Aventura Hospital and Medical Center – Heart Attack Medicine and Prevention

Aventura Hospital and Medical Center – Heart Attack Medicine and Prevention


– Patients can take a
certain group of medications, depending on what their risk factors are. Aspirin is a good medicine
for men over the age of 40, because people who take aspirin have less likelihood of
developing a heart attack. And if they do have a heart attack, they have less likelihood that
they’re gonna die from it. Statins, which are
cholesterol-lowering medicines, have proven benefit in
preventing cardiovascular disease and also preventing cardiovascular events. So if your cholesterol is high and you have other risk factors, a statin may be a beneficial
agent in preventing… primary prevention of heart disease. Also, blood pressure needs to be treated. And if blood pressure is controlled, you lessen the risk of
developing cardiovascular events. If you don’t want to take medications, you’re gonna run the risk of having serious
cardiovascular complications. Diabetic patients, for example, if they’re not treated
may develop heart disease at a much higher frequency
than non-diabetics. So insulin, certain oral
diabetic-type medications, are very valuable for the patients. Blood pressure, we must
treat blood pressure. It’s a silent killer. If patients do not want
to take their medications, they have gotta do certain things. Increase their exercise, decrease
salt intake, lose weight, all of those things can help
lose or reduce blood pressure. But not always will they
completely control blood pressure. Why should I take medications? Actually, medications… And we practice what we call
evidence-based medicine. Doctors in general prescribe medications that there’s scientific
proof that they lead to positive or improved outcomes. So when patients ask me, they don’t want to take
a recommended medicine, I try and encourage them to think about it and I educate them in the
literature and the data that supports the use of the medicine. There’s a lot of a common
misconceptions about drugs, that they’re harmful, and that
may be true to some extent. A lot of drugs do have side effects. But we always need to balance the positive benefits versus
the side effect profile of a drug before prescribing it. There are certain natural
things that are beneficial. Garlic, it’s a common old-wives tale that garlic may be helpful
for the cardiovascular system, may lower blood pressure. I have no problem with that, and in fact that’s a good recommendation. It’s good to use those as adjuncts to typical pharmacotherapy, to help people reach what
we call goals of therapy. I never like to use the term always, but for the most part, if you
have cardiovascular disease, we don’t have a cure for cardiac atherosclerotic disease yet. So there are medicines
that you will have to take, and most likely you’ll have to take them for the rest of your life. However, medicine changes,
we develop new techniques, new technologies, new pharmacotherapy, so these things may change in the future. So rather than telling patients this is a lifetime of treatment, I try and tell them for now
these are the types of medicines that you will need to take, and if things develop in the future, we will change accordingly.