Cardiovascular medication




Thereare different classes of medications used in treating cardiovascularissues. The type of drugs used is determined by a number of factorssuch as the seriousness of the condition, preexisting conditions suchas hypertension or stroke, drug interaction and side effects amongothers. Common categories include

  1. Antianginal,

  2. Anti-arrhythmic

  3. Antihypertensive ( make sure you supply the subdivision for this subcategory Example: beta-blocker, ARB`s, Ace Inhibitor, Calcium Channel Blocker (CCB)

  4. Antihyperlipidemic Cholesterol lowering drugs including the Statins.

  5. Cardiac Glycosides

  6. Thrombolytic/Anticoagulant

  7. Diuretics

Thechart below shows one or two type of cardiovascular medication, itsimpact on the body and the action mechanisms in addition to off-labeluses.



Common medication

What it treats


Off-label uses


Different categorization methods give different subcategories



-Cardiac arrhythmia

Contains calcium-channel blockers which reduce the amount of calcium that goes into muscle cells. Muscles cells require calcium to contract, absence of calcium thus causes the muscle cells to relax which widens arteries and reduces blood pressure and heart rate. Wider arteries also increase the flow of blood to your heart, which helps ease angina.


Cluster headaches



Anginal chest pain

Generally, calcium channel blocker that lowers blood pressure by relaxing arterial smooth muscles. The contractile processes of cardiac muscle and vascular smooth muscle are dependent upon the movement of extracellular calcium ions into these cells through specific ion channels. Amlodipine inhibits calcium ion influx across cell membranes selectively, with a greater effect on vascular smooth muscle cells than on cardiac muscle cells.

Pulmonary hypertension

Ranaud’s disease



persistent ventricular fibrillation

Blocks specific electrical signals in the heart that can cause an irregular heartbeat. This makes the drug highly risky and is thus administered only in life threatening recurring arrhythmias as a last resort.

Commonly used unlawfully for atrial fibrillation —leading to grievous outcomes for patients, and medical unprofessional conduct lawsuits against the doctors.


sustained ventricular tachycardia

Works as beta blocker and an anti-arrhythmic to slow heart rate



-Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (ARB)

-Ace Inhibitor

-Calcium Channel Blocker (CCB)

Candesartan cilexetil (ARB)

High blood pressure

blocks the angiotensin receptor and thus prevents the action of angiotensin

reduces neointima formation

Acebutelol (Beta-blocker)

High blood pressure


Blocks certain neurotransmitters (e.g. epinephrine) that increase heart rate and blood pressure in blood vessels

ventricular tachycardia, angina, essential tremor


-Antihyperlipidemic combinations

-Bile acid sequestrants

-Cholesterol absorption inhibitors

-Fibric acid derivatives

-Miscellaneous antihyperlipidemic agents


Fenofibrite (Fibric acid derivative)

high cholesterol and high triglyceride levels.

Reduces lipid levels by activating a process that activates lipoprotein lipase that reduces apoprotein CIII, which increases lipolysis and elimination of triglyceride-rich particles from plasma

Simvastatin/ niacin (Antihyperlipidemic combinations)

-Lowers high cholesterol and triglycerides in certain patient

– Increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels.

-Simvastatin has a HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor that reduces the production of certain fatty substances in the body e.g. Cholesterol.

– Reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides and increases HDL cholesterol.

Cardiac Glycosides


-Slows and strengthens the heartbeat

Inhibits the sodium-potassium pump, mainly in the myocardium and promote sodium-calcium exchange which leads to increased intracellular calcium concentration resulting in an increase in the force of myocardial contraction.



Arterial blood clots


Chest pain

Heart attacks

Blood clot in the lungs

As a serine protease agent, it digests protein and convert it plasminogen to plasmin which breaks down the fibrinogen and fibrin and dissolves the clot.


-Loop diuretics

-Thiazide diuretics

-Potassium-sparing diuretics

-Edema associated with heart failure


They work in the Kidney’s loop of Henle by inhibiting the reabsorption of salts and in the process increase the amount of fluids passed out by the kidneys and in the process reduce congestion of fluids in the body that cause oedema and breathlessness.

-Liver and kidney disorders.


Griffin(2012). Manual ofcardiovascular medicine,4thed. New York: Lippincott Williams &amp Wilkins.