Heart Medications Archive


Web-based app helps people accurately assess need for statin

Using a Web-based app, most people can correctly assess their need for a cholesterol-lowering statin and take the drug appropriately with good results, according to a 2024 study. If approved, the app could facilitate statin use without a doctor's prescription.

Why do some heart drugs cost so much?

Health insurance companies sometimes require prior authorization for new, expensive medications. The high price patients pay for these drugs is related to complexities in health insurance coverage.

Choosing the most beneficial blood thinner

Direct-acting oral anticoagulants (so-called "blood thinners") are prescribed to treat atrial fibrillation, deep-vein thrombosis, or blood clots in the lung. Doctors also prescribe antiplatelet drugs to prevent blood clots in arteries that can lead to heart attacks or strokes.

RNA-targeted drugs for heart disease

RNA-targeted drugs work by preventing the synthesis of proteins involved in different diseases. One, called inclisiran (Leqvio), dramatically lowers LDL cholesterol with just two injections per year. Additional RNA-targeted drugs to lower elevated lipoprotein (a) and high blood pressure are currently in late-stage clinical trials.

How low should LDL cholesterol go?

People who are at high risk for cardiovascular disease can benefit from driving down "bad" low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels as low as possible to help reduce their risk for heart attacks and strokes. Guidelines recommend that people at high risk aim for LDL levels below 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). The general population should strive for levels below 100 mg/dL. Taking statins and adopting healthier lifestyle habits like following a plant-based diet and increasing exercise can help manage LDL levels.

Keto diet is not healthy and may harm the heart

According to a 2024 review, the ketogenic (keto) diet—which is high in fat and protein and low in carbohydrates—doesn't meet standards for a healthy diet and may not be safe for some people with heart disease.

Taming high triglycerides

Up to 30% of Americans have above-normal levels of triglycerides, which many studies have linked to a higher risk of heart disease. Lifestyle changes that can lower triglycerides include losing weight if needed; avoiding simple carbohydrates, sweets, and alcohol; cutting back on saturated fats; and doing regular exercise. For people whose levels remain high (especially those at risk for heart disease), medications such as fibrates or icosapent ethyl (Vascepa) may be helpful.

Dizzy spells when you stand up: When should you worry?

Orthostatic hypotension is a drop in blood pressure when standing up. If it ever leads to loss of consciousness or a fall, it can be dangerous.

Lightheaded? Top 5 reasons you might feel woozy

Lightheadedness is a feeling of wooziness or faintness. It is commonly caused by dehydration, drug side effects, blood pressure drops, low blood sugar, heart disease, or stroke.

The best anti-clotting drug for afib?

Indirect evidence suggests that for people with atrial fibrillation who always take apixaban (Eliquis) every 12 hours as prescribed, it may be slightly better than once daily rivaroxaban (Xarelto).

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