Question: I have been prescribed more than five pills after a heart attack. Are these all necessary?
Answer: Unfortunately, there have been many trials which have shown that medications after a heart attack are essential, and I'll go through some of those medicines for you. Aspirin has been shown to thin the blood and reduce your chance of having a second heart attack and improve survival.
Clopidogrel, similarly, is a very strong blood thinner, and it's been shown to improve survival. Beta blockers reduce the heart rate, and by doing so, may stabilize the heart -- preventing a second heart attack and improving survival. Ace inhibitors have been shown to remodel the heart after a heart attack, lower the resistance in the blood vessels, allowing the heart to pump forward more efficiently, and have also been shown to improve survival.
And then finally, statin drugs, or cholesterol-lowering drugs, have been very, very important at reducing second heart attack, stroke, and improving survival. So unfortunately these medications may cost a lot and might be a problem in terms of the patient wanting to take them, but they are very essential in the management of a patient after a heart attack.