List of Heart Medications

Medication Activity Sheet

List of Cardiovascular (Heart Related) Medications

Drug Name (Trade and Generic) & ClassificationCommon Dose  & FrequencyReason for Med & How does it work?Side Effects/ Adverse ReactionsContraindications, Precautions, & InteractionsNursing Considerations/ Implications
Cardizem Classification: calcium channel blockers30-120mg BIDCAD and Systemic Vasodilatation. It slows the electrical conduction of the heart by inhibiting calcium transport into myocardial and vascular smooth muscles cells to bring the normal heart rhythm.Abnormal dreams, anxiety, blurred vision, disturbed equilibrium, cough, rhinitis, dyspnea, peripheral edema, rapid weight gain, gout, dark urine, clay-colored stools and jaundice. GI distress, liver dysfunction.Contraindicated when BP is less than 90, currently using rifampin, and has a recent MI or pulmonary congestion.  Caution with hepatic disorder patients. Rifampin increase metabolism of calcium hannel blockers.Assess vital signs before administration for hypotension and respiration. Monitor inputs and outputs.
Inderal Generic name: Propranolol Classification: beta blockers40mg to start (usually need 160-480mg QD in divided doses)CAD, HTN. It decreases heart rate, myocardial contractility and heart’s demand for oxygen.Fast, slow or uneven heartbeats. SOB, swelling, numbness or cold feeling in lower extremities.Aggravates breathing difficulties in COPD, asthma and bronchitis. Concurrent use with digoxin and halodol is not recommended because it can lead to hypertension and bradycardia to dangerous levels.Monitor vital signs. Don’t stop medications abruptly but if undergoing surgery it might be stopped briefly. Assess for fluid overload for swelling, abnormal lung sounds and weight gain.
Tenormin Generic name: atenolol Classification: beta blockers25mg-100mg QDCAD. It blocks response to beta adrenergic stimulation.Slow or uneven heart rates. Dizziness, fatigue, insomnia and mental depression. Cold sensations in extremities. Fatigue, weakness, erectile dysfunction, bradycardia, CHF, rash, hyperglycemia, and arthralgia.Caution when using digoxin and nitrates. Dosage might need to be reduced for hepatic or renal impairment.Assess blood pressure, ECG and pulse. Monitor intake and output ratios daily along with weights.
Lipitor Generic name: Atrovastatin Classification: lipid lowering agent10-40mg QDCAD. It inhibits the enzyme responsible for synthesizing cholesterol.Dizziness, weakness, chest pain, peripheral edema, rhinitis, and rash. GI distress of abdominal cramps, constipation, diarrhea, flatus, heartburn and altered taste.It has a drug induced hepatitis and elevated liver enzymes effect. So it is contraindicated in active liver disease.Obtain dietary history and evaluate cholesterol and triglyceride levels for effective therapy. The med should be used with diet restriction, exercise and without smoking.
Isordil Generic name: isosorbide Classification: nitrates2.5-30mg QIDAngina. It increases coronary blood flow by dilating coronary arteries and improving flow to the ischemic regions.Dizziness, headache, hypotension, tachycardia, syncope, flushing and urinary incontinence.Contraindication of concurrent use with Viagra and related drugs.  Drugs such as antifungals, cipro and clarithromycin will increase the effects. Drugs like phenytoin and Phenobarbital will decrease the effects.Do not administer around the clock, take is exactly as prescribed. Take the medication same time during each day.
Nitrobid Generic name: nitroglycerin Classification: nitrates0.3-0.4mg SL Q 15min x 3Angina. It increases blood flow and decreases myocardial oxygen consumption.Dizziness, headache, tachycardia, hypotension, SOB, rash, blurred vision and pale skin.Contraindicated to be used with sildenafil, tadalafil, etc. Use very cautiously in glaucoma.Do not drive, use machinery or any activities that require extreme alertness for this medication can make you dizzy.
Morphine Sulfate Brand name: Roxanol Classification: opioid agonists5-30(+)mg Q 30min-4hours PRNMI. It binds to opioid receptors and inhibiting the pain perception and the responses.SOB, bradycardia, seizure, confusion, cold clammy skin, weakness and light headedness.Contraindicated in severe respiratory depression pts and drinking alcohol is no recommended. Patient has to be tolerant to morphine or being taking similar ones already.Morphine can produce orthostatic hypotension similar to other narcotics. Take exactly as prescribed by the provider.
Catapres Generic name: clonidine Classification: adrenergics0.1mg BID-TID increased by 0.1-0.2 until effectiveArrhythmia. It stimulates the adrenergic receptors that inhibits the neurons and eventually decreases the vascular resistance.Bradycardia, hypotension, anxiety, delusion, drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, constipation and weight gain.Use caution in renal insufficiency, cerebrovascular disease, and serious cardiac problems.Monitor intake and output on a daily basis. Assess for swelling and pain in any locations.
Coumadin Generic name: warfarin Classification: anticoagulants2-10mg QD adjust to lab INR 2-3 or per MD orderAF, DVT, PE, Vascular Problems. It interferes with the hepatic synthesis of Vitamin-K dependent clotting factors.Bleeding, dermal necrosis, fever, cramps, nausea, edema, hematuria, and stomach cramps.Contraindicated in open wounds, active ulcers, recent surgeries, and renal and hepatic disorders.Use PT/INR lab tests assessments for to determine the therapy. Monitor stool and blood for occult blood.
Lanoxin Generic name: digoxin Classification:  antiarhythmics0.1-0.375mg QDCHF, tachycardia and atril fibrillation. Inhibits sodium ATPase to increase the contraction strength and decrease the frequency.Bradycardia, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, enlarged breasts in men and rash.Contraindicated in uncontrolled ventricular arrhythmias. Use cautiously in hypokalemia, hypothyroidism and hypercalcemia.Do not stop taking the medication suddenly. Stay hydrated to prevent overdose.
Lasix Generic name: furosemide Classification: loop diuretics10-80mg QD up to max 600mg in divided dosesCHF, HTN and edema. Inhibits reabsorption of sodium and chloride, and increase renal excretion.Dehydration, hypochloremia, hyponatremia, hypocalcemia, hypovolemia and metabolic alkalosis.Renal clearance of lithium and other chemical reduced. It competes with aspirin for excretion in urine. Glucose tolerance maybe decreased in diabetic patients. Contraindicated with anuria.It increases the risk for falls; monitor BP and pulse before administration.
Vasotec Generic name: enalapril Classification: antihypertensives5-40mg QD to BIDHTN, CHF and kidney problems. ACE inhibitors reduce aldosterone secretion and slow progression of heart failure.Hypotension, taste disturbances, headache, bronchospasm, rhinorrhea, sore throat, cough, dizziness, and fatigue,Concurrent use with NSAIDS is contraindication due to renal dysfunction. Risk of lithium toxicity, hyperkalemia and hypoglycemia.Monitor blood pressure and renal functions frequently.  Take meds on empty stomach.
Zestril Genereic name: lisinopril Classification: ACE inhibitors10-40mg QD-BID (2.5-5mg geriatric starting)HTN and management of CHF.Vomitting, diarrhea, hyperkalemia, dizziness and headache.Same as Vasotec.Avoid alcohol usage because it can further reduce BP. Monitor serum, BUN, WBC and potassium levels.
Calan Generic name: verpamil Classification: calcium channel blockers40-80mg TIDHTN and angina pectoris. It inhibits transport of calcium into myocardial and vascular smooth muscle to reduce excitation and contraction.Irregular heartbeats, lightheadedness, dizziness, weak feeling, muscle, fatigue, cramps, swelling and constipation.Contraindicated in liver dysfunction, sick sinus syndrome or AV block heart conditions and muscle dystrophy.Do not eat or drink grapefruit.
Lopressor Generic name: metoprolol Classification: beta blockers50-100mg QD-BID (25mg geriatric starting dose) up to 450mg QDHTN, angina pectoris and prevention of MI. It decreases the stimulation of myocardial activity.Fatigue, weakness, nervousness, SOB, blurred vision, stuffy nose, bronchospasm and cold extremities.Concurrent use with digoxin can lower BP and pulse to extreme. Caution when using with diabetic patients because it can mask hypoglycemic symptoms.Monitor vital signs with I&O. Assess for signs and symptoms of dyspnea, weight gain, edema and other CHF related.
Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) Classification: diuretics12.5-100mg QD-BIDHTN and treatment of edema associated with CHF. Increase excretion of sodium and water by inhibiting reabsorption.Hypokalemia, photosensitivity, dizziness, lethargy, weakness, vomiting, muscle cramps and hyperglycemia.Use caution in renal and hepatic impairment. Hypersensitivity to sulfonamide derivatives. It can cause electrolyte imbalances, so stay hydrated.Monitor blood glucose more frequently. Get up slowly from sitting position to avoid orthostatic hypotensive effects.

Books used:


Davis’s Drug Guide for Nurses, 11th Edition by Judith Hopfer Deglin and April Hazard Vallerand.

Essentials of Pharmacology for Health Occupations, 5th Edition by Ruth Woodrow.

Internet sources:


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