Pharmaceutical Mechanisms of Most Common Heart Medications Explained

Woman is clutching her chestCardiac and coronary artery diseases can be managed quite effectively with drugs and different combinations of drugs. Under the supervision and direction of a cardiology practitioner in Beaver, it is possible for sufferers of even the most high-risk illness involving the heart to live a full and active life.

ACE inhibitors

ACE inhibitors, a class of hypertensives, are prescribed to persons with hypertension, which is described as a resting blood pressure of 130/80 mmHg. One in three Americans suffers from high blood pressure and its deleterious effects. This is one of the most commonly prescribed heart medications in the country today.

ACE is the acronym for angiotensin-converting enzyme. As suggested by the name, one of the functions of the drug is to suppress angiotensin II production, a hormone that constricts blood vessels and allows them to relax, thus promoting a smoother and more efficient flow of blood. Another function of ACE inhibitors is to lower sodium retention in the kidneys, which has an overall effect on lowering blood pressure.


Another medication taken by persons with hypertension is the beta-adrenergic blocking agents or beta-blockers for short. By blocking adrenaline or epinephrine, an adrenergic hormone, beta-blockers lower the force of heart muscle contraction and slow down the heartbeat. Lowered blood pressure is a consequence of the changes in heart function, but beta-blockers are not first in line meds for hypertension. Also, beta-blockers induce increased blood flow by opening the lumen of blood vessels.

Calcium channel blockers

When calcium is not available to cardiac muscles, their contraction is impeded. The medication affects both heart muscles and muscles of the arteries, the blood vessels carrying blood to different organs. When the arteries dilate, there is more blood and oxygen available. Less force of contraction also lowers oxygen demands of cardiac muscle.

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Typical cardiac medications are widely available and used by millions of Americans. It helps to know how they work and to be familiar with their uses.