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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Heart Disease: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Coronary Artery Disease

Heart Disease

Alternate Names : Cardiac Disease

Heart Disease | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the disease?

There are many possible treatments for heart disease. Medicines are commonly used to:

  • act as diuretics, or water pills, such as furosemide and hydrochlorothiazide
  • control high blood pressure, such as atenolol, hydrochlorothiazide, amlodipine, or enalapril
  • control high cholesterol, such as pravastatin, simvastatin, and lovastatin
  • help the heart pump better, such as digoxin or dobutamine
  • help the heart relax and rebuild itself, such as carvedilol and captopril
  • prevent blood clots in the heart, such as warfarin
  • stop or control irregular heartbeats, such as amiodarone or procainamide
  • Surgery or other procedures may also be used to treat heart disease. These procedures include:

  • angioplasty, in which a special tool is used to open up clogged arteries during cardiac catheterization
  • heart bypass surgery. This is a form of open heart surgery that uses blood vessels from another part of the body to go around, or bypass, blockages in the heart arteries.
  • heart valve replacement, a form of open heart surgery to replace damaged heart valves
  • heart transplantation
  • open heart surgery to repair birth defects in the heart
  • Many other medicines and surgery techniques are used to treat heart disease. Cardiac rehabilitation and other forms of exercise can also help to improve the person's ability to function.

    What are the side effects of the treatments?

    All medicines and surgeries have possible side effects. Medicines may cause allergic reactions or stomach upset. Surgery carries a risk of bleeding, infection, and allergic reaction to anesthesia.

    What happens after treatment for the disease?

    Most individuals with coronary artery disease are encouraged to begin a regular exercise program. A person with CAD should make every effort to reduce coronary risk factors. This may include smoking cessation, control of other diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, and eating a healthy diet for prevention of heart disease.

    Many people with heart disease need lifelong treatment and monitoring. Death may occur, even with the best treatment.

    How is the disease monitored?

    A person with heart disease will have regular visits to the healthcare provider, along with periodic EKGs and blood tests. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.

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    Heart Disease: Prevention & Expectations


    Author: Adam Brochert, MD
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 08/08/01

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