Heart Medications Archive


Coated aspirin and regular aspirin: Similar benefits and risks

For preventing repeat heart attacks, coated aspirin is just as effective as regular aspirin, but it does not appear to provide extra protection against bleeding risk.

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.

Can we reduce plaque buildup in arteries?

Making plaque disappear is not possible, but it is possible to shrink and stabilize it. Drugs called statins can help with this, and so can eating a heart-healthy diet, exercising, and quitting smoking.

Understanding blood thinners

Drugs that discourage blood clots (commonly called blood thinners) don't actually make the blood less viscous. The two main types of these drugs, anticoagulants and antiplatelet drugs, interfere with different blood components involved in clot formation. Anticoagulants treat blood clots in the legs and lungs and are also prescribed to people with atrial fibrillation. Antiplatelet drugs are used to prevent heart attacks and strokes and to treat people who receive stents.

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.

Free Healthbeat Signup

Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!

Sign Up
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.