What types of medications are used to treat coronary artery disease?
The medications used to treat coronary artery disease are employed to either augment the supply or reduce the demand for myocardial oxygen. In order to overcome possible anatomic obstructions to coronary artery blood flow by thrombus, anticoagulants or antiplatelet agents are used, especially in the acute coronary setting. Medications that will augment diastolic filling time include drugs that lower heart rate: β-adrenergic blockers and Ca2+ channel blockers. Increases in ADP, and hence the driving pressure behind coronary perfusion, can be achieved by using vaso-pressors. Reductions in LVEDP can be achieved using nitrates, diuretics, and other venodilators (e.g., morphine). A single intervention which augments aortic diastolic pres-sure and reduces LVEDP is intra-aortic balloon counter-pulsation (Table 13.1).