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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Do you Love Your Heart? – Prescription Drugs Unveiled (Part 4 in a 4 Part Series)

Modern medical science has made great strides in treating many illnesses. Research happens every day and new drugs are made, tested and prescribed to people. What price do we pay for this manipulation of the body’s chemistry? Let’s explore in depth the drugs that are used to treat the causes of heart disease below.

ACE inhibitors are used for treating blood pressure, heart failure, stroke prevention and the prevention of kidney failure for people with diabetes or high blood pressure (hypertension). This is one of the most important drugs used to treat people with heart disease. Some people do not always respond with these drugs only and other drugs are needed in conjunction with them for optimal results. Side effects generally include skin rash, loss of taste (metallic or salty taste), chronic cough and kidney damage. If these cause chronic cough, the other drugs that could also be prescribed will more than likely also cause chronic cough. It can take up to a month for the cough to subside.

Angiotensin II receptor blockers are used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure. Side effects generally include dizziness, coughing, headache, diarrhea, and loss of taste (metallic or salty taste). This drug is similar to ACE inhibitors and is generally used when patients do not easily tolerate them.

Beta Blockers are used to treat high blood pressure, heart failure and migraines. Side effects include insomnia, depression, signs of asthma, impotence, nausea, fatigue, and muscle cramps.

Calcium Channel Blockers are used to treat high blood pressure, angina and abnormal heart rhythms. Side effects generally include heart palpitations, swollen ankles (edema), headaches, dizziness and constipation.

Diuretics are used to treat high blood pressure. They are more commonly known as water pills and some can be bought over the counter. Side effects include weakness, leg cramps, fatigue, dizziness, and increase in blood sugar for diabetics. Most of these drugs tend to be sulfa drugs which some people are allergic to.

Aspirin Therapy is used to treat atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). This treatment has been proven to reduce the likelihood of another heart attack or stroke. The drawback is that it doesn’t always work well in the presence of adrenaline and side effects include stomach irritation and/or bleeding, gastrointestinal irritation/bleeding, and kidney failure.

Statin drugs are used to lower cholesterol levels. Lipitor®, Plavix®, Crestor, Simvastatin are all statin drugs. These drugs short circuit the body’s natural enzymatic processes so it cannot produce cholesterol. Side effects include muscles weakness and joint aches, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, liver damage and muscle problems. Once you are on these drugs, even if your cholesterol lowers, you will most likely be on these for life.

In addition to all the side effects listed, it’s important to ensure that any drugs you are taking don’t have interactions. Make sure that your pharmacy is aware of all the drugs you are taking to avoid harmful drug interactions. On all the blood pressure medications, each one listed the information about how they affect sexual dysfunction. Information taken from Medicinenet.com and by googling the names of the drugs online.

While drugs often have a place in treatment, our health industry in many cases has become what I call a sickness industry instead of a wellness industry. In educating myself, it just seems that adding more chemicals to the body aren’t always the best solution. Prevention in many cases, is often the simplest, less expensive and best solution. There are many natural alternatives out there which will be what I will personally opt for until my doctor and second and third opinion all agree that drugs are the best answer.

I hope you’ve found this information helpful. I’ve googled much of this information to verify it but feel free to do more research. I’m a firm believer in the more you know and the more opposing opinions you get, the more informed you are for yourself.

Offering Heart and Weight Loss solutions for the busy lifestyle. Contact me today to schedule your Free consultation and Learn 6 Controllable Factors for Heart Health.

Kathie Hitt
Email: kathiehitt@yahoo.com

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor nor should this information take the place of regularly scheduled wellness visits with your physician. Self diagnosis is not the way to responsibly take care of your health. Before changing what you do, make sure to consult with your doctor as this blog and it’s education will not be held accountable for your own personal actions. This blog is meant for education only and to raise awareness of heart disease and the many factors related to it in hopes that increased education will help save more lives. Only through education do we grow stronger and more knowledgeable about life.