heart health

Heart Stent Meds – Things You Need To Know

What Is A Stent?

When blood vessels that carry blood to the heart become narrow or blocked, you are at risk of a heart attack. A stent is placed in your heart vessel to avoid the risk of heart attack.

Basically, a stent is a tiny tube placed in the narrow or blocked blood vessel to remove the blood vessel blockage.

Which Medicines Your Doctor Will Prescribe After Stent Surgery?

Your doctor will likely prescribe aspirin and a blood thinner such as Plavix (clopidogrel), Effient (prasugrel) or Brilinta (ticagrelor) for at least a month post your stent surgery. These medicines will keep your blood thin and hinder the formation of blood clots.

What Are The Side-Effects Of Stent Medicines?

One of the main side-effect of stent is bleeding. You might experience more bleeding from small cuts and bruises. However, this is normal if you’ve undergone stent surgery. Make sure to consult your doctor if your bleeding won’t stop for some time and if you’ve blood in your stool or pee. Moreover, don’t stop taking your medicines on your own.

How Long Do You Need To Take Your Medicines?

This depends on the type of stent you have and many other factors. Let your doctor decide for how long you will need to take your medicine. Don’t stop taking your medicine on your own. Moreover, there are chances that you might need to take aspirin throughout your life.

What If You Need Surgery?

Stent medicines keep your blood thin and increase the risk of bleeding during surgery. Do share your medical history with your doctor before your surgery. If you need surgery or a procedure, you may need to stop taking your meds prior your surgery and then restart after surgery. This decision will be made by your prescriber and surgeon, together. Make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions properly to reduce the surgery complications.

How Can I Remember To Take My Stent Meds?

It is very important that you take your stent meds as prescribed to keep your stent open. If your stent closes, you could have a heart attack. You can use pill boxes to store your medicines.  But there are some stent meds that must be kept in the container they come in, not in a pill box. So don’t forget to ask your pharmacist how to store your stent meds. If you have a smartphone, there are apps that can you remind you to take your medications. You could also set an alarm on your cell phone, watch, or computer. Ask family and friends to help you remember. Your pharmacy might also have a refill reminder program.

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