Recent Blog Articles

Heart Medications Archive

Articles

Pressure shift

Published February 1, 2023

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

Published February 1, 2023

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

It may not be too late to protect against dementia

Published February 1, 2023

Older adults can still lower their risk for dementia by taking medication to decrease their high blood pressure, according to a recent study.

Better blood pressure control after a stroke may reduce risk of falls

Published February 1, 2023

Stroke survivors who take their blood pressure drugs as prescribed may be less likely to experience a serious fall compared with those who don’t take their medications on schedule.

Muscle pain in statin users is probably not caused by the drug

Published December 1, 2022

While muscle pain is a possible side effect of taking statins, most discomfort is not caused by the drug, but most likely a "nocebo effect" where negative expectations can lead to perceived side effects.

Your guide to taking statins

Published October 1, 2022

Statins continue to be a first-line treatment for many people at risk of heart attacks and strokes. They help reduce cholesterol levels, reduce plaque build-up, and protect against plaque rupturing, and fight inflammation. Possible side effects are often mild, if they occur, and go away after a brief period. Otherwise, people can manage them by changing the dosage or switching to another type of statin, per their doctor’s direction.

A lower blood pressure goal benefits some older adults

Published September 1, 2022

Taking an aggressive approach to lower high blood pressure with more medication can help many older adults reduce their risk for heart attacks, stroke, and heart failure. But they need to weigh the benefits with the potential side effects of extra medication.

The lowdown on "good" cholesterol

Published September 1, 2022

Long touted as beneficial for heart health, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) is more complicated than experts once thought. Some forms of HDL grab cholesterol from the bloodstream and other tissues and transport it to the liver, where it’s recycled or disposed, but other types are neutral or perform the opposite action. Most drugs that raise HDL don’t seem to prevent heart disease, and very high HDL levels may even be linked to a higher risk.

Brushing off heart failure symptoms

Published August 1, 2022

Heart failure symptoms, such as being tired or out of breath, gaining weight, or having swollen ankles, can be overlooked and attributed to other causes. As a result, heart failure is not usually diagnosed until months or years later, when a person is hospitalized for it. By that point, the risk for dying from heart failure has already risen significantly, sometimes higher than the risk of death from cancer. Someone who has potential heart failure symptoms should talk to a doctor, especially if symptoms are new and if the person has diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, or an unhealthy lifestyle.

What is acute coronary syndrome?

Published June 1, 2022

Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) refers to a spectrum of conditions defined by a sudden reduction in blood flow to the heart. Most often, the underlying cause is a gradual buildup of fatty deposits called plaque inside the arteries supplying the heart. ACS includes two distinct types of heart attacks, known as STEMI and NSTEMI, and a serious condition called unstable angina that’s often a prelude to a heart attack. All warrant immediate medical attention.

Free Healthbeat Signup

Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Thanks for visiting. Don't miss your FREE gift.

The Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness, is yours absolutely FREE when you sign up to receive Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Sign up to get tips for living a healthy lifestyle, with ways to fight inflammation and improve cognitive health, plus the latest advances in preventative medicine, diet and exercise, pain relief, blood pressure and cholesterol management, and more.

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss...from exercises to build a stronger core to advice on treating cataracts. PLUS, the latest news on medical advances and breakthroughs from Harvard Medical School experts.

BONUS! Sign up now and
get a FREE copy of the
Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Stay on top of latest health news from Harvard Medical School.

Plus, get a FREE copy of the Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness.