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What medications help prevent heart attacks?

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Quick Answer

Common medications used to prevent heart disease, which leads to heart attack, include anticoagulants, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers, according to WebMD. Cholesterol-lowering drugs are commonly also used to prevent heart disease.

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Full Answer

Anticoagulants, also known as blood thinners, help to prevent heart attack by stopping the formation of clots in the blood, claims WebMD. This type of medication not only helps to prevent heart attack, but it can also prevent strokes. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors are also commonly prescribed to those at risk of a heart attack. These drugs help to lower blood pressure and help the heart work more efficiently.

Beta-blockers help the heart in several ways, including helping the heart slow down, lowering blood pressure and relieving chest pain, explains WebMD. Beta-blockers do this because they can stop adrenaline from working. When adrenaline is blocked, the heart's job is much easier.

Calcium channel blockers also help to lower blood pressure, lower heart rate and relieve heart pain, states WebMD. They do this by preventing calcium from entering into the cells of the heart. When too much calcium is present, blood vessels can tighten, which makes the heart have to work extra hard. Keeping cholesterol in check with medications may also help prevent a heart attack as high cholesterol is a risk factor.

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