6 common types of medications used in treating coronary artery disease include:
1. Cholesterol-lowering drugs
2. Aspirin or Clopidogrel
The most common medicine is Statins, which are usually the first type of drug that doctors prescribe to lower LDL. They also lower triglycerides - another type of blood fat, and mildly raise your "good" (HDL) cholesterol.
This medicine is used to prevent blood clots forming in hardened blood vessels which can lead to events such as stroke, heart attack or death. You may have been prescribed Clopidogrel/Aspirin to help prevent blood clots forming and to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke or death, because you have suffered a severe type of chest pain called unstable angina, or had had a heart attack.
3. Beta blockers
Beta blockers, also known as beta-adrenergic blocking agents, are medications that reduce your blood pressure. Beta blockers work by blocking the effects of the hormone epinephrine, also known as adrenaline. When you take beta blockers, your heart beats more slowly and with less force, thereby reducing blood pressure.
Doctors usually prescribe nitroglycerin for angina pectoris - a sudden heart-related chest pain. It happens because something is preventing the flow of blood to your heart muscle. Nitroglycerin widens the blood vessels so more blood gets to your heart muscle, which will help stop the pain.
5. Calcium channel blockers
Calcium channel blockers prevent calcium from entering cells of the heart and blood vessel walls, resulting in lower blood pressure. It also relaxes and widen blood vessels, it slows your heart rate, which can further reduce blood pressure.
6. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE Inhibitors)
Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors) are medications that slow (inhibit) the activity of the enzyme ACE, which decreases the production of angiotensin I, which results in enlarged blood vessels and reduces blood pressure.
What if medications do not work? This means that your condition is more severe and you may have to undergo a procedure to restore blood flow back to the parts that have suffered a restriction in blood supply. This procedure is called revascularisation. Your doctor may recommend either balloon angioplasty and stenting or Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG).