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Heart Medications After Bypass Surgery

Man putting a pill in his mouth with one hand and holding a glass of water with the other hand.

From now on, you’ll be taking medication to keep coronary artery disease, commonly called heart disease, under control. You may also take medications for related health problems. Be sure to take all your medications as directed or they won’t work properly.

Heart medications

Your doctor may prescribe some of these medications after your bypass surgery:

  • Antiplatelet medications (such as aspirin) help prevent blood clots. They also reduce your risk of a heart attack.

  • Beta-blockers reduce the heart rate and the force of the heartbeat. They also lower blood pressure.

  • ACE inhibitors lower blood pressure and decrease strain on the heart.

  • Lipid-lowering medications reduce the amount of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and other fats in the blood. Some medications also improve levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol.

Other medications

Depending on your risk factors, you may also take medications for related conditions:

  • If you have high blood pressure, you may take medications such as diuretics and vasodilators. These lower blood pressure, which helps control heart disease.

  • If you have diabetes, pills or insulin injections can keep blood sugar under control. This reduces the risk of diabetes complications, including heart disease.

Tips for taking medications

  • Set up a routine. For example, take your medication with the same meal each day, or before you go to bed.

  • Keep a list of all your medications and their dosages. Show this list to any doctor or dentist who treats you. Also, show it to your pharmacist before buying any prescription or over-the-counter medication.

Online Medical Reviewer: Image reviewed by StayWell art team.
Last Review Date: 9/10/2013
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