Medicines after a Heart Attack

Ensure you take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine. You should not stop taking medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

Not taking your medicine might raise your risk of having another heart attack.

You may need several medicines:

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, beta-blockers, and statins can help prevent another heart attack. ACE inhibitors control blood pressure, and statins help lower cholesterol.
  • Aspirin and other blood thinners help prevent blood clots. Blood clots can cause a stroke or heart attack.
  • If your doctor has given you nitroglycerin, keep it with you at all times. If you have angina symptoms, such as chest pain or pressure, sit down and rest. Take the first dose of nitroglycerin as directed. If symptoms get worse or are not getting better within 5 minutes, call 911 right away. Stay on the phone. The emergency operator will tell you what to do.
  • Do not take any over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or herbal products without talking to your doctor or pharmacist first.

Where can you learn more? 

  1. Log on to your Henry Ford MyChart account and go to the left hand side box "Health Library". Enter H564 and click "Search" to learn more about “Heart Attack: After Your Visit”. Please ask any HFHS clinical representative for assistance in obtaining a Henry Ford MyChart account. 
  2. Edith and Benson Ford Heart and Vascular Institute
  3. American Heart Association