Heart Medications Archive


RNA-based drug shows promise for lowering blood pressure

In 2023, a small preliminary study found that single injection of a new RNA-based drug may lower blood pressure for up to six months.

Advances in managing hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

About one in 500 people has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a condition that causes the walls of the heart to thicken and enlarge. It's often caused by genetic mutations and is the most common inherited form of heart disease. Contrary to popular belief, vigorous exercise appears to be safe for most people with HCM. For people with symptoms, several treatments are available, including mavacamten (Camzyos), a first-in-class medication that targets the underlying cause of HCM by inhibiting a protein that helps power heart muscle contractions.

Statin alternative lowers heart-related deaths

The cholesterol-lowering drug bempedoic acid (Nexletol) can be a good alternative for people who can't take statins. A 2023 study found that compared with a placebo, bempedoic acid can lower the risk of heart attacks and related problems.

Nitroglycerin pills for angina: Is there another option?

A spray version of nitroglycerin (a drug used to treat angina) is just as effective as the under-the-tongue pill version of the drug. The spray also has a longer shelf life.

Statins may have no effect on exercise pain

A common complaint among statin users is that the drugs increase pain during and after exercise. A 2023 study suggests statins won't exacerbate usual muscle symptoms from moderate-intensity exercise.

Understanding statin intensity

Statin dosages fall into three categories (low, moderate, or high) based on how much the medication can lower LDL. The choice of a statin depends on a person's risk.

One in five people at risk of heart disease shuns statins

A 2023 study found that one in five people at high risk for heart disease chose not to take a recommended statin drug. After a doctor's recommendation to start a statin, women were more likely than men to decline the medication.

Heart medication interactions

Certain drugs, supplements, or foods can interact with common heart medications. Known as drug-drug or drug-nutrient interactions, these can occur at any point of the drug’s "life cycle:" absorption, metabolism, or excretion. When a drug or other substance alters the absorption or metabolism of another drug, this may reduce or increase its effects. For example, grapefruit juice can elevate blood levels of certain statins and potentially increase the risk of side effects.

Pressure shift

People often need several medications to adequately control high blood pressure. Doctors factor in more than age, sex, and race when deciding which of the 200-plus available blood pressure drugs might work for a person. Doctors also consider diet, activity levels, reproductive history, and other chronic conditions and medications. Consistent blood pressure control can be challenging, and doctors can collaborate with patients to minimize side effects common to blood pressure medications, such as dizziness and lightheadedness.

Don’t buy into dietary supplements for heart health

Statins were more effective at lowering cholesterol levels compared with six dietary supplements touted for heart health benefits, including managing cholesterol.

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