Medical therapy forms the mainstay of treatment to manage a specific diagnosis or set of risk factors that predispose to heart disease. Medications can effectively reduce the severity of symptoms, reduce longer term risk of heart disease and improve survival. The benefit of medical therapy may be offset by side effects or intolerance. Your cardiologist will decide upon specific treatments based upon individualized assessment of risk factors (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes) or the severity of the heart condition – coronary artery disease, cardiac arrhythmias, heart failure – and monitor your response and progress.
Some classes of medication have more than one benefit on the heart with evidence supporting their use in several cardiac conditions. It is likely the cardiologist will undertake various testing most commonly an ECG, echocardiogram, Holter monitoring and frequently a functional exercise test.