A Guide to Medicines

This section of the Heart Information Center describes in detail many different types of medicines your doctor might prescribe for you to treat (or help prevent) heart disease or cardiovascular-related conditions.


Although anticoagulants are called blood thinners, these medicines do not really thin your blood. Instead, they decrease the blood's ability to clot. Decreased clotting keeps fewer harmful blood clots from forming and from blocking blood vessels.

Statins, Cholesterol-Lowering Medicines

Why do I need to take a cholesterol-lowering medicine? Your doctor may give you a cholesterol-lowering medicine called a "statin" if you have high levels of total or LDL cholesterol (the "bad cholesterol") that cannot be lowered with a program of diet and exercise. Statins block an enzyme (HMG-CoA reductase) which causes your body to make less cholesterol.

blood thinners medication

Blood Thinners

Blood thinners reduce your risk for heart attack, stroke, and blockages in your arteries and veins by preventing clumps of...


Why do I need to take a beta-blocker? Beta-blockers are used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension), congestive heart failure...