Living with Coronary Artery Disease

Manage heart disease through lifestyle changes and understanding the symptoms of heart attack. Decrease risk factors by not smoking, keeping cholesterol in check, exercising, managing stress and eating healthfully. Take prescribed medications and see a cardiologist regularly.

Medical Management of Coronary Artery Disease

Medications can relieve the heart from working so hard. Nitroglycerin widens arteries, aspirin can prevent clots, beta blockers improve blood flow, Ranolazine helps chronic angina, ace inhibitors improve survival after heart attack, lipid management helps control cholesterol that can block arteries.

Statin Therapy

A first line treatment to lower high cholesterol in patients with or at risk for coronary artery disease, statins also provide additional benefits to the blood vessels that result in a decrease incidence in cardiovascular events.

Aspirin Therapy in Heart Disease

Small doses (80 to 160 mg/day) of this common drug are prescribed for some people to prevent blood clots, decrease pain, and reduce risk of heart attack and stroke. Risks are stomach ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, or bleeding in the brain during stroke. A doctor can make appropriate recommendations.

Heart Attack Care

Heart Attack - Recovery

It takes about two months for your heart to heal. It’s normal to feel depressed, angry or afraid. Focus on regaining your health. Pace your activity, adopt a heart-healthy diet, manage stress, exercise regularly, maintain cholesterol levels and see a doctor regularly.

Heart Attack - Treatment

Various medications can help break up artery clots and can reduce heart damage, widen blood vessels, decrease pain and help regulate heart rhythm. Procedures can open up narrowed or blocked arteries (angioplasty or stents). In severe cases, bypass surgery is performed to restore the heart’s blood supply.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/25/2019.

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