or bendroflumethiazide), taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) (for example ibuprofen or aspirin in high doses) could harm your kidneys. The term for this is "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're taking an ACE inhibitor or angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) and a diuretic.

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed May 2018.

See also:

Medications for chest pain

Page reference: 47652

Review key: HIHDR-25619