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SCREENING FOR HEART DISEASE

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WOMEN & HEART DISEASE

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Common Heart Medications

Drug Class    Common Medications    

Adenosine: Used to treat supraventricular tachycardia. Adenosine is an antiarrhythmic medication that works by slowing the electrical conduction in the heart which sometimes normalizes the heart rhythm. Adenosine can also be given during a stress test. While adenosine does not increase the heart rate, it does dilate the blood vessels leading into the heart, increasing blood flow. This action will simulate exercise for patients who are unable to exercise on a treadmill.

Amiodarone: Generic name for the drug Cordarone. Amiodarone belongs to a class of drugs called antiarrhythmics. It is taken to prevent arrhythmias in patients with recurrent rhythm abnormalities and symptoms despite other treatments. This drug works by slowing nerve impulses in the heart.

Digitalis (Digoxin): Drug which shares the qualities of two different drug classes: cardiac glycosides and antiarrhythmics. Digitalis drugs work by increasing the force of the hearts contractions (cardiac glycoside) and is prescribed to treat symptoms of congestive heart failure. It also decreases the conduction of electrical impulses through the heart, thereby controlling the heart rate during atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter (antiarrhythmic). Names also include Lanoxin and Lanoxicaps.

Dobutamine: A medication in the class of drugs called inotropic agents or catecholamines. Dobutamine is a heart-stimulating drug and is used to treat patients with heart failure. It works by increasing the strength and force of the heartbeat increasing the output of the heart. Dobutamine can also be administered during a stress test to simulate exercise when the patient is unable to walk on a treadmill.

Nitrates and Nitrites: Used to treat angina (chest pain) and symptoms of congestive heart failure. Nitrates belong to a group of medications called vasodilators. These medications dilate blood vessels by relaxing the muscle in the vessel walls. Common nitrates include nitroglycerin, Isordil and Imdur.

Quinidine / Quinidine Sulfate: Quinidine belongs to a class of drugs called antiarrhythmics. It is taken to correct heartbeat problems called arrhythmias.

Thallium: A metal element that has many uses. In the pharmaceutical industry, the radioactive form of thallium (thallium isotope) is used for diagnostic testing. Thallium is visible on nuclear imaging studies which assess the blood supply and pump function of the heart.