Medications that affect the circulation include those that decrease body fluid (diuretics), decrease artery/vein pressure or pain due to blockages in the blood vessels (vasodilators), increase force of contraction (contractility), or change heart rate and rhythm. Commonly prescribed diuretics include furosemide (Lasix), spironolactone (Aldactone) and hydrochlorothiazide. Commonly prescribed vasodilators include nitroglycerin, isosorbide mononitrate (Ismo), isosorbide dinitrate (Isordil), diltiazem (Cardizem), nifedipine (Procardia, Adalat), and verapamil (Calan, Isoptin). Medications that affect contractility, rate, and rhythm include digoxin (Lanoxin), propranolol (Inderal), and verapamil (Isoptin). Other mediations such as enalapril (Vasotec) or lisinopril (Zestril), affect circulation.
What do circulation medications do?
- You circulatory system is made up of your heart (which pumps blood throughout your body) and your blood vessels (veins and arteries, through which blood flows to all parts of your body). Certain medications make your heart do less work to pump blood. They help blood flow and help your heart beat the right speed, rhythm, and strength.
What should I tell the healthcare professional about the individual who will be taking these medications?
- Tell the healthcare professional about any alcohol or medications (prescriptions, or nonprescription) that the patient is taking.
- Tell if the individual is pregnant.
- Tell if the individual has liver or, kidney, heart disease.
- Tell if the individual has had any diet changes, especially salt intake.
- Tell if the individual ever has had chest pain.
How should I give this medication and how should I store it?
- Give these medications by mouth unless indicated on the prescription.
- You can give these medications either with or without food unless indicated on the prescription.
- Give these medications on time and as prescribed.
- Store these medications at room temperature.
- Store AWAY from places with high moisture such as in bathrooms or over sinks.
- Store away from heat or light, and replace with fresh medication every 8 weeks.
What side effects should I look for and when might I see them?
- The medication may cause dizziness (especially when standing suddenly) weakness, headache, decreased sex drive, or constipation.
- Report immediately any extreme tiredness or weakness, change in frequency or intensity of chest pain, increased shortness of breath.
- Call 911 if a person continues to have chest pain after taking 3 prescribed nitroglycerin pills (1 every 5 minutes).
Where can I find more information about Circulation Medications?
- Diuretics (Water Pills) Medication Uses and Side Effects - http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/diuretic-treatment
- Diuretics, Loop consumer information from Drugs.com - http://www.drugs.com/cons/diuretics-loop.html